Run Report for Saturday 13th April 2019

Netley Abbey Parkrun #382 - A tourist runner's view

Guest report from Andrew Allen

Last week a group of tourist park runners were fortunate enough to visit the Royal Victoria Country Park for the 382nd Netley Abbey Parkrun. By complete coincidence for me it was also my 382nd parkrun. It is a beautiful park on the banks of Southampton Water with great views of the waterfront and shipping on passage to and from the docks. The site itself is historic being the home to the former Royal Victoria military Hospital which closed in the 1960’s and was demolished following a fire; however a significant part of the huge building still standing is the prominent chapel.

We had wanted to do Netley Abbey parkrun last October and planned to arrive by yacht and dinghy; however our original date unfortunately coincided with Storm Harry so we abandoned it until the Spring. Our runners home runs are Bushy Park, Maidenhead, Reading and Netley. The rest of the team were Stuart Thompson on 351 runs, David Hollinshead on 186 runs, Juli Wood on 113 runs, Nick Baggott on 88 runs and Sarah Greenhalgh on 16 runs.

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The run itself comprised three laps of a figure of eight loop with a small ascent. Conditions were perfect with blue sky, sun and a gentle breeze.

There were 317 runners in total and a warm welcome was given to the 11 first timers doing their first ever parkrun - Samuel Middleton, Adam Nagy, Andrew Sharp, George Phillip, Matt Lovell, Victoria Palfrey, Amy Street, Katie-Mae Lush, Tim Lush, Gregory Hill and Kathryn Lea. In addition 31 Tourist runners were running this parkrun for the first time. There were 52 new PB’s including Archie Smoker in the junior category completing his 10th parkrun.

Congratulations are in order for Melanie Captain on her 100th run and Rachel Sutch and Mike Sharp on their 150th runs.

First home in a very respectable 18:05 was Alun Hanford and the first female in 19th place was Tracey Corker in 21:06 who also achieved the highest age grading of the day at 79.46%. Tracey has many first female positions to her name and she is the second most frequent to finish first at Netley.

After our run we used our dinghy to get back to the yachts and following breakfast on board enjoyed a brisk sail over to Cowes. And the best bit came later with a very special Parkrun cake baked by Juli Wood.

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Our thanks to the Netley Parkrun team and the 31 Volunteers who gave us a warm welcome and great experience. Rob AINSLIE, Wayne ANDREWS, Isaac ANDREWS, Paul BEATSON, Emily CORKER, Kayla DALLIMORE, Shaun DAVEY, David DOLING, Matthew GROUT, Michael HEAD, Melvyn HOLLOWAY, Sandra HOOK, Peter INGASON, Sheryl JAMES, Gordon LONG, John MCKENZIE, Alice O'BRIEN, Gabby O'BRIEN, Eddie OLIVER, Mark POTTLE, Jessica PRIOR, Tracy PUTTOCK, Mike SHARPE, Glen STREET, Gordon SYMONS, Andy THORNE, Jane WALKLATE, Steve WALKLATE, Karen WATSON, Helen WELLS, Alana Jayne WILLIAMS

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Netley and recommend this parkrun: we hope to come again.

 

Run Report – January 12 2019

This weeks run report is from James White.

I last visited Netley Abbey 5 years ago for the 100th event. In the time since I last visited I have gotten married, had two kids and run 216 more parkruns at another 97 different venues!!

Despite the time that has lapsed, I remember the day clearly. It was bitterly cold, there was a freezing cold wind coming off the water and there were a number of large, unavoidable puddles as you headed up into the woods. The start of the course was run the other way, dropping down to the waterside at the start, before heading up into the woods, but other than that it felt very familiar. What was also familiar was the warm welcome that visitors were given, we were all made to feel like part of the family and were cheered on the whole way by the superb volunteers!

Unlike my first visit, this time I was pushing my 2 year old, Elsie, in the running buggy. We arrived early and met the core team before attending the run brief...well we hoped to attend the run brief but Elsie ran off to see a big ship going past! We caught the end and fortunately fellow tourists Kerry and Dave talked me through the course.

As I had Stubbington 10km in the morning I had decided to take it easy so lined up with the running buggy at the back of the pack. It was lovely conditions for running and everyone seemed in good spirits. I started chatting to a local runner (sorry I didn't catch his name) and we stayed together for most of the run. I was nice to be made so welcome and be able to talk about running and parkrunning.

It wasn't long before we were heading up the hill the final time, once more round the woods and back to the waterside and in to the finish. After getting scanned we headed to the play park where Elsie had a good run around, before going to the excellent café. It was a shame that we couldn't have stuck around for longer, but we thoroughly enjoyed our time. We will definitely not leave it another 5 years before visiting again!

Thank you to everyone who made today's run possible, especially the wonderful core team and volunteers.

 

Run Report for November 24

Today saw my second visit to the picturesque setting of Netley Abbey parkrun. The last time had been in the August of 2016 when I was four away from my 50th milestone run and it was only my ninth different event. I’d chosen today’s venue in the hope that I could record my fourth consecutive parkrun PB, more about that later.

Anyway, my journey over there was bathed in glorious sunshine, and on entering the Royal Victoria Country Park, dappled light danced through the avenues of trees on my way to the car park.
Just in case you think I’ve lost my marbles, that was my first visit, today couldn’t have been more of a contrast if it had tried.

I’ve chosen to give my Thesaurus a dusting and flood the description of today’s parkrun with a deluge of adjectives… squishy, squelchy, slimy, sloppy, squashy, sodden, saturated and soggy—absolutely great fun; you really can’t beat a wet and wild parkrun!

I arrived with little time to spare; it’s always deceiving just how much further it is from junction 8 of the A27 down to the park. I managed a warm-up and realised there were an abundance of puddles, so it was good to know Doctor Foster wasn’t taking part today (apparently he was running at Gloucester and has since reported that he has no intentions of going back there).

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the history of Royal Victoria Country Park, here are some incredible facts about it.

The whole area spans 200 acres of mature woodland, grassy parkland and also has a small shingle beach which overlooks Southampton Water. The site, acquired by Hampshire County Council in 1969, was opened as a park to the public in 1970. Prior to that, it had been home to the Royal Victoria Hospital from 1863 until 1966; a large military hospital in Netley. Queen Victoria suggested it be built and construction started in 1856, though its design caused controversy, especially from Florence Nightingale.

It became the 28th US General Hospital, in the midst of the invasion of mainland Europe in the Second World War, and was often visited by Queen Victoria during that time. At the time of completion, it was the world’s longest building and, unsurprisingly, the world’s largest hospital, yet in 1966, everything except for the chapel and the former YMCA building, was demolished. The chapel itself has a 150ft (46m) viewing tower, providing 360° views over the park and across to Southampton Water to Hythe.

So there you have it, a brief bit of history about this incredible park… moments ago, I mentioned 360 and it just happened to be Netley Abbey’s 360th event today, so what better way to carry on with today’s run report?

Today saw 183 parkrunners take part in today’s run, of which there were nine first timers, three of those were running their first ever parkrun, so well done and welcome to the parkrun family (it doesn’t always rain, I promise).

15 runners managed a PB at this course. Only one person was celebrating a milestone run today, and that was Lewis RANGER, so well done on your 50th!

One of the first timers to the course, James LEWIS, managed to finish first in 18:43, so a huge well done to him. Other notable times, just because some numbers look good, are Alistair GARMENDIA in 23:00, Tim FORD 23:32, Mike TAYLOR 25:00, Marc HARDER 25:25 and Steve SLADE 29:00. Runners representing 16 different clubs is the final statistic of today.

There is a café within the grounds that sells yummy cakes, delicious lunches, tasty snacks and a wide range of hot and cold drinks, plus there are plenty of activities for children, including a Story Trail, a play area and a miniature steam railway; it’s a great park, whether it be for a fun day out with your family, walking your dog or visiting for a parkrun.

Finally, I did manage my fourth consecutive parkrun PB, knocking 1m:36s off my previous time, finishing in 23:40, so I was and still am, a very wet, happy bunny.

Finally, a huge thanks to every single marshal who stood in the rain and the cold giving motivation to everyone running.

 

New Years Day 2019 parkrun

There are only two days of the year where we allow extra parkrun UK events to take place - Christmas Day and New Years Day.

This year New Years Day falls on a Tuesday so, following on from the precedent set in previous years, we will be putting on an additional run starting at 0900.

 

Christmas Day 2018 parkrun

There are only two days of the year where we allow extra parkrun UK events to take place - Christmas Day and New Years Day.

This year Christmas Day falls on a Tuesday so, following on from the precedent set in previous years, we will be putting on an additional run starting at 0900.

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