Volunteering is fun and you still get to run!

Portsmouth Lakeside parkrun #153

Yesterday saw me complete my 25th volunteer role at my home run at Portsmouth Lakeside. We got there nice and early to help with Pre-event Setup, which meant I could do a warm up run whilst doing a volunteer role and also get my weekly parkrun in afterwards.

Once we had completed our volunteer duties we jogged back to the start to find the runners arriving and lots of friendly faces to chat to.

The start area at Portsmouth Lakeside is arranged into finish times so the faster runners can get to the front whilst the dogs/kids/slower runners can start towards the back of the pack. Once in the start area the run brief is delivered - a plea for volunteers very much the focus this week - and with a 3,2,1 we are off.

The route takes you along a path to the tax office and return (see what I did there? Tax....return....I can only apologise) back towards the start before taking a left turn to take you behind the lake. There is a turnaround point at the end and you then run back to repeat the way you have come. There is an underpass just before the tax office which is a breeze the first time around and somehow becomes two mountains on the return leg! Otherwise the course is relatively flat with a mixture of path and hard packed trail underfoot. There are plenty of marshals along the route to cheer you on and help you navigate cyclists and fishermen.

Yesterday I was one of 27 volunteers at Portsmouth Lakeside. There are a multitude of roles to chose from including Pre-event Setup, Car Park Marshal, First Timers Briefing, Timekeeper, Barcode Scanning and Marshal. Oh and Run Report Writer of course.....a great way to get a volunteer credit by just describing your parkrun experience. A massive thank you to all of the volunteers who make parkrun possible. It couldn’t go ahead without them. If you want to volunteer you can message the Portsmouth Lakeside parkrun team via Facebook or sign up for the volunteer email.

So onto some results....
305 runners ran at Portsmouth lakeside yesterday of whom 29 were first timers at lakeside and 11 were completely new to parkrun - welcome to the madness.
46 recorded PBs yesterday, well done to you all!

The 27th of April will see Portsmouth Lakeside parkrun celebrate their 3rd Birthday with a Princess and Pirates fancy dress theme. Also the 4th May offers a Star Wars (May the 4th Be With You) fancy dress theme! Who doesn’t love a run in fancy dress?? Look forward to seeing you all again at Portsmouth Lakeside soon.

Run Report by Pauline Dorn


A PB doesn’t always have to be about speed!

Ive struggled with today’s report. I’m mindful of the fact that some of you may not be interested in PB’s, some of you may be disappointed that you didn’t manage to get one today, or maybe you did but secretly wanted a better time than the one you got. Before I start I just wanted to say well done to ALL of you for coming today. Whilst Event #151 was focused on giving people an opportunity to run with a pacer in an attempt to improve their previous course PB’s, for some of you, your PB this morning may have been the fact you put your trainers on and turned up, so thank you for your effort.

There was a slight chill in the air as everyone begun to find their place on the start line. Amongst them were 9 pacers wearing new pink bibs with the numbers ranging from 21-37 on them. After welcoming visitors from Australia, Dean C (Run Director), congratulated a couple who were spending part of their wedding anniversary doing parkrun with us all (sorry I can’t remember your names). There were no parkrun milestones to celebrate, so he went straight into the “Rules of parkrun” speech. Finding himself in competition with a barking dog on the front row of the start that was keen and eager to begin running/sprinting with his human it was time for Matilda to start the countdown …… 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, ………. And they were off ……..

320 people completed the 5k course, some sprinted, some ran at a gentle speed, some jogged, some walked, at one point someone was even seen to be skipping, buggies and wheelchairs were being pushed and several squeals of excitement were heard to be coming from within them. Today was a day of encouragement, “strangers” supported each other, giving each other a smile or a “well done” to a “don’t stop now, you are so close to the end”, to a (sweaty) hug at the finish line.

Here are this week’s statistics
Participants - 320 runners (M = 183, F = 137)
1st timers at Lakeside – 46, of which 19 were doing their 1st ever parkrun

PB’s - 72 ……… broken down as follows
-21 paced by Gary A – 6 (M=4, F=2)
-23 paced by Matthew M – 5 (M=5, F=0)
-25 paced by Lee G – 14 (M=11, F=3)
-27 paced by George Q – 5 (M=3, F=2)
-29 paced by Barry S – 11 (M=4, F=7)
-31 paced by Colin G – 8 (M=4, F=4)
-33 paced by Leanne H - 6 (M=2, F=4)
-35 paced by Clare B – 9 (M=2, F=7)
-37 paced by Anthony Q – 3 (M=0, F=3)
-45 self paced – 5 (M=1, F=4)

If you didn’t get the PB you were hoping for, there are many of us that I’m sure would be willing to run/walk with you individually one week to try and help you complete the course in the time you want – please don’t wait for the next official pacing event – just come and speak to the RD who can point you in the direction of someone who can help if it’s arranged in advance.

I just wanted to round up by sharing something personal. When I started running I quickly became fixated on each run having to be better/faster than the last. I’d been running for about 18 months when my daughters decided to join me at parkrun, but them having youth on their side meant that they were soon much faster than I was, and still to this day (26 runs later) I’ve still never finished faster than my 11 year old.

Each week I would leave parkrun disappointed, but then something changed ........ a stranger approached me a few weeks after she’d had a difficult run to tell me that the smile and clap I’d given her as I’d passed in the opposite direction was enough to get her to the finish. At that specific point in her run she’d had enough and was going to stop short and then never come back. All I did was smile, but it was enough to make a difference to her. That was the day I tried to stop focusing on ‘numbers’ and now I get far more enjoyment seeing and helping others achieve things they didn’t think they could.

We all have an important part to play within the parkrun ‘family’. We all have different qualities and abilities and the ones you have, well, you never actually know who you are encouraging and inspiring each time you come. Keep it up and thank you for being YOU, not the person you may think you should be, thanks for being YOU. Thank you also to our volunteers today, who without them parkrun would not have been able to happen.

Run Report by Clare Belcher


Portsmouth Lakeside parkrun Event #141 – Why do I do it?

Why do I do it? That's a question that we have all asked ourselves at some point. It's a question that we ask about work, about eating habits, about life choices and of course about sport. Let's focus on parkrun. There are loads of reasons to do a parkrun! It's good for you, it gets you up and starts the weekend well, it's fun, you meet new people, it burns off the excesses of the night before, it means you can have that slice of cake.

But more than that, it's just what I do. It's a habit. Every Saturday morning come rain sleet hail or snow (and occasionally some sun) I get up and I go to parkrun. Sometimes I run, Sometimes I walk, Sometimes I volunteer, Sometimes I Run Direct. I always have fun. Now I'm not saying that I'm perfect, I do miss a week here or there as we all do, but it's a habit and a Saturday just doesn't feel right without it.

I hated running. Back before parkrun I wouldn't ever run, I didn't think it was fun, I didn't see the point. Oh how wrong I was. I started parkrunning in 2012 to impress a girl and I fall in love, and fall in love I did (with the parkruns, not the girl) . I moved back to University, found a local parkrun, got my 50 Shirt, kept running and going to parkrun after graduation when all my friends from uni moved away. I made new friends and fell further and further in love with this crazy, free, weekly, timed 5k. I got my 100 shirt, I started this very parkrun with a little (ok a lot of) help from my parkrun family (they stopped being parkrun friends and became a family) and here we are today. I recently finally got my 250 shirt delivered.

I'm currently on 261 parkruns and today Portsmouth Lakeside parkrun has just held its 141st event. It was also the first time that I have been Run Director where we have had a serious injury incident occur. I have to say a huge thank you to the team and to everyone who helped with the incident - Without you wonderful people there to help, manage and support I wouldn't have been able to manage myself!

It's an incredible feeling to be part of something this big, this fantastic and this welcoming. I love it and I wouldn't do anything else with my Saturday mornings. Would you?

And now, Some stats!

This week 382 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 53 were first timers and 68 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 26 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 25 volunteers:

Kiernan EASTON • Tony CONWAY • Sophie EASTON • Robert Alexander HALL • Mike CREEDY • Jennifer WILKINS • Jane STRICKLAND • Dan SLAYFORD • Eleanor NEWMAN • Andrew HEATHCOTE • Margaret HEATHCOTE • Colin EDWARDS • Charlie WATTS • Jackie HILTON • Clare BELCHER • Lee GILBERT • Imogen BELCHER • David NEWMAN • Carol WILSON • Edricka LEWIS • Samantha BRAND • Carrina WHITWICK • Kev R THORNE • Matilda HUMPHRIES • Colin FELL

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Portsmouth Lakeside parkrun Results Page.

The female record is held by Rebecca MOORE who recorded a time of 17:07 on 23rd July 2016 (event number 13).
The male record is held by Lachlan WELLINGTON who recorded a time of 15:43 on 4th November 2017 (event number 80).
The Age Grade course record is held by Helen DEAN who recorded 88.66% (22:12) on 28th April 2018 (event number 104).

Portsmouth Lakeside parkrun started on 30th April 2016. Since then 5,384 participants have completed 29,896 parkruns covering a total distance of 149,480 km, including 5,612 new Personal Bests. A total of 448 individuals have volunteered 2,758 times.


Portsmouth Lakeside parkrun Event #140 – A Tourist’s Perspective

I, and two fellow Salisbury parkrunners, Anne Norman and Dave Hopkinson, like to tour other parkruns to experience the camaraderie that is common to them all. The fact that no two courses are alike makes them all interesting in their own special way.
We decided to visit Portsmouth Lakeside for our next adventure. Just for good measure, we threw in a bit of voluntourisim as a means of engaging with the local volunteers, without whom these events would never happen.

The team of car park marshals did a superb job guiding us around the large car park to a spot near to the meeting area. We were greeted on arrival by the friendly volunteers and shown where to leave our personal possessions during the run. The New Runners Brief was very good, and the map of the route was very detailed and gave an accurate overview of what to expect.

The marshals were supportive and encouraging. Even faster runners who passed me on the out and back sections had enough breath to add their own words of encouragement. As one of the regular back markers, I always find these comments spur me on.

As a tourist, I was extremely pleased to meet a local runner, Kiernan Easton, who was also a tourist, decked out in his Cow Cowl and Cow Bob.
Anne, Dave and I have consistently found the best way of maximising our parkrun experience is to volunteer, as well as run each course. Speaking with local volunteers, before and after each run, is all part of our personal parkrun journeys, learning about what inspired them to set up their local parkrun and the hurdles they had to overcome.

We really enjoyed the post run coffee and chat with local volunteers and runners, and were more than pleased to make our own small contribution to the running of another successful parkrun event.

PS – you might want to consider compulsory eye tests for your runners. One of your volunteers said she liked my running shirt because of the slogan on the back, which reads, “NO OVERTAKING”. Sadly nobody took a blind bit of notice of it!!! ☹

Run Reporter: Vasen Moodley


Portsmouth Lakeside parkrun #139 – A Tale from the Tail Walker…

Saturday 29th December saw 294 runners and 24 volunteers (which includes 10 who both ran and volunteered) come together for a post-Christmas parkrun. Or the last Portsmouth Lakeside parkrun of the year, if you prefer. A mild, overcast morning with just a gentle breeze and a course with only a few remaining puddles around the lake meant for pleasant conditions for Portsmouth Lakeside parkrun #139. RD Caroline welcomed 51 runners for their first visit here, with 10 of those doing their first ever parkrun (we hope you enjoyed the experience and will return next time). The 41 tourists travelled from far and wide, including from Gloucestershire, Whitely, Petersfield, Netley, Basingtoke, Winchester, Lee-on-Solent, Fareham, Havant and ... Cosham?

Today's milestones: Congratulations on your 50th parkrun go to Claire Murphy, Mark Smith and Steve Cross, and extra congratulations on your 250th parkrun go to, er, me! Thank you, thank you, thank you very much, you're too kind.

To celebrate my 250th I volunteered to be Tail Walker today for a more reflective view (talking of volunteering, why not make it your New Year's resolution to give it a go and see parkrun from a different perspective, I'm sure you'll enjoy it and it definitely adds to the experience). From the back you get to see all different running styles. The floaters and the plodders, the wheezers and breezers, the gazelles and the kangaroos, the tip-toers and the stompers, it's all there as a reminder of how inclusive parkrun is to all. There's the fast runners, the improvers, the social runners, the families, dog-walkers, buggy pushers (that's me), walkers and this week Sarah putting her new hip through its paces! parkrun really is completely inclusive for anyone regardless of their fitness levels!

When I first Tail Walked (Tail Runner as it was then), you'd expect to finish in 40 to 45 minutes, now it's more like an hour which is a good thing, it shows how much more variety of people are joining in, not just the traditional running group.

And finally, at the end of today's event, 42 people went home with a new PB. Well done to everyone who took part today and we look forward to seeing you all again many more times in 2019.

Happy New Year!
Run Reporter:
Colin Gyue

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