Prospect parkrun Event #85 – The One with one in five PBs!

Run report by Ian SAVILL

Having cycled to work on Thursday morning and run to work on Friday morning in freezing fog, I was relieved to wake up on Saturday morning and see an overcast but clear day ahead and while it was a bit chilly, nothing out of hand for this time of year. I also thought of the kind volunteers on set up duty and that it’s definitely daylight now when they set out for an 8 am start!

194 park runners including 37 Prospect first timers set out on our three lap course in what horse racing circles might describe as “heavy” conditions. The course has definitely benefited from a dry week and while the ground was quite sticky, the slippery parts of recent weeks have almost disappeared altogether. Amazing in the circumstances that 41 park runners managed personal bests, that’s over 20% of everyone that ran! A quick nod to Clewin Griffiths, who crossed the line before anyone else managing to knock 12 seconds off his PB.

We had visitors from South Africa, Poland, Yorks and Lancs this week. I caught up with William Rankin, whose previous parkrun was Wits in Johannesburg, after the run and he recommended a visit to Sterkfontein parkrun if anyone is ever in the area – there’s a waterfall on the route. William, as it happens, has just emigrated to Reading, and he asked me about local running clubs and by fortune, Michael Goff, Secretary of Reading Joggers was volunteering as finishing token support and no less than the chair of Reading Roadrunners, Phil Reay had recently finished his run so I left them fighting over a new member!

I also chatted with first timer Monika Wieczorek, who has signed up for Reading Half Marathon and her dad, tourist Dariusz who was over from Warsaw, helping her with her training, so good luck on the 5th April Monika and don’t forget to have a gentle warm up at Prospect parkrun the day before.

I was keen to keep track of the doggy parkrunners, as having attempted (and failed) once myself to get a basset hound around, I’ve always seen the enjoyment on the dog’s faces as they sometimes literally drag their owners around the course. So, from what I can tell, forgive me if I’ve missed anyone (maybe we should get barcodes for dogs as well!), I think the order was:
1st was Drum in overall 28 th place
2nd was Bluebell in overall 66 th place
3rd was Olive in overall 120 th place
4th was Maisy in overall 136 th place (with JW11-14 Sophie)
5th was Ted in overall 171 st place (with JW10 Ivy)
6th was Artie – literally bringing up the tail in 194 th place

And to end, just a quick word on volunteering, it’s great fun and sets up your weekend in a very positive mindset. I’ve volunteered for a few roles now, my favourite is barcode scanning – it’s great to see the elation and sense of achievement on everyone’s faces and there is a buzz from sharing that moment that keeps you coming back for more!

This week 194 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 37 were first timers and 41 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 11 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 33 volunteers: Dion FARRELL • Judy HICKS-DAVIES • Michael GOFF • Gary BRAMPTON • Mandy CARDEN • Catherine GREAVES • Malcolm BOOKER • Kirsty MOULSLEY • Gerry O'DRISCOLL • James GREAVES • Ross CLARK • Daniel MERCER • Oliver LOTTER • A J JAIN • Elaine GUNSTONE • Tiggy GUNSTONE • Nicola REYNOLDS • Simon WORSLEY • Art ATWAL • Laura TAYLOR • Benjamin LANCASTER • Donald TOWNSIN • Fiona BROWN • Emily HODGES • Thomas BRAY • Megan BURROWES • Alistair DOWLMAN • Ian SAVILL • Martin JONES • Ted RUMBLE • Ben WILSON • Molly MCARDLE • Richard BUCKINGHAM

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



Prospect parkrun Event #84 – The one with the pacers and the chatting!

Run report by Helen DICKENS

It was a bright and gusty morning for the 199 people who ran walked or jogged the 84th edition of Prospect parkrun. It was another busy morning at the park with a number of football games taking place which meant we were on the 3 lap course with the variant of being on the other side of the hedge at the bottom. As RD Laura was giving the pre-run briefing and reminding us where to park, a fitness group starting doing squats across the start line. Gary prevented unintentional chaos by dashing over to herd them off the course.

As it was the first Saturday of the month and it being an even month we had pacers for the even numbers. We lined up at the start in our blue bibs so people could pick their target time if they wished. I was pacing 30 minutes and I would like to say Hello to Emily who ran with me for most of the course before beating me to the finish line. Good luck to Emily who is training for a 10k in Manchester and completed her 2nd ever parkrun today. Also good luck to Claire Rayner and Emma Doyle from Tilehurst Runs together who were hunting me down and training for the Brighton marathon. Kudos to the 22 people who recorded PBs today despite the ongoing sticky mud which was slightly less sticky this week. We hope the pacers helped you achieve your goal.

Congratulations to our milestone parkrunner this week Mark Jones who took a token for the 50th time on his 14th visit to Prospect parkrun. Our most experienced parkrunner this week was Len VORALIA who completed his 452nd parkrun today. Len was visiting from Milton Keynes and belongs to the Up and Running club and has visited 72 different parkruns! We also had some vocal visitors from Barnsley. Congratulations to Mark Aspey taking the number 1 token again this week and Marin Cater the first female parkrunner this week and who is in the Junior 11 – 14 category. Clewin Griffith recorded the highest age grade at 71.39% and was the second finisher.

We welcomed 14 people to the parkrun family who completed their first ever parkrun and another 16 people joined us for the first time at Prospect parkrun. We hope you enjoyed the event and will come back and visit us again soon. I would like to extend a “well done” to Katrina and Richard Yates who returned to Prospect this week for their third parkrun and both recorded PBs as well as bringing some new parkrunners with them.

About a year ago parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt visited Prospect to see the course and meet some of our volunteers and parkrunners. If you have heard or read anything about the origins of parkrun you will know that he founded parkrun as much for the social and community benefits as the running benefits. When I first started coming to parkrun I had a goal to have a conversation before the start with someone other than my husband. As the weeks went by and I got to know people this was not something I had to try to accomplish. This week I was planning to scoot off promptly after parkrun to get to an appointment. For the first time I found it was actually quite hard to get away as there were so many people to catch up with and chat to. I am going to claim this week a new parkrun chatting PB!

Thank you to our 33 volunteers who made the 84th Prospect parkrun happen. If you would like to volunteer do get in touch by emailing There are plenty of gaps in the future roster page if you would like to fill them.

See you next week for some walking, jogging, running, volunteering and maybe some chatting!

This week 199 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 30 were first timers and 22 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 19 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 33 volunteers: Kingsley Roy STARLING • Phill DEAN • Judy HICKS-DAVIES • Michael GOFF • Mary WILSON • Gary BRAMPTON • Janet LEVERTON • Darren KINDER • Sunil FERNANDES • Helen DICKENS • Alix NUTTALL • James GREAVES • Sarah CHAMBERLAIN • Victoria CAULTON • Daniel MERCER • Oliver LOTTER • A J JAIN • Tiggy GUNSTONE • Andrew PLIMSOLL • Gemma BEARD • Laura TAYLOR • John DICKENS • Fiona BROWN • Lisa HENDY • Steve MACE • Bob BURROWES • Megan BURROWES • Ian SAVILL • Ben WILSON • Liz MCARDLE • Molly MCARDLE • Elicia HOTSTON • Richard BUCKINGHAM

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


Prospect parkrun Event #83 – The one on the other side of the hedge

Run report by Helen DICKENS

1: Today was the first time we have had a special  revised 3 lap course as when Gary arrived this morning he found a football match underway at the bottom of the course.   The route had a small alternation and  was switched to the other side of the hedge.

3 parkrunners from Slinn Allstars running club in Swindon joined us this morning.

5C:   Temperature this morning, it  was a damp overcast morning today but warmer than last week

10% of participants today achieved a personal best which is very impressive given the muddy course and the 3 lap course  which provides plenty of twists and turns to slow your pace.

10 people forgot their barcode, don’t forget to bring yours next week to get your results registered and work towards your milestones.

18 people took a token for the first time today and joined the parkrun family.  We hope you enjoyed it and will return soon

19:25 was the time of the first runner in the funnel.  Congratulations to Clewin  Griffith, a Prospect regular and member of the Lonely Goat Running Club.  Clewin then went on to volunteer and scan barcodes.

22 running clubs fielded representatives at prospect parkrun this week,.

21:27 was the time of our first female runner, Sarah Thompson on her 17th visit to Prospect.

26 High Vis Heros and Heroines volunteered this week to make parkrun happen.  Many thanks!

37 People were tourists visiting Prospect for the first time.  Sarah Chamberlain did the first timers briefing this morning which had such a large crowd some people thought it was the main briefing.

50  Milestone parkrunners today were Sarah Thompson and Scott Archer,  who will have a red T shirt arriving soon.

74.72% Was our highest age grade weighting this week which was claimed by Liz Hartney and who also registered a PB.

83 events of Prospect parkrun have taken place

100 milestone congratulations go to Makombe Chinodyaruswa who qualified for his black T shirt today

217 people ran, jogged or walked Prospect parkrun this week

402 was the number of parkruns by the most experienced parkrunner today: Kevin Wheeler who has had his barcode scanned 402 times and was also second this week.

11,647 miles was approximately the distance travelled to Prospect parkrun this morning by a tourist visiting from New Zealand.

Next week is brought to you by the EVEN numbers as it is the first parkrun of an even month we will have pacers for EVEN times.   Look forward to seeing you there!

This week 217 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 53 were first timers and 22 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 23 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 26 volunteers: Clewin GRIFFITH • Phill DEAN • Mary WILSON • Anthony EASTAWAY • Gary BRAMPTON • Jon WILLIS • Janet LEVERTON • Sunil FERNANDES • Helen DICKENS • Nicola STEVENS • Leanne OUGHTON • James GREAVES • Sarah CHAMBERLAIN • Michael CROKER • Ross CLARK • Daniel MERCER • Oliver LOTTER • A J JAIN • Steve LANGDON • Tiggy GUNSTONE • Donald TOWNSIN • Thomas BRAY • Megan BURROWES • Alistair DOWLMAN • Ben WILSON • Elicia HOTSTON

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


Prospect parkrun Event #82 – The one with the frost and 3 laps!

Run report by Helen DICKENS
Photos by Sunil FERNANDES & Daniel MERCER - Click here for today's photos 


It was a beautiful frosty sunny morning for the 242  people who completed the 82nd Prospect parkrun.   It was good to be back at Prospect as there was no Prospect parkrun last week due to the cross country championships taking place.  Many people took last week as an opportunity to visit another parkrun – my husband and I took on the hill at Henley parkrun and a group of people went to Sandhurst which is a new parkrun.    This week we switched to a three lap course in order to preserve the park as it as been getting quite churned in places.   Due to recent heavy rain it was still quite muddy and gloopy in places although 11 people still managed to record a PB.    Reading, Woodley & Henley parkrun were cancelled  this week so we were joined by a number of people relocating to Prospect to get their park run fix.

At the first timers and tourists briefing we welcomed new people to our parkrun – 55 people ran at prospect for the first time!   We had tourists from as far afield as  Durham, Taunton and South Africa.    This week 21 people completed their first ever parkrun – we hoped you enjoyed it and will return soon.

Collage 2020-01-18 14_08_09

At the briefing RD Sunil recognised our milestones parkrunners.  Congratulations and thanks to James Greaves who brought cakes to celebrate his 100th Parkrun.  James has been parkrunning for 5 years.     We had two people qualifying for their red 50 T shirt: Elizabeth Barlow and Kate Lewis.   There was also a big round of applause for Dan Mercer who reached the milestone of 50 volunteer occasions and was out on the course in High Vis today taking photos.

Congratulation to all our Milestone runners today

25 Daniel MERCER (50th Volunteering today)
50 Kate LEWIS
Elizabeth BARLOW
100 James GREAVES


Onto the results: Members of Reading Roadrunners took the top 3 places – well done to Mark Aspey (who also volunteered) , David McCoy and Brendan Morris.  Our first lady in the funnel was Liz Hartney from Reading AC on her first visit to Prospect parkrun and who also achieved the highest Age Grade rating.   Our most experienced parkrunner this week was Alex James Threlkeld  who took a token for the 366th time today.

If your finish token was different from your final result this week this is because we had a few funnel duckers!  Please remember if you enter the funnel to take a token otherwise the timings and the positions come unzipped and it causes kerfuffle for the volunteers.

Thank you to our 23 HIghVis Volunteers.  A special shout out to Elicia who has started volunteering with us for her Duke of Edinburgh award and  her mum Rachel who joined her on marshalling duty at the first tree this morning.

And finally thank you to all the people who donated to Reading Foodbank in December; we received the following message from them "We were nearly overwhelmed by the support given this Christmas, we had many of our supporters and corporate teams, organising food collections and volunteering with us. All the food donations are really wonderful, as also we gave out much more food support than ever. In the week before Christmas we distributed 575 food parcels in the Reading area, and around 260 Christmas parcels were also delivered to Reading households. So all the support is needed and appreciated. Please pass on our Thanks to those who donated food to your collection, to help us achieve all of this."


This week 242 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 55 were first timers and 11 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 18 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 23 volunteers:  Phill DEAN • Dion FARRELL • Gary BRAMPTON • Maxine SLADE • Mark APSEY • Sunil FERNANDES • Helen DICKENS • James GREAVES • Sarah CHAMBERLAIN • Daniel MERCER • Oliver LOTTER • A J JAIN • Tiggy GUNSTONE • Laura TAYLOR • Donald TOWNSIN • Megan BURROWES • Alistair DOWLMAN • John MCNICHOLAS • Michael WILFORD • Ben WILSON • Molly MCARDLE • Elicia HOTSTON • R HOTSTON

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


Prospect parkrun Event #81 – Pacer week

Run report by Dan Mercer

This week Prospect hosted its monthly pacing event. As we're all aware, running is never easy, so having to match your pace to a designated finish time poses its challenges. Particularly for our pacers who have to deal with the undulating ground and life-draining mud (albeit the ground is less soggy and horrible than it was before Christmas). So, thumbs up to our pacers this week who merrily volunteered to help others progress with their goals and act as a visible target to aim for. Notably, Helen who paced 31 minutes came over the line spot on her time, Chris and Matthew the walk-run 39 minutes were within a second of their target, along with Jean-Paul who came through at 41:01 for his 41-minute pace. The next pacing event is on the first week of February, hopefully you all know the drill by now, it’s an even month, so we’re on even pacing times! If you fancy giving it a go, it’s never too early to email in to put your name down to volunteer (other roles also available if you don't fancy running on a particular week, we're always grateful for the help!).


Whilst we’re talking about volunteers, we were very fortunate this week to have such a hefty number of volunteers on our roster, in total we had a MASSIVE number of 39 people (including pacers) who helped to make the event possible! Our volunteer ranks have recently been bolstered by those who are undertaking their Duke of Edinburgh awards and also by some kind folk who really wanted to help out on the day. Thanks everyone!!


I particularly enjoy this kind of year, Prospect gets a boost in its numbers from new and returning parkrunners. We averaged 142 runners for the last two months of 2019, but we hit the dizzy heights of 241 runners this Saturday. With the new year, comes new goals, whether that’s starting out running or training for an ultra, they’re all unique to us all. We welcomed 21 people who were completely new to parkrun this week, we very much hope to see you back again in the coming weeks and a huge congratulations to Vincent GRINNEY for completing his 50th parkrun along with a congrats to the 20 runners who pushed through for a PB this week!

For those of you who turn up frequently, you’ll be well aware that not all 5km runs are quite as taxing as ours is. Ross (our very own fact finder) stumbled across an interesting website which has reviewed the data nationally from the all other parkruns to determine their comparative difficulty. You’ll all be glad to know that Prospect is joint ranked 18th for being one of the most DIFFICULT (bearing in mind there’s over 500 parkruns which they’ve assessed so far). If you’re interested, you can have a browse through here:

Of course, we all gain the benefits of this is when we journey to other running events, it should in theory be a little easier to produce a good time. Which brings me nicely onto the reminder that Prospect isn’t going ahead on the 11th January (next Saturday) due to the cross-country event. It’s a great opportunity to spread your wings, or just stay in bed longer, whichever you fancy (just don't forget to come back the following week please!).


This week 241 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 52 were first timers and 20 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 21 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 39 volunteers:

Kingsley Roy STARLING • Dion FARRELL • Alex James THRELKELD • Mary WILSON • Nick CLARK • Gary BRAMPTON • Catherine GREAVES • Maxine SLADE • Janet LEVERTON • Stu MCNEILL • Lydia BLYTHE • Helen DICKENS • Geoff WHITE • Gerry O'DRISCOLL • Sarah CHAMBERLAIN • Louise DIX • Daniel MERCER • Oliver LOTTER • A J JAIN • Elaine GUNSTONE • Tiggy GUNSTONE • Art ATWAL • Oliver ATWAL • Laura TAYLOR • Montserrat PEREZ-PARENT • Benjamin LANCASTER • Donald TOWNSIN • John DICKENS • Jean-Paul TANNER • Chris WALLER • Matthew WALLER • Megan BURROWES • Ian SAVILL • Ben WILSON • Cynthia TOWNLEY • Molly MCARDLE • Elicia HOTSTON • R HOTSTON • Paul GUNSTONE

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

The male record is held by Unknown ATHLETE who recorded a time of 16:24 on 7th July 2018 (event number 9).
The female record is held by Naomi MITCHELL who recorded a time of 18:01 on 14th September 2019 (event number 63).
The Age Grade course record is held by Jane A DAVIES who recorded 88.92% (21:13) on 29th September 2018 (event number 18).

Prospect parkrun started on 5th May 2018. Since then 3,588 participants have completed 13,966 parkruns covering a total distance of 69,830 km, including 2,639 new Personal Bests. A total of 333 individuals have volunteered 1,894 times.

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