Queen Elizabeth parkrun #312

What a fantastic day for a parkrun in the lovely Hampshire countryside. The sun was shining, a clear blue sky and no wind. The country park was in great condition and as near perfect under foot as you can get.

Queen Elizabeth parkrun naturally attracts people because of it uniqueness and today was no exception. We had visitors from Abingdon, Blackburn, Bridgnorth, Peterborough, Doncaster, Witney, Worksop and I am sure many others who I have missed. There is also a hardcore of locals who run here every week and the majority support the parkrun as helpers or enjoy the use of the café for a post run socialise.

There were an enthusiastic 112 runners today and they were reminded at the First Timers briefing of the terrain and hills to come and after the RD briefing they headed up the hill to the start.

There were over 40 runners who were first time visitors to QE and one doing their very first parkrun and I counted 13 PB's which is a fantastic achievement on a tough course.

I tail walked today and had a steady walk round with a visitor from Doncaster and we completed the walk in around 55 minutes. The lead runner completed complete the run in 17.41 mins I am sure all three of us enjoyed the run as much even though our times were so far apart.

My thanks to all the helpers who made the run possible and for it to run so smoothly.

Runners - you are welcome back anytime and for the visitors I hope you enjoyed your Q.


Queen Elizabeth parkrun #311 – Thanks To My Sister

My sister is a parkrunner; my sister is a tourist; my sister has her cow cowl; my sister is becoming an alphabeteer; my sister wanted her Q, my sister suggested we meet up… my sister couldn’t make it. However, I had already planned my day around meeting her for the infamous Queen Elizabeth parkrun and volunteered to do the run report. At 5.30, as I was packing for the day with my 9-month-old, she was not my favourite person. At 6.30, as I woke my rather reluctant husband who had, despite finishing a night shift at 4am, agreed to come and look after said baby, she was not my favourite person. As I was on the nearly 2hr drive and she phoned me with the most over the top, energetic “Good morning” and laughed; she was not my favourite person.

Toby LAMBERT and Reeva Diva completing the fastest ever Queen Elizabeth parkrun in 15:26 (assisted)
On arrival, we parked near the visitor centre which is being refurbished and I followed the inevitable trickle of
runners and excited dogs to the start to find the RD smiling and welcoming. I am always pleasantly surprised at how
parkrun people seem to have the ability to make everything better. There was a lovely couple from Cape Town with a
baby even younger than mine - my distance hardly compared. In fact, rather a lot of family groups were dotted
around the start line creating a warm buzz of conversation. As the first timers briefing was called, there appeared to
be rather a large amount of us listening to the humorous volunteer describe the course and putting us at ease. I was
glad I made it.

The weather was perfect. On a course known for its mud, the unusual dry weather had made the track a little dusty and the gravel a little lose. In the battle between trail vs road shoes, trail had won for me although they weren’t totally necessary. I walked part of the way up the hill to the start with a lovely mum touring here for a second time so her daughter could do the beautiful course. Before I knew it, we were off - running up the hill. I felt the burn in my legs almost immediately. The climb started to level off and I saw the first marshal directing us round and down a stunning grassy corridor that was wide enough to see the sky so I could see what a beautiful morning it was.

The huge forest either side – like nature was protecting us and cheering us on almost as much as the marshals were. I think this small downhill corridor is perhaps my favourite stretch of parkrun to date.

The course continued round the bottom, where I heard two women talking about the marathons they had run – I admire people who can talk as they run, I can barely get my breath. We ran back up to the hairpin bend where we gathered for the start and then the hill loomed for the second time. It is my personal goal to always run the whole course and I am happy to say I ran the whole hill albeit perhaps as slow as many of the people walking. The 2 – 3km stretch where the hill levels off and we passed the marshal at the top of the grassy corridor (this time directing us straight on) was the hardest for me as I regained my breath after the hill. The surroundings continued to encourage me and remind me just how amazing the British countryside is. As I reached the top point, yet another friendly marshal was there to celebrate how well all the runners were doing and although I didn’t quite see the Isle of Wight – which apparently is possible on a good day – I did take in the views and have a sense of knowing that I had done the hardest part.


Downhill from here on another beautiful grassy corridor, this time a little more rocky than muddy under foot, and another inspiring individual overtook me: a young boy who was doing parkrun for the first time. He had a constant stream of chat and questions for his patient dad who was explaining the course and talking him through the run. Another lady who I had run past on the uphill, overtook me on this downhill and took the time to congratulate me for running the hill. As she was using the ‘walk a bit, run a bit’ strategy, we kept overtaking each other throughout the bottom 1½ km stretch. She ran on ahead and I continued at my slow steady pace catching up with the young boy again. Rather than overtake I simply said I thought he could overtake the lady in front, quickly followed by a “Sorry” to the dad who had to keep up as his son sprinted off to overtake several of the runners in front, punching the air with both hands in celebration as he did so.

Tail Walker Andrea BUDDEN with visitors from Cape Town Hannes and Karla LOUW

Towards the end, I overtook the lady walking again and then, as she ran past, a small hill appeared that I hadn’t really noticed on the first loop and as I kept up my steady jog, I again overtook her. I could see the finish in the distance and increased my pace to overtake another runner. As I got to the bench about 100m from the finish I knew she was running again but I was determined now and so ensued an intense sprint finish. This time she didn’t manage to overtake but it was very close and our efforts were much appreciated by the cheering crowd gathered at the finish line. A thrilling end to a wonderful course that highlighted the community spirit of parkrun – thank you to the lady who pushed me in the final stretch; thank you to all the other parkrunners for the conversation and kind words; thank you to the marshals for your encouragement; thank you to all the volunteers for your time and thank you to my sister for making me run!

Run report by: Sam DOWDALL

Photographs of event #311 by Penny JOHNSTONE can be viewed here.

This week 134 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 43 were first timers and 16 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 26 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 14 volunteers:

Ivor MCQUAID • Kevin MCTAGGART • Penny JOHNSTONE • David COLENUTT • Amelie LEWIS • Andrew John JAMES • Mark STRAFFON • Tessa BRIGGS • Tanya ROBERTS • Andrea BUDDEN • Emlyn JONES • Max BECVAR • Samantha MBAH • John ROBERTS

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

The male record is held by Alex TEUTEN who recorded a time of 16:11 on 2nd September 2017 (event number 229).
The female record is held by Emily HUTCHINSON who recorded a time of 19:40 on 19th May 2018 (event number 266).
The Age Grade course record is held by James BAKER who recorded 83.60% (16:34) on 25th December 2018 (event number 298).

Queen Elizabeth parkrun started on 18th May 2013. Since then 5,958 participants have completed 25,395 parkruns covering a total distance of 126,975 km, including 3,924 new Personal Bests. A total of 533 individuals have volunteered 3,962 times.


Queen Elizabeth parkrun #310 – No Queuing for a Q

It’s been a few weeks since I was last in the park and with great delight that I drove in early to help
with pre-event setup on Saturday. After hearing about the mud we were properly dressed for
wading and were rather disappointed by the mostly dry course. For those who like to check, the
conditions were marginal for road shoes (and wellies) with a mud factor of 2 that took leaping into
the scant puddles to achieve.

Of the 109 parkrunners, 39, or nearly 36%, were tourists running Queen Elizabeth for the first time.
It’s always fun to see who’s come to visit – with Keith TILMOUTH from the North East being a
particularly welcome addition to the volunteer team assisting with the setup. Keith had a tourist
blow out at the start of February when Jersey farm parkrun was cancelled on the 2nd Feb and a
certain amount of nervousness that storm Hannah would scupper this event. Fortunately neither
storm Hannah, nor sadly any parkrunner called Hannah, arrived at the park before the start.
five new parkrunners joined us too – remembering barcodes and practical shoes – and ran around the
little lap and big lap alongside the team of ‘Hens’ with the bride-to-be running in custard filled
wellies. I’m not quite sure why we don’t get so much fancy dress at QE, but it was a joyful sight to
behold. Wellies and custard though… to the new parkrunners, it was lovely to see you all. As well as
those running, well done to the walkers including the amazing parkrunner (I’m sorry, I didn’t catch
your name) who trotted around some 40 weeks pregnant. As yet there is no indication that taking
park at parkrun this week has produced a mini-parkrunner and Marie WILES didn’t have to find the
RD’s emergency maternity kit.

So, no queue for a Q? I haven’t been in the park for my past 8 parkruns and, while I’ve had a lovely
time away, I don’t seem to have done many small parkruns recently and I’ve had to wait a few
minutes wait for barcode scanning at all of them, it was lovely to run through the funnel and not
have to wait and queue. For those who don’t *do* queuing this is certainly a perk after 5 hilly
kilometres. Of course, this lack of queue meant that I was much more obvious as I ran to the car to
collect my barcode which was IN the park, just not on me.

To the results: well done to Aleksander BORUC for joining the most exclusive junior 10 milestone
club. With no other parkrunners achieving official clubs, Frances ROSE is to be commended to joining
the soft ice cream with a flake gang and needs to eat up before the weekend and Catherine
was the runniest parkrunner with 255 runs.
Here’s to a week with some rain (we need it) and a good drying day on Friday to keep the mud

Run report by: Pippa WHITE


Event 308

Firstly a huge shout out to all of the volunteers Dwayne BARTRAM, Max BECVAR, Andrea BUDDEN, Jonathan COURT, Emlyn JONES, Amelie LEWIS, Rachel LEWIS, Chris SMART, Ellie SMART, Neil STORE, Marie WILES and Jane WOODROOF.Without these extraordinary people and the generous sponsors parkrun would not continue, can you imagine??
Interested in volunteering at Queen Elizabeth parkrun? Please e-mail queenelizabeth@parkrun.com

Run director Dwayne BARTRAM welcomed 112 runners to the first parkrun of meteorological spring 2019. This included 31 tourists which travelled from various places in the UK including Stoke, Hertfordshire, Rochford, Lincoln, Gosport, Chichester, Bristol, Worcestershire & Cardiff. 28% of the field were visiting from a different parkrun, perhaps all chasing the letter Q!? Alphabeteer/Alphabetourist – someone who has done one parkrun for each letter of the alphabet (currently excluding X). The 'Cow cowl' is an unofficial buff used by parkrun tourists to spot each other at different locations and is available to anyone on who has completed at least 20 different parkrun events. It takes its name from Chris and Linda COWELL; the first male and female parkrunners to complete 100 different events. Tourists unite!

The start/finish area are both metres away from the South Downs Way path and at precisely 09:00 AM barking dogs, walkers and runners set off to complete the beautiful course which consists of compacted gravel paths, grass and forest trails. Trail shoes are highly advised

First over the line was Andy TURNER in a time of 20:12.

35 runners enjoyed the course for the first time, of which 4 runners completed a parkrun for the very first time! I hope you all thoroughly the parkrun experience and will be back for another sooner rather than later!

11 runners achieved a personal best! Congratulations considering the slippery conditions!


Queen Elizabeth parkrun #307

The conversation before and up to the briefing was all about the ups and downs. Yes, they featured; how could they not? Far more impressive, though, the run for me was all about light and colour. And a ‘Q’, of course.

Helen and I drove down specially to visit Queen Elizabeth Country Park. We were joined by lots of other visitors - from elsewhere in Hampshire, from Dorset and Sussex; from London, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Norfolk, Cornwall and Essex, from Greater Manchester. We thought we might be the furthest travelled, together with Steve also making the journey from Lincoln. Of course we weren’t. There’s always someone who has come further. This weekend the honours went to Northumberland. And we’d all come to get a ‘Q’ for our alphabets. I’m sure lots of those who visit you from any distance says the same thing. There aren’t many to choose from for the elusive 17th letter of the alphabet.

There is another one in Belfast - one of my favourite cities - but this weekend we’d all settled on Hampshire. And what a location to come to! What a lovely country park.

Phil HENDERSON welcomed us all from the start, explaining there was some climbing to do to get to the briefing point. Several times we were given the information that QE comes in at 509 on the list of parkruns organised by elevation. (My home parkrun is a surprise to many people at position 117; Boultham Park looks flat, but clearly has more of a slope than is expected. Lincolnshire is also often considered to be generally flat; parts of it are, but Lincoln itself is divided into uphill and downhill; the Cathedral is reached via the very well-named Steep Hill.) However, QE’s hill was (politely) dismissed as a mere slope by Sofie, making a return visit from her home run of Mount Edgcumbe in Cornwall which settles at 516 out of 519 on the same list.
Anyway, briefings completed, we then climbed to the start. And set off running uphill. Then down the grassy slope. We were warned it might be steep; with good reason. A comparatively gentle track takes you towards the briefing point, then up again. This time the uphill stretch was longer. The good news is that it gets followed by another downhill, back to the perimeter track and the finish funnel.

The high points are where the light and colour take over. Sun bursts through the trees, a glorious brilliance compared to the shade of the start. Haze in the distance crowns the neighbouring South Downs; on another day, we were told, views of the sea are possible. The long, stretched out downhill sections provided a kaleidoscope of colour; browns and greys from the trees giving way to bright yellows, oranges and blues from the runners ahead of me, mingling with the regular parkrun milestone reds, blacks and purple, and for this morning, quite a few of the ‘250’ greens. Such a contrast from the all-encompassing fog an hour earlier in Petersfield. And for that matter, the continued fog on the return journey.

QE parkrun marked the point on Saturday morning where the cloud gave way to bright skies. Literally as well as metaphorically. For so many of us, parkrun is that point on Saturday where spirits rise, where problems disappear, even if only temporarily, where we can lose ourselves in the moment. Where locals and travellers can come together to revisit a course already known, or to meet a new challenge. Corita and Victoria finished their first parkruns; Mike and Janet, visiting from Bromley, and Ian from Poole, have all completed over 300. QE, like so many other parkruns draws people to assemble, each of us with our own parkrun journey behind and ahead of us, to share in a weekly ritual that is so familiar, yet so different on every single occasion. Thank you to everyone for sharing it with me.
This week 130 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 47 were first timers and 17 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 34 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 13 volunteers:

David DEANE • Jonathan COURT • Phil HENDERSON • Nicholas WOODROOF • Amelie LEWIS • Neil STORE • Tanya ROBERTS • Jonathan PORTER • John KILCOYNE • Andrea BUDDEN • Max BECVAR • John ROBERTS • Robyn STORE

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Queen Elizabeth parkrun Results Page.
The male record is held by Alex TEUTEN who recorded a time of 16:11 on 2nd September 2017 (event number 229).
The female record is held by Emily HUTCHINSON who recorded a time of 19:40 on 19th May 2018 (event number 266).
The Age Grade course record is held by James BAKER who recorded 83.60% (16:34) on 25th December 2018 (event number 298).

Queen Elizabeth parkrun started on 18th May 2013. Since then 5,815 participants have completed 24,963 parkruns covering a total distance of 124,815 km, including 3,877 new Personal Bests. A total of 530 individuals have volunteered 3,910 times

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