Richmond parkrun 627 – 17th August 2019

The Wonders of parkrun

They are many to relate, first of all the two volunteers from a couple of weeks ago who salvaged my phone from where I dropped it from my lead bike. Instead of it being trampled by 472 expensive pairs of running shoes they saved it, took a selfie and returned it to me 20 minutes later, stopwatch still running. 


Thank you.

The weather was a wonder today, Summer again after an Autumnal week. We had the sun on our backs as Run Director David Pennell told us of the 65 first timers with entrants from the wonderful locations of Hawaii, Chile, Cape Town and Middlesbrough. Simon Clarkson must have had an interesting time at his First timers briefing.

David then moved onto milestones. Gaining 50 were Freddie Skarbek(SM25-29) a top 10 regular and Jill Sudbury(VW55-59) with a celebratory PB of 31.15. Stephen Brimacombe(SM50-54) ran his 250th with a fairly even split between Bushy Park and latterly Richmond. Not an official milestone but Timothy Huggins (VM45-49) ran his 300th. 

The wonder blue T shirt milestone of 500 was achieved by Andrew Wonderbrawn Brown, one of those runners that are synonymous with all that is wonderful about Richmond parkrun. Enthusiastic, welcoming with constant offers of help and witty banter. He can be relied upon not to be understated, it was a pleasure to talk to him today. He values most of all the wonderful people he has met on a Saturday morning. I shall spare his and their blushes by not mentioning those still with us, but he did speak fondly of some who sadly are not.

Stephen Instone, that wonderful committed runner and classical scholar who won the inaugural Richmond points trophy in 2008 (when points were awarded and tallied annually). He would have been Richmond’s first 500 runner but for his untimely death in 2009, drowning while on holiday in Switzerland. Reverend Trevor Patterson from Belfast, Vicar of Holy Trinity Richmond who suffered a Heart attack while running in October 2017. Fred Croft who combined a modesty for his own running with an excellence in both reporting and encouraging runners of all abilities, he passed away in 2018.

Back to Andrew’s 500. He told me he had breathed a sigh of relief when achieving his 250th, that he would not have to push for a further T shirt. He is now wondering what colour the 1000 will be. He ran today with his sister-in-law Lesley and her family, including Quinn Collie running her 2nd in 57.35 and 4 year old Cleo Collie running her first in 57.44.



Cakes were baked by his niece Penny and Sally Woodward Gentle; I think everyone of the 472 runners benefitted from them.

Andrew took his normal stance of ensuring that we all got off to a clean start, even though that meant running through the puddles. Despite this delaying his start, he still managed an enviable 27.35. Running today was a joy, bright sunshine without heat or strong winds, 44 PB’s were achieved.

Ignoring the unknown, Euan Lees(VM45-49) was fastest in 17.30 toppingthe age related measure with 81.05%. Only 5 seconds later Dave Gattenby(VM30-34In a ) came 2nd with a PB. 3rd was Liam O’Mahoney(VM30-34) a Richmond Park first timer on 17.57. 

Fastest woman was Ruth Coverdale(VW25-29) who clocked up a PB of 21.23. 2nd was Propella Woodward Gentle(SW25-29) on her 240th parkrun in 22.41. Zena Phillips(VW35-39) came 3rd with 22.52. Zena has run 76 different locations in her 221 parkruns, a veritable parkrun tourist.

It was a great day to be a parkrunner, but then every Saturday is.

Till the next one.

John Graham

This week 437 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 65 were first timers and 44 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 35 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 24 volunteers:

Martin CLARK, John LOWIT, Joachim TROSTMANN, Ally PICKARD, Simon CLARKSON, Kate TURNBULL, David PENNELL, Jim JAMES, Jill SUDBURY, Malek SHARIF, Christine PANDOLE, Jain REID, Gareth Vaughan JONES, Evan JONES, Osian JONES, Seren JONES, Nell M V JONES, David PETERSON, Melinda HALL, Lyzanne WARNER, John GRAHAM, Alex BARR, Donna WILLIS, Ian LYALL

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

The female record is held by Lucy HASELL who recorded a time of 17:11 on 17th September 2011 (event number 203).
The male record is held by Adam CLARKE who recorded a time of 14:31 on 6th April 2019 (event number 608).
The Age Grade course record is held by Jane DAVIES who recorded 95.43% (21:54) on 27th September 2014 (event number 363).

Richmond parkrun started on 20th October 2007. Since then 23,391 participants have completed 174,479 parkruns covering a total distance of 872,395 km, including 26,449 new Personal Bests. A total of 1,064 individuals have volunteered 10,224 times.



Richmond parkrun 626 – 10th August 2019

This was my 300th parkrun and my 296th at Richmond Park.  To celebrate, I was to run with my daughter Josie and my twin grandchildren aged 8, Joshua and Mia.  The weather was good and looked set for an excellent family run.


Joshua managed fall over just as we reached the finish for the first time, and burst into tears.  Mia and I made sure that his injuries were not too serious and set off to complete the 5K.  Mia was encouraging “I usually run faster than this” she said.  I replied that she usually runs at Gunnersbury…which is much flatter.  So we set off and managed the run together amicably, although I have to confess that she did sprint off in the last 100 metres when we turned for the finish and I had to try and keep up.

Fortunately, Joshua was not too seriously injured and, after medical treatment – a plaster – he managed the course in a reasonable time with my daughter.  Honour was saved and we went off to Pembroke Lodge for a well earned croissant and coffee for the adults.

424 people completed the course.  The first runner home was Unknown; in second place was Straggler Oliver GARNIER SM20-24 in 18:03 and an age related 71.47%; and third, two seconds behind was Richmond Running Club’s Dave GATENBY SM30-34 in an age related 71.71%.

Of the women, Oxford University’s Natalie HAARER SW20-24 came in first in 20:54 and an age related 70.81%.  This was her first run in Richmond Park but her 166th overall.  Alison WATERS VW35-39 was second in 22:08 and 67.55% and Suzy WHATMOUGH SW30-34 was third in 22:18 and 66.37%.

The most senior runner was Ciaran MURPHY VM55-59, a refugee from Bushy Park in his 548th run, ahead of our own Franz WERNDLE VM70-74 in run 533 and Sean EGAN VM55-59 in run 512. Next week our own Wonderbrawn BROWN VM65-69 will reach his 500!!

The person with the best age related percentage was Euan LEES VM45-49 who came 4th overall in 18:16 and 77.65%; in second place was Margie HARRISON VW 60-64 in 26:24 and 76.77%

 Important milestones were reached by Tomas STERNER VM55-59 on 250 and Nick FORDHAM SM20-24 on 200.  Three runners got their coveted red running top for completing 50 runs: Amy GARNETT SW20-24, Stefan SALVA VM45-49 and David MAUND VM45-49.

And now for some statistics.  23,326 people have run in Richmond Park and completed 174,042 runs covering 870,210K in an average time of 27:26

In the UK, there have been 146,543 runs; 2,137,073 runners; 30 million runs covering over 150 million kilometres in an average time of 28:42

Worldwide there were 1530 parkruns with 226,189 runners as well as 283 junior parkruns with 17265 parkrunners including my grandchildren Mia and Joshua in Acton Junior parkrun!

We are very grateful to the 12380 volunteers in the UK including 21 in Richmond Park: Steven BRIMACOMBE, Wonderbrawn BROWN, David CLARK, Judith CLARKSON, Gail FARAHANI, Stuart FERGUSON, James HANLEY, Clare HEBBES, Anna HEBBES, John KIPPS, Camilla LANGLANDS, Ewan LORIMER, Serge LOURIE, Ian LYALL, Jacqueline MILLETT, David PETERSON, Ally PICKARD, Christopher READ, Anna REICHWALD, Georgina WATSON, Lucy WESTENBERGER

Serge LOURIE VM70-74 in run 300


Richmond parkrun 625 – 3rd August 2019




Pride and bicycles - and the sun was back too! 


What a difference a week makes. After the soggy and rain drenched event last weekend Richmond cooked up hot and close conditions with a welcome return of the sun. This no doubt tempted out a bigger field than last week with attendees virtually doubled and a number of newcomers to the parkrun family.


This week saw plenty for Run Director Ally to talk about and I might add for yours truly as report writer to write about!  As is customary at this time of year the park was bedecked with barriers round the edge of the paths. These were of course for the Ride London event on Sunday.   I was wondering why they were there in such numbers. Surely the park wouldn’t be swamped with thousands of spectators who needed to be penned back to keep the roads clear. Then the penny dropped as I realised they would probably be there to stop the deer darting across the road. As any seasoned Richmond parkrunner knows this is a familiar hazard but far more avoidable on two legs than at a greater speed on two wheels. The barriers were nonetheless easily navigated by our intrepid participants although they narrowed the course in parts.


Ally also encouraged us to have a ‘Pride parkrun’ as she was off to the celebrations in Brighton with the famous Pride Parade and Queen of Pop Kylie doing a turn at the concert. What a great event and I suspect the Brighton parkruns would probably be rocking too!


We had visitors from afar this week including France, South Africa and even China.  It's fantastic that parkrun is attracting runners from countries where it is not yet established.  23 people tried our course for the first time including David MATTHEWS who appears to be a regular at Bushy but for some reason had ventured to our Royal Park for his 349th run. We hope we can tempt you back again David!


Nick WARD knocked up his 350th run and Christopher HIRSCH marked his 100th today. We had a gaggle of runners reaching their 50th milestone. Well done to Ben CURRY, Paul SMOOTHY, Justine PANAY and Kathryn MACDERMOTT. Our junior runners were out in strength with three reaching their ten t-shirt. The roll of honours here goes to Brandon BROWN, David IMPOLLONIA and Nur Khan KAMAL.


The sharp end of the field was headed by an unknown runner for some reason.  I think I’d very much like to take the credit if I had done well on our testing course but that's the beauty of parkrun - it accommodates all approaches. Thomas ZIEGEL is no stranger to being well up in the field and came in second with a 18:21 clocking. Hot on his heels was Lloyd GRAYSTON in a strong run three seconds later.


Junior runner Ella FREYA lead in the ladies in 21:03, a time superior to her best time last year. Wiebke KORTUM was second in a high age graded run of 22:33. Clapham Chasers Claire ADAMS was third in 23:06.  Those performances aside we had 37 PBs across the field which was a great effort in rather humid conditions.


Our team of volunteers had to be particularly vigilant this week to ensure no one tripped up over the barriers and they did their duty with great aplomb.  Well done to Patricia AINLEY, Alex BARR, Steven BRIMACOMBE, Wonderbrawn BROWN, Sue CAMP, David CLARK, Martin CLARK, Francesca CREASY, Sabiha DATTAWALLA, Julie EYRE, Gail FARAHANI, Heini FURRER, John GRAHAM, James HANLEY, Martin LANGLANDS, Camilla LANGLANDS, Rosie LEYDEN, Rebecca LOCKSPEISER, Ewan LORIMER, Serge LOURIE, Patrycja MARCZEWSKA, Peter MCCLOSKEY, Simon MORSE, Claire O BRIEN, Rebekah Anne O'SULLIVAN, Ally PICKARD, Duncan PICKARD, Wilma ROEST, Malek SHARIF, David SUMMERS, Joachim TROSTMANN, Samantha Jane WEBB.



Lindsey Annable



Richmond parkrun Event number 624 27th July 2019

Get Up And Go

Will Boris continue to go out running in the morning? He should. If Margaret Thatcher made time to have her hair done every day (I doubt if Boris will make this part of his daily routine – or does he in fact spend an hour making it look as if he’s just got out of bed?) … then Boris can make time to run. And whoever briefs him for the day ahead can run as well (I sense a cartoon emerging with sheets of paper flying everywhere).

We all know that a good run clears the head and sets us up for the day. Our hardened parkrunners turned out with cheery determination today to face the sudden drop in temperature and the relentless rain. Maybe the holiday season would have caused a dip in numbers anyway, or maybe the more fair-weather runners couldn’t face the wet, but as it turns out, only 222 of us splished and sploshed our way around the park.

In the absence of Andrew Brown, someone else with an even louder (???) voice shouted ‘run through the puddles!!’ And lots of folk did just that, with abandon. Puddles weren’t just on the opening stretch either, but bejewelled the entire track. At the end there was a healthy array of muddy backs of legs with splattering even on T-shirts. Remarkably, some backs of legs were rather too clean …

A massive ‘well done’ to anyone who managed a PB! Did you simply want to bomb round and get home a.s.a.p? 15 speedy runners achieved a PB. Of course this is a much lower figure today, but it strikes me as proportionally lower, as it’s just 7% of the total number of runners (instead of the more usual 15-20%).

Another ‘well done’ to the 14 young runners, age 17 and under, who could have hidden under the sheets this morning, but instead came out and braved the wet weather (or did they get no choice?). At the other end of the age spectrum, 13 runners age 60 and over weren’t put off by the rain (including Pat HEWLETT VW80-84!)

And let’s thank the volunteers who stood cheerfully in the driving rain – without them there would be no parkrun.

31 First Timers helped to bump up our numbers today, with 3 of them doing their first ever parkrun (hope they come back in better weather!). It was such a scorcher though on Thursday – good job that wasn’t parkrun day. However, temperatures will soon be on the rise again so here are some wise words from Karen Weir (former Run Director at Richmond):

All you runners out there, busily cracking on with your training - take note! This extremely hot and humid weather is not conducive to high intensity interval sessions, or to be honest anything other than easy conversational running. You don’t have to push on regardless - no matter what your plan says. Your heart rate will be significantly higher for every effort level, dehydration is highly possible and there will be little quality in your sessions. So think how you can train smarter (and that doesn’t mean getting up at 5am to smash out your intervals). I bet your sleep is already comprised by the heat so losing an extra hour to get up early will not help with your recovery. Keep the running you do to a comfortable pace, swap a session for a dip in the pool or go to an air conditioned gym and lift some weights. Be smart, adapt your training or just give yourself a break and take a few extra rest days. It won’t hurt you, but it might just prevent you seriously damaging yourself.

We had 23 Unknowns today – barcodes too soggy to read? Wristbands slipped off in the rain?? Even our #1 runner today is Unknown (or wishes to remain anonymous)

Runners from 33 different clubs took part today, but Ranelagh Harriers topped the score with 15 members.

Congratulations to Peter LOWMAN (VM70-74) and Val LOWMAN (VW65-69), who both did their 200th parkrun today. They didn’t cross the line holding hands though as Peter gave Val the slip and got himself two minutes ahead.

Watching the first runners finish must have been exciting today, with very close times between the first 3 named Male finishers:

Euan LEES (VM45-49) in 17:45

Robert TUER (SM30-34) in 17:54

Jack CONGDON (SM20-24) in 17.56


The first 3 named Female finishers were:

Megan DE SILVA (VW35-39) in 19:23 (11th overall position)

Teniqua GOMEZ (JW15-17) in 22:08 (28th overall position)

Suzy WHATMOUGH (SW30-34) in 23:24 (46th overall position)


The top 3 Male Age Grade % were:

Euan LEES (VM45-49) 79.91%

John SANDHU (VM50-54) 77.57%

Eoin O’CONNELL (VM45-49) 76.74%


The top 3 Female Age Grade % were:

Kathleen WENDEL (VW60-64) 80.53%

Megan DE SILVA (VW35-39) 77.39%

Margie HARRISON (VW60-64) 76.19%


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

The male record is held by Adam CLARKE who recorded a time of 14:31 on 6th April 2019 (event number 608).   The female record is held by Lucy HASELL who recorded a time of 17:11 on 17th September 2011 (event number 203). The Age Grade course record is held by Jane DAVIES who recorded 95.43% (21:54) on 27th September 2014 (event number 363).

Margie Harrison


Richmond parkrun 623 – 20 July 2019

Fifty Years ago today

When Lieutenant Neil Armstrong and Colonel Buzz Aldrin were taking the “small step for (a) man” on the surface of the moon, they had Major General Michael Collins in the Command module keeping track of their every move. It became a “giant leap for mankind” because of the might of the US Space Programme behind them.

10 parkrun first timers took their first small step in Richmond Park at 0900 hours overseen by Run Director Francesca Creasy, who warned all 368 runners of a slight orbital change at the top of Sawyers Hill to avoid the stumps and any dangerous lurking asteroids. 

Other comparisons between today and July 20th 1969:

The next and far less epic line that Neil Armstrong uttered from the Moon was “The surface is fine and powdery, I can pick it up loosely with my toe” which was not the case today. We were lucky not to run in the downpour that finished shortly before the start, but Andrew Wanderbrawn Brown was on hand to warn of our first puddles for a month or so.

Although the first human landed on the moon in 1969, the last one left in 1973. Already the parkrun programme has outlasted the lunar programme by 11 years. 

Of the 12 humans who have walked the moon, all have been men; today nearly a third of Richmond runners were women. 

Starting with the women’s result of todays parkrun. Alex Flack(SW40-44) was first across the line with a PB of 21.17. Teniqua Gomez(JW15-17), with all her 15 runs at Richmond, a minute behind in 22.12. Laura Blazey(VW35-39)  third in 23.02.

Jack Congdon(SM20-24) was the fastest man in 17.55, only just ahead of an unknown, but 15 seconds behind them was Ben Hurley(VW40-44)  with a PB of 18.11. This was only his 11th run, all in South west London, but a huge effort which I saw and heard as I turned back on my lead bike.

Including Ben, there were 39 PBs, others of note were Michael Boardman(VM55-59), still clocking up a PB of 22.09 on his 273rd run and similarly, Keeley Phillips(VW40-44) 25.50 on her 245th.

There were 3 runners gaining their 100 milestone, Rebekah Anne O’Sullivan(VW45-49), Elizabeth Waterhouse(VW50-54) and Matilda Harrison(JW11-14). Matilda with 97 of those runs at Richmond Park. 

In the Age Grade categorisation, Kathleen Wendell(VW60-64) on her 10th run achieved 79.01% and John Sandhu(VM50-54) 78.80%.

Many thanks to all our volunteers this week,

Angela CATTO, Anna HEBBES, Carol AIKIN, Christopher READ, Claire WILSON, Clare HEBBES, Dan AFSHAR, Evie DORNAN, Francesca CREASY, Gavin O'SHEA, Greig CATTO, Ian LYALL, James HANLEY, John GRAHAM, Judith CLARKSON, Katie LEE, Lucy WESTENBERGER, Michael GLAZEBROOK, Michael SIKORA, Phil DAVIES, Tim LANGTON and William MURPHY.    

Looking at the clubs represented, I see that Emma Baker(VW50-54) proudly runs for the excellent NHS Couch to 5K App. Last Monday on BBC1 at 7.30 was a Documentary; “The Power of Parkrun - Our Lives” that Dame Kelly Holmes presented – worth watching and still on i-player. Understandably it was slightly lost in the number of documentaries reliving that Moon landing 50 years ago. 

Louise Ayling, blogger and co-host of Free Weekly Timed (podcast all about parkrun), joined us again today.  Louise started/administers the Facebook UK parkrun tourist group, open to all who have visited 20 or more events, and has become an über-tourist (403 runs at 259 different venues, 29th on the list of most events, which is headed by Paul Freyne, 521 at 477

Richmond is her second favourite parkrun, as it is for Paul Sinton-Hewitt.


Have a great week, whoever becomes Prime Minister.

John Graham 

Richmond parkrun event statistics

Number of events: 622 

Number of runners: 23,114 

Number of runs: 172,617 

Number of first finishers: 457 

Number of clubs: 1,074 

Number of PBs: 26,277 

Average number of runners per week: 277.5 

Average number of runs per runner: 7.5 

Biggest Attendance: 575 

Average run time: 00:27:25 

Total hours run: 9Years 3Days 5Hrs 57Min 1Secs

Total distance run: 863,085km 

Female record holder: Lucy HASELL - 17:11 - Event 203 (17/09/11) 

Male record holder: Adam CLARKE - 14:31 - Event 608 (06/04/19) 

Age graded record holder: Jane DAVIES - 95.43 % - 21:54 - Event 363 (27/09/14)


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