Riddlesdown parkrun Event Report 24th March 2018 – Event 367



The One That Was Almost Censored

Report by Tim Allison
Photos by Simon Fisher (click on the link to view: https://www.flickr.com/photos/riddlesdown/albums/72157694202868244)


It was a beautiful spring like day for Riddlesdown parkrun 367, with the car’s thermometer registering well into positive territory, and the birds chirping their annoyance at being disturbed from the hedgerows on the walk down to the start. For how long the weather will last we can’t be sure, but with past years having crews getting sunk in the boat race, which is held again this weekend, today’s weather was certainly at the better end of the possible spectrum. Of course even good weather can’t mitigate the drowning the course has had over recent weeks. The downs are a mix of free draining chalk, and moisture retaining London clay, and suffice to say regulars will know which of the sub-particles hold the upper hand at this time of year. So warm and dry improved the course from “boglike” to merely “sticky” and 123 intrepid souls set out on a 5k run, ably assisted by many volunteers.
We had 9 parkrun first timers amongst our midst, tempted out by the spring conditions. The fact of losing an hour in bed later didn’t put off those looking for an early start to their weekend. Whilst 3 of those first timers were regular parkrunners, doing their tourism bit losing their Riddlesdown virginity, 3 were real first timers entering the parkrun family for the very first time. I’m assuming we had a Dad and daughter team with junior Eden Osborn sharing a time, but crucially “beating” Paul Osborn on their first runs. I’m not sure whose idea it was, or who dragged who round the course, but we hope to see you both again now you have PB targets to aim for.
Also amongst the first timers we celebrated with Nick Radford who decided to grace us with his 100th Parkrun, earning the black garment in the process. Nick has done 97 of his runs at Beeston Parkrun (which is Nottingham for those interested) and this was only his 3rd course (the other being Colwick just a few miles from Beeston) so we are honoured and feel there must be a reason for his visit to us on such an important milestone, though whatever it was we thank you for sharing it with us. No doubt Karen Wood, who crucially has 102 runs, is in on the knowledge too, as she shares with him the same three courses with a 99 – 2 – 1 split also becoming a Riddlesdown first timer.
I’m not sure of a quick way to work out the true tourist of the day award, but the third regular parkrunner making the bow amongst us was Karen Walsh, for whom this was her 72nd run. With a string of single figure appearances at many venues Riddlesdown became course number 28 in her portfolio. We may never see her again, but the majority of the courses are relatively local, so as possible venues begin to run out she may reappear on the circuit as second appearances are PB opportunities. Anyway regardless I think I can unofficially award her the tourist of the week award, at the risk of someone knowing better.
Whilst I have my tourist hat on, and although it is perhaps bad form to publicise alternative venues whilst holding the report writing baton for our own fine course, a quick plug for Mole Valley parkrun which is run in the beautiful surroundings of Denbies wine estate in Dorking. It had its first event last weekend, in the snow, and will no doubt appear on the course list of many Riddlesdowners at some point. Give it a go. (Small) disclaimer time - it has been set up by my sister-in-law!
In addition to Nick we had some other special runs this weekend. Both Katie Falconer-Wills and Harrison Hayman hit the bullseye with their 50th finishes, and a red T-shirt qualification. Despite the fact you get no official recognition for 200 runs, Peter Gibson (who has actually completed 215 runs), managed to get his 1,000km on the downs as he crossed the finish line to complete 200 x 1.6 laps of our course. Very well done!
I note we haven’t had a “news” update in a little while, and I have been absent from Riddlesdown for a little while too, so I don’t know whether recognition has been given, or maybe it is a little late in arriving but our Ange has now completed over 300 Parkruns (again no official T-shirt, but impressive never the less).
It was very pleasant for me to complete the course as I continue my rehabilitation and recovery. Of course it has been lovely watching so many good looking bottoms (I’m going to have to censor this in a minute Tim –Ed) disappearing into the distance as I have grimaced my way around but it was with some satisfaction to post my first time below 30 minutes since before Christmas. Numerically I was more than satisfied with a 69th position (Right that’s it! -Ed), as my birthdate is 6/9/69 (And why does that not surprise me? –Ed) so for once I had a smile on my face as I recovered bent over double, as usual, at the finish line. However, it is never a race (unless against yourself) and while midfield brings satisfaction to many, it’s the details at the front that we report on. Today’s podium is comprised of Hugo Hewitt with 17-20. Next over the line, completing the distance in 17-52, was Alastair Falconer. Third place was Dylan Wymer a few seconds behind with 18-21 as his time. With respect to the ladies we had top spot taken by Nichola Jackson (and 7th overall) in a time of 19-09. Second step was filled by one of our podium regulars, Grace Cooper, with 22-19, and the lowest tier occupied by Rowena Francis with her time of 23-19, exactly a minute behind!
Finishing positions aren’t the target for most of us, but potential PB’s can provide that excitement. 9 of you managed to bag one this weekend so congratulations go to all of you. Whilst, of course, they are easier to achieve the fewer runs you have completed, they are all special. Today’s (again unofficial) PB’er of the week award goes to Daniel Young who has run 6 of his 15 Parkruns with us, and has PB’d on 3 occasions here. Dan Hill, James Walton, Bala Chinnasamy, William Clarke, David Brown, Darren Kent, Laura Hickin and Sentha Balamurugan also get a PB name check. The only down side to what you have achieved is you have now raised the bar in terms of performance required to PB once more. Good luck to you all in that challenge!

On to run number 368, when I suspect conditions will be at the other end of the weather spectrum. We should have our water features back!

Report by Tim Allison



Riddlesdown parkrun Event Report 25th February 2017 – Event 309



The Claggy One

Report by Heidi Dann
Photos by Gill Hallson (To view these click on the following link:) https://www.flickr.com/photos/riddlesdown/albums/72157681005851116


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When I got my email thanking me for my efforts on Saturday I was surprised to see that I have now done the run report 56 times. Blimey I thought, what has there been to write about on 56 separate occasions? I imagine by now run report readers must be getting fed up of my innate ramblings, peppered with a few run statistics. Oh well, sorry to disappoint but I’m back again. I do hope this week’s report offers some light relief as you sit at your computer at work wishing that it was Saturday morning or browsing on your mobile on the way back from work, wondering when your trains will ever run to time again.




This weekend I was doing the double (two volunteering spots in one weekend). Knowing that I was out a lot in the week, culminating with drinks with the year 3 mums and dads on Friday night, I knew realistically I’d be in poor shape for running. I therefore knew my best bet would be to marshal. In fact a morning out in the fresh air with limited exertion really is a great tonic after a late night. My post this week was at point 5. This is one of my favourite positions to marshal because it’s just as you come out of the trail. Having run the course many times I know that by the second lap a runner is looking desperately for the sight of a fluorescent marshal jacket and knowing that from there on in it’s not far to the home stretch. It's great to be met with a series of smiles even if you know it really is a smile of relief!




Saturday’s weather was milder than it has been recently but it was slightly claggy on the ground and pretty windy. However, that didn’t stop over 150 runners hotfooting it to the Downs for 9 a.m. for some parkrun action. There were even some parkrun tourists from Wales who had looked up their local parkrun whilst they were over visiting friends. In fact welcome to all the following first timers, we hope you enjoyed the course.

Iman Haq
David West
James Stowe
Gareth Roberts
Steve Barrett
Peter Howes
Paul Sullivan
Chris Smith
Wini Kirby




The challenging course conditions did nothing to stop some of our runners from earning themselves some pretty wonderful PBs.

Daniel Miller, who having seen his Dad (Ian), Sister (Susie) and more recently Mum (Julia) all run at Riddlesdown, has also come along to try his hand at the Riddlesdown course. This is just Daniel’s 6th at Riddlesdown and already he’s set a new PB of 25.43. Well done Daniel.


(Here's a picture of the rest of his family! - Ed)

Jack Godfrey, one of our junior runners, (11-14 category) also set a fabulous PB of 21.17. A fantastic time and only his 6th parkrun in total. In fact Jack has set a PB on three consecutive occasions of running here – great work!
Mark Young took 15 seconds off his previous time to set a new PB of 21.46. In fact all of the following managed to break records on Saturday and set new PBs, well done to all. You should be really proud.

John Young (22.05)
Tom Lloyd (22.16)
Tom Howell (24.09)
Steve Tempia (24.26)
Jacob Nockles (26.29)
Henry Mullholland (27.23)
Oliver Sarson-Lowe (28.11)
Nicole Heber (28.28)
Graham Duncan (28.29)
Neve Horn (28.48)
Stanley Mitchel (28.57)
Jessica Kelley (30.35)
Emily Frawley (32.55)
Martine Johnson (34.41)
Lauren Smithers (38.12)




In terms of positions, Dylan Wymer was first across the line this week, setting himself a fantastic PB of 17.09. Dylan looked comfortable from the start and didn’t let the mud stop him from gliding round the course. Well done Dylan, great running and from what I witnessed Saturday there are plenty more PBs to come.


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Second across the line was Martin Filer who has run at Riddlesdown 21 times and can often be found out at the front. This was a great time for Martin and very close to his previous PB. Well done Martin on a great time of 18.51 on Saturday.




Close behind was Mark Cawood. It was nice to see Mark back at Riddlesdown; he last ran here on New Year’s Eve. Mark was also very close to beating his PB, finishing in a fantastic time of 19.02. Well done Mark.




First female across the line was Nicola Archer. Nicola is pure speed and flew around the course in a fantastic time of 19.44. Since November last year Nicola is regularly a top 10 finisher and this week was no exception. Great running Nicola.




Second female finisher, and setting herself a new PB of 20.26 whilst she was at it, was Katie Wills. This was Katie’s 11th run at Riddlesdown and clearly she is not afraid of a bit of mud. She also achieved her best position at Riddlesdown since she started running here in April 2015. Well done Katie.




Third female finisher was Riddlesdown’s very own Ange Norris. Having spent many weeks away recently at various cross country events it was great to see Ange back on the Downs. The cross country training has also put Ange in great stead and she whipped round the course in 20.52. Great to see you back Ange.


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In fact it was great to see a few familiar faces. Simon Bold was back after having spent several Saturdays as a parkrun tourist across the area. Peter Gibson was also back having been parkrunning near Bath the previous weekend.




But it’s also great to see loads of new faces too. Some slightly nervous about what to expect. One thing you can guarantee at Riddlesdown is that you’ll have lots of fun; no two runs here are ever the same and you’ll get plenty of cheering along the way.

And so with another parkrun successfully navigated it was back off to our homes; mine to find a dressing up costume for World Book Day for my daughter, others to navigate clubs, homework or weekend chores. However, one thing is for certain, we’ll all go back feeling pretty smug about our morning's endeavours.




Riddlesdownites Elsewhere

Brighton Half Marathon

Lara Cook 2:43:26


Report by Heidi Dann



Riddlesdown parkrun Event Report Christmas Day 2016 – Event 299



"A bunch of total loonies in Santa hats...."

Report by Nicki Clark (A shy and retiring loony)
Photos by Ken Hooks (a surprisingly tiny loony) & Nicki Clark (actually a very loud loony) To view all the photos from this event, click on the following link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/riddlesdown/albums/72157674497483314



Christmas morning arrived, far too soon as always, with nothing wrapped (or even bought, in some cases....) and a shockingly early start as the woof needs walking, no matter what day it is, even if it's still dark outside. An early text message on a parkrun day is never good news, and as the alien arrival sounds cut through the early morning air, I was fairly sure that I hadn't just received festive greetings, and I was right - volunteers were falling like flies, as the stomach bug hit home. Hopefully everyone is feeling better now, and didn't have too dreadful a day.

The woof was obligingly sleepy rather than spritely, so I didn't feel bad about cutting the walk a little short, and heading for home, to take a look at the roster, and workout how we were going to shuffle things round.


I headed up to the Downs and met the setup team - and the setup woof, Fred, in his festive jumper.


Fred was not the only festively clad canine, as the photos below show:


My volunteer panic was unfounded - a couple of very experienced volunteery types showed up to support family members, as they were not up to running themselves - thanks to Kaye, who didn't let her cold stop her from organising late-comers, and scanning barcodes faultlessly!


Thanks also to Gill Stalley, who kept the finish funnel in order and made sure Ken didn't get bored!


As the runners arrived, there seemed to be an overwhelming number of Santa hats (and a few elves) - which made me chuckle, as my Dad has always maintained that runners are lunatics, that early morning runners are total lunatics, and in a phone call the previous day, he referred to Christmas Day parkrunners as being 'a bunch of total loonies in santa hats'

He may be right - but I like santa hats, and I like loonies....so here are some pictures of both!


Nigel has an array of festive fashion, it seems...


Usain Cawood?


Loads of loonies!


A tutu!

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Festive mouse?




A proper lunatic... Off to run marathons in China next week... Good Luck, Keith!


The Birthday loony - still celebrating!
With 128 finishers, it was the largest turnout we've ever had on a Christmas day, and every single runner remembered their barcode - yay!


There were an alarming number of PBs (I would say that the set up Santas gave the runners a present of a short course, but as I checked it myself, I know it was bang on, so I guess it was just good runnning!) Well done to the 15 of you who managed this!

We had a number of Run Directors from other events join us today. Andy Stalley flew the Bansted Woods flag, and took the lunacy further than just a hat


Micheal Bassett swapped his blue hi-vis for shorts and trainers, along with Claire, Wendy and Lesley, all having a well earned break from the core-team duties at Lloyd Juniors.



Both Paul Groves and Peter Georgiades proved that dedicated lunacy has its own rewards.


Paul usually dresses as a Christmas tree, but this year he instead was able to give his brand new 250 t-shirt its first outing.
Peter was running his 250th event today - 250 on the 25th!



There were cakes, and presents, and a lot of laughter. Thank you to all our volunteers, especially ken, who is down to do 4 events in 8 days over the festive season - I don't think he's showing the strain at all!


Our final finishers, complete with Roxy the dog in a Santa suit


Clear up was a precise operation - Helen assures me everything is ready for the 300th event on NYE!


The Stats
Male placings:


Matthew GRANTHAM (SM18-19) of Micky Morris Racing Team, was first over the line in 18:02 - first time in 7 appearances.
Hugo HEWITT (JM15-17) of Holland Sports AC, was second over the line in 19:05 - has been first to finish on 2 previous occasions.
Crispin FLOWERDAY (VM35-39) was third over the line in 19:14.
Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
Barry GERHOLD (Epsom & Ewell Harriers) 2221 pts.
Ian WATSON 1841 pts.
Peter LAURENCE (Striders of Croydon AC) 1716 pts.
Female placings:


Grace COOPER (JW15-17) was first (13th overall) over the line in 20:53 - 18th time in 68 appearances.
Becky LAURENCE (VW35-39) of Striders of Croydon AC, was second (21st overall) over the line in 22:43 - has been first to finish on 4 previous occasions.
Gill O'CONNOR (VW55-59) of Ashford & District RRC, was third (22nd overall) over the line in 22:52 - has been first to finish on 5 previous occasions.
Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Susie MILLER 2002 pts.
Cathy JENNINGS 1998 pts.
Helen PETERS (NHS Couch to 5k) 1909 pts.
The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
Gill O'CONNOR (VW55-59) was graded 78.13% for the time 22:52 (22nd overall).
Cathy JENNINGS (VW70-74) was graded 75.95% for the time 29:48 (94th overall).
Grace COOPER (JW15-17) was graded 74.22% for the time 20:53 (13th overall).

This week there were 128 runners, of whom 14 were first timers and 15 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 23 different athletics clubs took part.

Riddlesdown parkrun started on 2nd July 2011, and since then 4,289 different runners, including participants from 250 athletics clubs, have completed 30,718 runs covering a total distance of 153,590 km, and there have been 5,280 new Personal Bests.



Report by Nicki Clark
Looney with a spring

Riddlesdown parkrun Event Report Christmas Eve 2016 – Event 298



All I Want for Christmas is an Event Report...

...However, trying to turn around a report in less than 12 hours isn't easy. Heidi hasn't quite got there yet, so in order to have something up before the next event, here's some shameless plagiarism and report ripping off on two levels... prizes for the first person who can spot both the originals, and name both the authors.....
Interim rubbish by Nicki Clark
Photos by Santa's Little Helper (to view the complete set in Flickr, click on the following link:https://www.flickr.com/photos/riddlesdown/albums/72157678147297846)

Twas the run before Christmas, and all over the Downs,
Although it was slippy there were very few frowns.




Early bird volunteers put out signs with great care,
Ready for the runners who soon would be there.




The gazebo stayed down, and the kit all stayed dry,
Barbara’s promised bad weather didn’t even try!


Conor and Shelagh confused volunteers,
Who put on hi-vis vests and set off with loud cheers.




Once they’d gone many runners with a great deal of chatter
In all kinds of costumes, just not the mad hatter,




Thronged round the tables, laughing without fear
Guessing that cakes and nice biscuits were remarkably near




At last all the athletes had gone to the start,
Where announcements were made before they could depart




Today Ange, in red hat with a bobble on top
Said the course had some mud, but that they should not stop


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Congratulations did follow - to both Sara and Joy,
For 100 runs each - smart black T-shirts ahoy!




Reminding us of tomorrow’s Christmas day run,
Ange wished good luck to all, and then started the fun!




They departed – Ange too, once she’d shed many layers
and a new December record, with 150 players.




At the front of the field, were the fast and the fit:
With third place taken by Hugo Hewitt




Dylan came first, having left at his heel
A relative newcomer: Danby, Neil




Once again round the course the grass turned to bog,
Sadly no puddles through which one could jog.




A brief roll in the mud did nothing to diminish
A very big smile once safely finished




Also seen smiling all the way round,
Grace was first lady, with a leap and a bound.




Stephanie followed, in looking festive, hat red
Definitely not a day to stay in bed!


Young Lucy pushed on, through the mud she did race
And gallantly earned an impressive third place.






As runner after runner crossed over the line,
The surface grew further and further from ‘fine’




8 Riddlesdown first timers should be given a clap,
for making it round without major mishap,




and in spite of the ground being slip-py,
no less than 6 runners achieved a PB.




150 finishers, and in spite of his wellies,
Ken said the cold turned his knees into jellies.
The forecast for tomorrow looks to be much the same
but we will be there, come wind, sun or rain




The kit was collected and with full speed ahead
The Riddlesdown cart was returned to the shed.




The Horseshoe in Warlingham received quite a flood
Of triumphant parkrunners, some covered in mud.
Results were then processed, the only problem was me,
with some muddled up tokens – Dunnell said ‘twasn’t she!


Happy Birthday to Barb – though she wasn’t here,
hopefully tomorrow we’ll have change to see her


But one more thing to say, and then I am done:
“Happy Christmas to all, from Riddlesdown parkrun”



The Stats
Male placings:
Dylan WYMER (SM20-24) was first over the line in 18:46 - third time in 84 appearances.
Neil DANBY (VM50-54) was second over the line in 19:05.
Hugo HEWITT (JM15-17) of Holland Sports AC, was third over the line in 19:42 - has been first to finish on 2 previous occasions.

xmas eve 298

Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
Barry GERHOLD (Epsom & Ewell Harriers) 2131 pts.
Ian WATSON (Unattached) 1754 pts.
Graeme DRYSDALE (Striders of Croydon AC) 1704 pts.
Female placings:
Grace COOPER (JW15-17) was first (13th overall) over the line in 21:51 - 17th time in 67 appearances.
Stephanie UPTON (VW45-49) of Striders of Croydon AC, was second (16th overall) over the line in 22:08 - has been first to finish on 3 previous occasions.
Lucy FINCH (JW11-14) of Striders of Croydon AC, was third (25th overall) over the line in 23:02 - was first to finish once before.

xmas eve 298-001

Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Cathy JENNINGS 1935 pts.
Susie MILLER 1913 pts.
Helen PETERS (NHS Couch to 5k) 1824 pts.
The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
Neil DANBY (VM50-54) was graded 77.90% for the time 19:05 (second overall).
Gill O'CONNOR (VW55-59) was graded 76.63% for the time 23:19 (28th overall).
Stephanie UPTON (VW45-49) was graded 74.85% for the time 22:08 (16th overall).

This week there were 150 runners, of whom 8 were first timers and 6 recorded new Personal Bests.



Reporter should've been/will be Heidi Dann!


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