Southampton parkrun is cancelled on 6 June 2020: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Southampton parkrun reports #400 (7th March 2020) & #401 (14th March 2020)

By Gareth Jones

Last week we had a triple celebration: our 400th event, delayed slightly by cancellations, was commemorated with some splendid fancy dress, including a rather speedy gorilla (thank you, Carl HALL), International Women's Day was commemorated with a pre-run photo of those runners from the fairer sex, and finally the first time parkrunday has also been a Leap Day was commemorated, but regrettably not with my suggestion of requiring parkrunners to leap over a steeplechase barrier in the final straight. We also had a very welcome mass take-over of most of our volunteering roles by St James Runners, and a fantastic new M65-69 course record of 18:55 from Austin SOANE. Other runners who had cause to celebrate were Alison CROOKS for her 300th parkrun, Richard VENABLE for his 100th, and Joseph ANASTASICostin BANESCUJoanna HARKRADEREmily HAYES-ARTERPatricia KENYONJames REAVEYIsabel SARGENTShona MACKIE and Kathryn WHITE for their 50th. (Oh, yes, somebody else completed his 450th, another round number.)

As this momentous occasion was approaching, our Event Director Rob KELLY asked me if I could think of any interesting properties of the number 400. Apart from the obvious fact that it is a perfect square (20 times 20), to a mathematician it is a fairly tedious number. Today's number, 401, is much more interesting since it is prime, meaning that it has no factors other than 1 and itself. This may seem rather a specialised fact, but don't knock the prime numbers: they and their mysterious properties underpin the cryptographic systems which (one hopes) ensure the security of our personal data and financial transactions.

Today's run typified the British weather. After a rainy night we set off with a pleasant mixture of sun and cloud; by the time I passed 4K we had a light, cooling shower, and when I started clearing up the signs it was cold, penetrating rain. Fifteen minutes later, the sun came out to dry my soaking clothes. There were no course records today, but Tim COAK completed his 200th parkrun, Sean PEARCE and Melissa TICKNER their 150th, Andy MANSFIELD and Kat WALKER earned their black 100 Club T-shirts, and Lily CLEMENTSJane SOMERVILLE and Ruth WALTON their red 50 Club T-shirts.

Enough of the past, what about the future? With parkruns and other meetings with large attendances having been cancelled in many countries, we were lucky to have an event today. It is not clear how much longer we will be able to do this: running is a healthy activity, you are much less likely to pass on or catch a virus outdoors than indoors, and parkrun doesn't rely on the presence of the emergency services; however, lining up to start a run and queuing in the funnel or for scanning are hardly compatible with 'social distancing', and it might be politically difficult to allow some sporting activities to go ahead while others are cancelled. By the time you read this, parkruns and other similar events may have been cancelled. Such a decision will be taken at national rather than local level. Even if we do continue, it would be entirely understandable if those in more vulnerable groups decided to avoid running or volunteering until the danger has passed. Indeed, several of my friends with delicate medical conditions have already made that decision. Of course, if parkrun is cancelled, freedom runs are always possible.

Whatever happens, take the advised precautions, and stay safe.


This week 878 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 59 were first timers and 128 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 61 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 64 volunteers:

Gareth JONES • Mike SMEARS • Kim Diane KELLY • Emma LEE-CHOON • Trevor Alan ELLERY • Su WHITE • Susan MADDOCKS • Nicki TAYLOR • Christopher Edward BROWN • Tony LEES • Meeje BRETT • Kate BUDD • Malcolm John WHITE • Jill Alison WHITE • Andrew BURNIE • Elaine June WINTER • Jennifer MARSHALL • Rob CALLEN • Karen BRYANT • Sue WILSON • Andrew ADAMS • Nic WOOLLARD • Denis COADY • Peter ROE • Neil WELLS • Paul TONGS • Rachel NICE • Kim BATTEN • Paul Henry ARMSTRONG • Karen PIGGOTT • Matthew HOLMES • Rob HEATHER • Kali BANDA • Zillah LEACH • Rob FRANCIS • Phil BLAKE • Dominic WILLIAMS • Jan BRAY • Claire ROBINSON • Pietro Daniele FRANCESCHINI • Jerry CROCKER • Mattia DAL BORGO • Stephen MADDOCKS • Alexander JOHNSTON • Jon TRIGGS • Fiona DONOVAN • Alan MCAULEY • Sarah WEBB • Alison CATT • Emily NICE • Kathryn SIMPSON • Bethany NICE • Krystal PATERSON • Monica HARRIS • April MUNDAY • Matt GOSS • Esmee CHADWICK • Jonathan CARTER • Matthew PREBBLE • Craig DOLDER • Isobel STARK • Richard HURREN • Jimmy O'BRIEN • Polski WALKER

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

The female record is held by Lorna RUSSELL who recorded a time of 16:40 on 18th May 2013 (event number 46).
The male record is held by Alex TEUTEN who recorded a time of 14:50 on 30th March 2019 (event number 353).
The Age Grade course record is held by Austin SOANE who recorded 91.55% (18:09) on 11th August 2018 (event number 319).

Southampton parkrun started on 7th July 2012. Since then 26,022 participants have completed 262,802 parkruns covering a total distance of 1,314,010 km, including 42,599 new Personal Bests. A total of 2,161 individuals have volunteered 17,262 times.


Southampton parkrun #399 – 22nd February 2020

You may have noticed that Southampton parkrun has been rather popular lately. In fact, our top seven attendances, ranging from 1300 to 1661, have all come this year. This has made our runs rather crowded, especially in the first kilometre or so, and the exceptionally wet weather has made this worse by turning the grass alongside the paths into slippery mud or standing water. Running in such crowded conditions is uncomfortable, and can be dangerous if runners are impatient or inconsiderate of those around them. We try to address this in the briefings, emphasising that this is a timed run, not a race, and encouraging people to take starting positions appropriate to their ability. The choke-point at the bridge, encountered after about 600m, is a worry, and we are looking at ways of dealing with this. In the meantime there is a solution, forced upon many of us by last Saturday's cancellation, in the form of parkrun tourism.

By my reckoning there are currently 18 parkruns in Hampshire, namely Alice Holt, Andover, Basingstoke, Brockenhurst, Eastleigh, Fareham, Havant, Lee-on-the-Solent, Lymington Woodside, Mountbatten School, Netley Abbey, Portsmouth Lakeside, Queen Elizabeth, Rushmoor, Southampton, Southsea, Whiteley and Winchester, and others such as Bournemouth and Salisbury are within easy reach (also Medina IOW if you fancy a boat trip). Doing course set-up almost every week, I don't get many opportunities for parkrun tourism, but in the last two weeks a cancelled flight and Storm Dennis have allowed me to sample the delights of Southsea and Portsmouth Lakeside parkruns, reducing my to-do list of Hampshire parkruns to just four. (I hope to tick those boxes within the next year or so, but I suspect that the pressure to expand parkrun is such that others will have emerged by then.) If you visit one of these events, you can enjoy getting across the starting line within a few seconds, having plenty of running-space around the course, and not having to queue in the funnel or for scanning. If a few hundred of you do that each Saturday, you will greatly relieve the pressure on the Common. (But before you go, check for possible cancellations and changes of venue.)

After successive weekends of storms nasty enough to qualify for names, and to cause last week's rare cancellation, it was almost a relief to encounter just light drizzle, backed by winds that had dropped to a mere 40-50 mph. Almost, but not quite: having tied the back-to-back Start signs to their lamp-post, I paused to pick up my bike after the wind blew it over, and turned back to find that the signs had disappeared. I was totally bemused, until Ia helpful passer-by pointed out that the wind had lifted them 10 feet up the lamp-post, well out of my reach. There they had to stay until the wind eased off, they slipped down a little, and a tall parkrunner was able to pull them down and tie them firmly in place. Thank you, whoever you were!


It wasn't a great day for PBs, but first finisher Ollie HURDLE managed that, in 16:48, while Ellie MONKS (first woman for the sixth time this year!) came within five seconds of the 17:40 PB she set here two weeks ago. Another notable PB was achieved by Robert JONES, who has recently moved up from junior parkrun status, in third place with 17:15.

Among today's milestone runners Jude COWAN can claim a white T-shirt for joining the 10 Club, Marja ABERSONJane BENFIELDJenny MARTIN and Simon WROE qualified for their red 50 Club T-shirts, and Mattia DAL BORGOPaul LEEMING and Ryan WILSON earned their black ones for the 100 Club. Round numbers were also achieved by Julia BOUSTREDColette LONGSTAFFE and David POMFREY (today's 40-minute pacer), completing their 150th parkruns, and by Richard JACOB and Kim MERRETT, completing their 200th. Congratulations to all of them, and many thanks to RD Kate BUDD and the volunteers for enduring the worsening conditions and allowing us to run.


Next Saturday's parkrun will be rather special, for at least two reasons. Can you guess what they are?



This week 1231 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 109 were first timers and 117 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 67 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 65 volunteers:

Gareth JONES • Rob KELLY • Kim Diane KELLY • Trevor Alan ELLERY • Su WHITE • Gerry ROBSON • David MURRAY • Nicole KELLY • Tony LEES • Kate BUDD • Malcolm John WHITE • David KEATES • Emma WOOLHOUSE • Gillam MCCLURE • David SINGERMAN • Elaine June WINTER • Cary VARDY • Rob CALLEN • Sue WILSON • Nic WOOLLARD • Peter ROE • Paul TONGS • Sheila FOX • Jonathan CATHIE • Robert FINCH • Kali BANDA • Guy RADFORD • Angela SIMMONDS • Laura LEA • Debbie LLOYD • Shane HEDGES • Barbara COGMAN • Jenny GODDARD • Derek GIBBENS • Phil BLAKE • Jonathan CARTER • Jan BRAY • Evie DAVISON • Lee WALTERS • Tim GLENTON • Adam PRATT • Amanda DAVIS • Barbara CLARIDGE • Isabel SARGENT • Rowan SARGENT LLEWELLYN • Ian ROBINSON • Caroline TAYLOR • Stephen MADDOCKS • Alexander JOHNSTON • Sarah-Jayne ELLIOTT • David POMFREY • James A MOORE • Danielle GONTIER • Dianne LAWRENCE • Dominic MANN • Tim PADLEY • Lesley HUNTER • Josephine HARTLEY • Ram RAMHEWA • Alice BURCH • Matt GOSS • Lewis BAILEY • Isobel STARK • Tim CHOWN • Anne-Marie PAULIN

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

The female record is held by Lorna RUSSELL who recorded a time of 16:40 on 18th May 2013 (event number 46).
The male record is held by Alex TEUTEN who recorded a time of 14:50 on 30th March 2019 (event number 353).
The Age Grade course record is held by Austin SOANE who recorded 91.55% (18:09) on 11th August 2018 (event number 319).

Southampton parkrun started on 7th July 2012. Since then 25,854 participants have completed 260,691 parkruns covering a total distance of 1,303,455 km, including 42,289 new Personal Bests. A total of 2,140 individuals have volunteered 17,115 times.


Southampton parkrun cancellation report – 15th February 2020

By Kirsten Bishop

dennis the menace

Well Storm Dennis has been a menace! Southampton parkrun got cancelled on Friday evening in anticipation of high winds and poor weather on Saturday morning. Choosing to cancel isn’t easy but the safety of 1200 plus runners is a very big responsibility, and of course there is always next weekend.

I’m sure many people ran the course on the common anyway or had a lie in. I took the chance to visit Netley Abbey parkrun for the first time and was greeted by a lovely view of the sea and the picturesque Royal Victoria Chapel. The windy weather worked in my favour and I got blown along the seafront and up the hill.

netley abbey

A big thank you to all the volunteers who were ready and waiting to cheer us on in the wind, hope you enjoyed a well earnt lie in! Remember parkrun relies on volunteers, so show some parkrun love for Valentine’s day, and give the biggest thank you possible by volunteering. Also, congratulations to any runners who achieved milestones this week at other events.

Happy running and see you next weekend!


Southampton parkrun #398 – 8th February 2020

By Nic Woollard

As Michael Jackson and his brothers in the Jackson 5 once sang, "A B C, easy as one, two, three." For this week's run report, we are going to run through the full alphabet with the A to Z of highlights from yesterday's event.

A is for Graham ANDREWS of Itchen Spitfires Running Club, who finished his 69th parkrun in a super speedy time of 19:12.

B is for Zea BRENCHLEY, one of our fabulous three tail walkers ensuring that all of our participants got around the course safe and sound.

C is James CUNNINGHAM who was one of seven representatives from the Lonely Goat Running Club to complete yesterday's parkrun.

D is for Deal Triathlon Club and Ashia McMANUS, finishing her 3rd parkrun with a new PB.

E is for Graham EVANS, from the VM40-44 group. 83 parkrunners ran or walked the course and the age range was the most populous across all the bands.

F is for Samuel FOREMAN, a first time visitor to Southampton. Samuel is a member of Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow AC.

G is for Hannah GRAYER, who was back to our event having had a week off. The rest must have done Hannah some good as she recorded a new PB of 28:54

H is for Ian HOWARD. Ian is a sub 3 hour Marathon runner and is often seen towards the front with the 20 minute pacing vest on.

I is for David ILLSLEY, who has completed 25% of his 48 events at Southampton parkrun. David was one of 235 new PBs recorded.

J is for Jane JONES - who was one of the 10 Joneses in attendance yesterday.

K is for Rob KELLY, our illustrious ED who takes overall responsibility for our event and can be considered the chair person of the local team. Most Event Directors (though not all) will act as Run Director on a pretty frequent basis. Rob was our RD yesterday

L is for Laura LEA, who with a nice alliterative name can qualify for a triple call out on the letter L as she runs for the Lonely Goat RC.

M is Amber MULLEN. Amber is one of our junior parkrunners and finished her 3rd parkrun yesterday.

N is for Gabriella NEMETH, one of our 99 first timers who completed their maiden event yesterday.

O is for Ordnance Survey Runners, another of our popular local running clubs who are regular attendees at our events.

P is for Paul PLANKEN, another alliterative name and another PB in the bag for Paul yesterday.

Q is for David QUINNEY who just goes to show that it is never too old at start at parkrun. David is in the VM65-69 age group and finished his 2nd event.

R is for Sarah RUSSELL. Sarah is something of a parkrun veteran now with 118 under her belt to date.

S is for the SMITHS - but not the 80's pop band. The most popular surname in Great Britain and certainly at Southampton parkrun with 16 Smiths appearing in the results, including our run directors, Stuart and Tamsyn SMITH.

T is for Orla TUOHY. Having just notched up her 50th parkrun the week before, Orla was one of our volunteer marshals on the course.

U is for UNKNOWN. The perennial people who wish to remain incognito or who have left their barcodes at home. 9% of our finishers fell into this category yesterday.

V is for VOLUNTEERS. No parkrun can be put on without them and 63 willing people gave up their time to help out.

W is for Nic WOOLLARD, who has just notched up his 250th separate volunteer credit.

X is for Cathy XU. This was Cathy's first parkrun of 2020 and her 14th in total.

Y is for Aminu YAKUBU, who finished in a very respectable time of 25:09

Z is for Zhuosheng ZHU. Last and by no means least Zhuosheng  was another one of our 99 first timers


This week 1300 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 99 were first timers and 235 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 66 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 63 volunteers:

Mark WEST • Rob KELLY • Kim Diane KELLY • Trevor Alan ELLERY • Susan MADDOCKS • Mark STILEMAN • Eddie BULPITT • Tony LEES • Theresa JURDIC • Meeje BRETT • Kate BUDD • David KEATES • David SINGERMAN • Elaine June WINTER • Lynne NEWSON • Paul NEWSON • Sue WILSON • Caro GARRETT • Nic WOOLLARD • Peter ROE • Neil WELLS • Paul TONGS • Isabel HESSEY • Rosie ESSERY • Paul Henry ARMSTRONG • Orla TUOHY • Robert FINCH • Ian HOWARD • Angela SIMMONDS • Rory ADAMS • Zillah LEACH • Debbie LLOYD • Kate HART • Barbara COGMAN • Nicole FRITH • Vicky TOOMEY • Phil BLAKE • Julian WALLER • Jo ROLFE • Jan BRAY • Evie DAVISON • Simon HUNT • Elena CERDAN • Aron SEBESTENY • Stephen MADDOCKS • Jake MASTERSON • Dianne LAWRENCE • Lesley HUNTER • Clare POWELL • Josephine HARTLEY • Marie MASTERSON • Hayley GATADE • Monica HARRIS • Peter HARRIS • Charlotte SWEET • Matt GOSS • Zea BRENCHLEY • Izzy KIMBER • Jonathan CARTER • Angie EVANS • Bella BOULDERSTONE • Tim CHOWN • Rachel EVANS

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

The female record is held by Lorna RUSSELL who recorded a time of 16:40 on 18th May 2013 (event number 46).
The male record is held by Alex TEUTEN who recorded a time of 14:50 on 30th March 2019 (event number 353).
The Age Grade course record is held by Austin SOANE who recorded 91.55% (18:09) on 11th August 2018 (event number 319).

Southampton parkrun started on 7th July 2012. Since then 25,745 participants have completed 259,460 parkruns covering a total distance of 1,297,300 km, including 42,172 new Personal Bests. A total of 2,133 individuals have volunteered 17,046 times.


Southampton parkrun #397 – 1st February 2020

By Catherine Brook

The first day of February gave us a mild and sunny morning, perfect conditions for another wonderful parkrun at Southampton. This is also my first go at writing the run report and as luck would have it, today brought plenty of other firsts. It was the first parkrun post Brexit – I’m sure there were many participants from both sides of that debate today, but perhaps we should quickly move on! It’s also the first weekend of this year’s Six Nations rugby tournament – I spotted a proud Welsh dragon at the start, although I don’t know if the T shirt gave him wings or fire-breathing powers.

The very first Southampton parkrun took place on 7 July 2012. That event saw 254 participants and 24 volunteers. The first placed man and woman were Lewis CHALK and Sandra BOWERS. Neither have become regulars, in fact it was Sandra’s one and only run at Southampton. The volunteers at the event included one person who also volunteered today (more of which later) as well as some who ran today (David CLOTHIER, Luana COX, Roy S MCLOUGHLIN, Kirsty RICKMAN and Tamsyn May SMITH).

Since that inaugural event, Southampton has grown enormously. Nearly 8 years later, today’s 397th event saw 1,327 runners and walkers, and 69 volunteers. Despite there being many other local parkruns, Southampton continues to go from strength to strength. Today’s head count was the lowest so far of 2020, but at more than 1,300 people, that’s still a lot of people dragging themselves out of bed on a Saturday morning to run round a park. The popularity must in no small part be partly due to the super slick core volunteer team, who turn up week in week out in all weathers to put the event on. This week was no exception with the high-viz heroes being led by Run Director Gil MCCLURE. Speaking of which, this morning marked a 250th milestone for one of Southampton’s Run Directors, Kate BUDD.


The growth in numbers has also been the reason for today’s first outing for the timing boards. Volunteers  will hold up boards with estimated finish times to give people an idea of where to position themselves at the start and help to ease that first kilometre congestion. Keep an eye out for these in future weeks.


The first placed man and woman today were Tim MORGAN and Ellie Marie MONKS in times of 16.33 and 17.48 respectively.

Of course it’s not all about finishing first (certainly not for most of us!). But it is all about taking part. Today saw 110 people run or walk at Southampton for the first time, and 64 of these completed their first ever parkrun. I wonder how many of them will have picked up the parkrun bug? Perhaps the first timer’s briefing should come with a health warning of the fact that it can be a bit addictive?! Today’s first timer’s briefing was delivered by Gareth JONES, who is about as far from a first timer as anyone could get, having completed 445 parkruns and also notched up over 400 volunteer credits, including volunteering and running at the first Southampton parkrun back in 2012.

The brilliant volunteer team this week included 7 people who were either volunteering for the first time or trying out a new volunteer role for the first time. Mike ELDRIDGE was barcode scanning, Izzy KIMBER was funnel managing, Aminu YAKUBU was marshalling, James MOORE and Anthony WHARTON were part of the pre-event set up team and Hayley GATADE and JILL HARVEY joined the token sorters in the Bellemoor. First time volunteers are always welcome and whatever role you’re assigned to will be fully explained to you. There’s lots of roles you can combine with a run and if you’re one of the speedier runners, you can hop on to something like barcode scanning or funnel managing after your run. Drop a message if you’re interested in giving it a go. It’s less hard work than running (or maybe that’s just me!).

There were plenty of other milestones today. Congratulations go to Ian HART for his 300th run, Samuel ROBINSON from the juniors who earned his white T shirt for his 10th run and a whole gaggle of people running their 50th parkruns and qualifying for their red T shirts – Orla TUOHY (who was pipped to the line for first female by a single second), Simon CLIFT, Sarah GORDON, Aaron CRIBB, Sam COX, Alan McAULEY, Emma CATT, Rebecca MCCREANOR, Pamela BANKS and Helen OXLADE.


Same time next week? (What else would you be doing at 9am on a Saturday morning?!)


This week 1327 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 110 were first timers and 176 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 63 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 69 volunteers:

Gareth JONES • Rob KELLY • Emma LEE-CHOON • Trevor Alan ELLERY • Su WHITE • Elizabeth PRINSEP • Laura MCKENZIE • Theresa JURDIC • Meeje BRETT • Malcolm John WHITE • Jill Alison WHITE • David KEATES • Gillam MCCLURE • Elaine June WINTER • Cary VARDY • Lynne NEWSON • Paul NEWSON • Sue WILSON • Nic WOOLLARD • Peter ROE • Rosie ESSERY • Jill HARVEY • Martina OLLEY • Ian HOWARD • Kali BANDA • Guy RADFORD • Mike SMITH • Debbie LLOYD • Isabelle RAYNER • Dominic ASHTON • Barbara COGMAN • Louise FOX • John HARRINGTON • Vicky TOOMEY • Phil BLAKE • David CAPPS • Dominic WILLIAMS • Julian WALLER • Elizabeth BAMBER • Jo ROLFE • Jan BRAY • Helen OGILVIE • Aminu YAKUBU • Claire ROBINSON • Tim GLENTON • Amy FOWLER • Frazer BAILEY • Jane OLIVER • Stephen MADDOCKS • Michael CARTER • Alexander JOHNSTON • Sarah-Jayne ELLIOTT • James A MOORE • Tony EADE • Zebe HARRIS • Glen BARHAM • Alison CATT • Catherine BROOK • Judith STEPHENS • Elyssa GIFFEN • Anthony WHARTON • Mike ELDRIDGE • Hayley GATADE • Matt GOSS • Anna MCCUTCHEON • Izzy KIMBER • Charles DUNKLEY • Jonathan CARTER • Ummu-Salama YUSUF BABA

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

The female record is held by Lorna RUSSELL who recorded a time of 16:40 on 18th May 2013 (event number 46).
The male record is held by Alex TEUTEN who recorded a time of 14:50 on 30th March 2019 (event number 353).
The Age Grade course record is held by Austin SOANE who recorded 91.55% (18:09) on 11th August 2018 (event number 319).

Southampton parkrun started on 7th July 2012. Since then 25,645 participants have completed 258,160 parkruns covering a total distance of 1,290,800 km, including 41,933 new Personal Bests. A total of 2,130 individuals have volunteered 16,983 times.

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