by Marie Keates
New Year's Day is traditionally a time for reflection on the previous year, resolutions for the year ahead and hangovers from the night before. It is also one of the only times really dedicated parkrunners have the chance to run twice in one morning. Some might say Southampton parkrun starts later than usual because the RD and set up team need a lie in after a night of celebration. While there may be an element of truth in this, it does mean runners can whiz round Netley Abbey, Whiteley, or even Winchester and still get back in time to run for a second time on the Common.
The 365 acres of woodland, grassland, ponds and nature trails that make up Southampton Common have almost certainly been common land since 500 AD when the town was called Hamwick. Since 2012, it has also been home to Southampton parkrun. What the medieval commoners would make of all the Lycra clad runners charging about every Saturday morning is a mystery but today was the seventh consecutive New Year's Day when an extra, hangover busting, run was laid on.
Unlike last year when runners battled against torrential rain, the weather was kind to Run Director Kate BUDD, the 1048 runners who turned up for their New Year's Day parkrun fix and the 55 wonderful volunteers who made it all possible. Regular set up volunteer, Kali BANDA, had even dashed from an early morning run at Netley Abbey to make sure everything was set up.
Event Director, Rob KELLY, and previous Event Director, John GRANT, also used the Netley parkrun as a warm up. John kept his 300th run fairly low key but one of the eight runners to reach their 100 milestone got suddenly demoted to 10 runs when a gust of wind stole one of their balloons.
New Year resolutions might account for the 33 first timers at Southampton who made this their first ever parkrun. Hopefully they will be back again next week and won't be disappointed when they discover there isn't always a lady playing bagpipes on Bellemoor corner.
First thing on New Year's Day all the sensible people are in bed sleeping off a late night, too much food and way too much alcohol. Tempting as it is to snuggle back under the warm covers and be one of them, there really is no better way to start a year than parkrun.
Finally, for fans of statistics, we celebrated New Year's day in style this year by reaching our 1 millionth kilometer at Southampton parkrun. This took us six and a half years. On current attendance we could clock up the next milliion in just over four years!
This week 1048 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 118 were first timers and 105 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 57 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 57 volunteers:
Gareth JONES • John KEENAN • Rob KELLY • Trevor Alan ELLERY • Mike MILLS • David A JOHNSTON • Colin DINWOODIE • Sue SLEATH • Peter LEWIS • Kate BUDD • David KEATES • Gillam MCCLURE • Jenny Clare BICKERSTAFF • Elaine June WINTER • Cary VARDY • Paul NEWSON • Karen BRYANT • Sue WILSON • Clare PRICE • Nic WOOLLARD • Peter ROE • Louise BEEDHAM • Victoria BRIGHT • Ian HOWARD • Kali BANDA • Ellis FOX • Nathan FOX • Debbie LLOYD • Phoebe SHELLY • Matthew FOX • Alison COOPER • Philip LLOYD • Lisa SMITH • Barbara COGMAN • Joseph FOX • Liam BROCKEN • Phil BLAKE • Jo ROLFE • Emily BROCKEN • Louisa REA • John MORRISON • Diana DORRINGTON • Frazer BAILEY • Julie LAVINGTON • Marie KEATES • David BAKER • Alison FARMER • David GRASMEDER • Sarah WEBB • Tiffany TANG • Alison CATT • Lorraine KELLETT • Kerry SHAW • Jax FOVARGUES • Claire GALLAGHER • Hayley GATADE • Anna FOVARGUES
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the
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 Mahamed MAHAMED who recorded a time of 14:56 on 17th September 2016 (event number 221) and by Unknown ATHLETE who also recorded a time of 14:56 on 8th September 2018 (event number 323).
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 20,620 participants have completed 200,389 parkruns covering a total distance of 1,001,945 km, including 34,522 new Personal Bests.