by Nic Woollard
For those of you of a certain age and with long memories, there used to be a programme on children's TV called Record Breakers. The show ran from 1972 to 2001 and was hosted by Roy Castle. Other notable presenters in later years included the likes of Cheryl Baker and the athletic legends Kriss Akabusi and Linford Christie. It featured many attempts by people attempting to get their name in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Whilst Southampton parkrun #343 wasn't a World Record(*), we certainly blitzed our previous best attendance record. A massive turnout of 1,295 eager parkrunners joined the 66 volunteers under the directorship of Rob and Kim KELLY and Cameron SOMMERVILLE-HEWITT. With such burgeoning numbers, the funnel management team were busier than ever, and all four funnel lines came into operation. Thank you to everyone for their patience for staying in the line while the tokens were handed out and to the last 200 people who had their tokens processed by a sheet of barcodes on A4 paper. The order of extra plastic barcode finish tokens from parkrun HQ arrived just too late, but we now have them ready for use next week - if we need them.
Looking at the records down the years, it is interesting to see the organic growth and increase of Southampton parkrun as a mass participation event. The table below shows the best attendances each year.
|Year||No. of parkrunners||Date/Event No.|
|2019||1295||12th Jan / 343|
|2018||1134||13th Jan / 292|
|2017||1074||13th May / 257|
|2016||942||14th May / 204|
|2015||773||2nd May / 151|
|2014||697||17th May / 100|
|2013||513||6th Jul / 53|
|2012||291||3rd Nov / 17|
We also had 93 new people joining us for the first time at a parkrun and a further 49 seasoned parkrunners who made their first appearance at our event. We hope everyone had a great time on Saturday as part of our fabulous morning.
The theme tune to the old Record Breakers show was called, "Dedication" and payed tribute to the attributes of anyone who wanted to be "the best and beat the rest." On Saturday, 148 people recorded new personal bests including Junior Girls, Imogen ASHTON and Isla MURPHY on their 10th runs for their white shirts and Matthew CROCKER on his 50th run for his red shirt.
Talking of T-shirt qualifying runs, another Junior, Emily KENT joined the 10 Club today. Oliver BLISS, Richard DEVLIN, Michael KNAPPETT, Nicky PUGH and Katy WILKINSON hit the magic 50 mark to secure their red shirts and, Lyn HACKETT and Andrea THORNE for each completing a century of parkruns.
We are now the 2nd biggest parkrun in the UK and on 17 separate occasions we have had attendances of over 1,000. It looks like we will go higher again in the coming weeks and months. It is a pleasure to see the continued growth of our event and long may it continue.
(*) The current World Record for the parkrun attendance is 2,527 at North Beach in Durban, South Africa
This week 1295 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 142 were first timers and 148 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 57 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 66 volunteers:
Gareth JONES • Mary SCHOFIELD • Rob KELLY • Kim Diane KELLY • Roy S MCLOUGHLIN • Trevor Alan ELLERY • Neil HOTSON • John GRANT • Gerry ROBSON • Mark STILEMAN • Gary PAINTING • Sarah WILSON • Matthew HOLMES • Eddie BULPITT • Peter LEWIS • Kate BUDD • David KEATES • Elaine June WINTER • Cary VARDY • Susie BISSELL • Sue WILSON • Nic WOOLLARD • Peter ROE • Lee MASON • Paul TONGS • Kim BATTEN • Isabel HESSEY • Paul Henry ARMSTRONG • Karen PIGGOTT • Jonathan SMITH • Julie HUMPHRIES • Martin SIMS • Kali BANDA • Debbie LLOYD • Emma COLMER • Dominic ASHTON • Samuel RICHARDS • Barbara COGMAN • Nicole FRITH • Helen FARRELL • Derek GIBBENS • Liam BROCKEN • Sue STILEMAN • Julian WALLER • Jo ROLFE • Claire CANNON • Emily BROCKEN • Cameron SOMMERVILLE-HEWITT • Samantha BOWYER • Aaron ROGERS • Alexander JOHNSTON • Dave JUSON • David GRASMEDER • Martin INGOE • Maria WESTCOTT • Michael DODD • Alison CATT • David BALL • Liam BARRY-CARROLL • Lesley HUNTER • Josephine HARTLEY • Hannah HARTLEY • Will MCGUINNESS • Hayley GATADE • Milz DECHNIK • Damon KENNARD
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 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 20,861 participants have completed 202,746 parkruns covering a total distance of 1,013,730 km, including 34,807 new Personal Bests.