by Gareth Jones
It couldn't go on for ever: after 11 successive weeks of 4-figure attendances, starting on New Year's Day and including a record of 1295, we had "only" 955 runners on Saturday. The line-up at the start looked almost anaemic, and with only about two dozen
customers for my first-timers briefing, I knew that for the first time since an injury in mid-January I had a chance of finishing in the first 800. Quite a few of our regular parkrunners were in London, marching in support of the People's Vote, while others were taking it easy in preparation for Sunday's Eastleigh 10K. Some of the latter recorded impressive times there, taking advantage of its fast course and the excellent running conditions, much better than we had 24 years ago when I set my lifetime PB, encouraged towards the finish by a sharp (and I do mean sharp) hailstorm.
We can expect a lull in attendances until May, when the Southampton Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K traditionally boost our numbers. Before then, on Easter Saturday and the following week, we'll take an excursion across the Common to our reserve course, starting and finishing just north of the Cowherds Inn, while the Easter Fair takes up our usual area on the Flats. For those who haven't done it before, it's up through the crossroads (Sue's Corner), two anticlockwise laps of the north-west loop, and then back to the start. There's no gravel, but also virtually no flat sections: if you're not climbing, you're descending. We'll be there agin a few times in the summer, when other events are on the Common.
First over the line this time was Alex TEUTEN, in his second visit to Southampton parkrun, nearly two minutes clear of the field in a time of 15:12. He has a parkrun PB of 14:50, achieved at Southsea, so I wonder if he might be tempted by our course record of 14:56. That is held by his Southampton AC team-mate Mahamed MAHAMED, who with his brother Zakariya (our JM11-14 and JM14-17 record holder) is running for GB in the World Cross Country Championships in Denmark this weekend. Good luck to both them!
Alex's was one of 163 PBs, all deserving our congratulations. That's far too many to list, but I will pick out the four JW10s and JM10s, namely Imogen ASHTON, Evie JACKSON, Joshua LANGMEAD and Luke WILKINSON, who all knocked chunks off their best times, and also the first-timers in those categories, Amber GARDENER, Luke HAMILTON, Alex LEWIS and Leon SPALL, who all made impressive debuts.
This time we had the usual list of milestone runs, just a little shorter than usual. Hayden ANDREW joined the 10 Club, Thomas DODD, Kirsty MACBETH, Stuart PICKARD and Nicola TAYLOR joined the 50 Club, and David JACKSON and Laura PHILLIPS joined the 100 Club. Lynne NEWTON, Vicky PRATT and Jeffrey SCOTT completed their 200th parkruns, and our Esteemed Dictator Rob KELLY, wearing the rather dramatic red and black vest of the new Hamwic Harriers Community Running Group, completed his 300th Southampton parkrun, far more than anyone else has achieved. This represents 1500K of running on the Common, even further than the celebrated John O'Groats to Lands End run (a mere 1407K). Rob has done it in a ridiculously low total of 113 hours and 20 minutes, all of it time well spent. Let's wish him many more hours of successful running.
This week 955 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 83 were first timers and 163 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 52 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 64 volunteers:
Adrien COYNE • Gareth JONES • James GAVIN • Trevor Alan ELLERY • Neil HOTSON • Tamsyn May SMITH • Susan MADDOCKS • Alice JONES • Adam WILLS • Eddie BULPITT • Laura MCKENZIE • Peter LEWIS • Gillam MCCLURE • Elaine June WINTER • Sean EWINGS • Lynne NEWSON • Timothy SLY • Paul NEWSON • Sue WILSON • Nic WOOLLARD • Peter ROE • Rachel NICE • Kim BATTEN • Sheila FOX • Jennifer RICHMOND • Stephen WELCH • Julie HUMPHRIES • Steven HAYES-ARTER • Ian HOWARD • Martin SIMS • Debbie LLOYD • Dominic ASHTON • Barbara COGMAN • Phil BLAKE • David CAPPS • Julian WALLER • Jo ROLFE • Andrea THORNE • Nick THORNE • Cathy ASIKI • George GILBERT • Kathryn STEPHENSON • Chrissy LIOE • Alexander JOHNSTON • Hannah ASIKI • David POMFREY • Jessica CARTER • Peter WATTLE • Alan MCAULEY • Alison CATT • Lorraine KELLETT • David BALL • Tim PADLEY • Josephine HARTLEY • Lakota CLOTHIER • Kirsten BISHOP • Mike ELDRIDGE • Monica HARRIS • Charlotte TURNER • Nicolas MOSKALA • Bolek KWIEK • Jd NICHOLSON • Tess WARD • Hannah PETERS
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 21,698 participants have completed 212,449 parkruns covering a total distance of 1,062,245 km, including 36,107 new Personal Bests.