Report on SN parkrun #160 – by Jules Farnam

It was another favourable weather and course conditions for South Norwood parkrun number 160. This week’s run was completed by 146 parkrunners/joggers/amblers and ramblers. There were 4 people who were completely new to parkrun; welcome to Hannah Goodwin, Jack Triggs, Sam Matthews and Mateo Rivera, who was also the first male finisher. A further 16 people were new to South Norwood, including tourist Jennifer Cassidy who has done parkruns as far away as South Africa and Italy! We also had visitors from Slough, Brockwell park and nearby Bromley. Welcome to you all and we hope you enjoyed the course! The favourable conditions also allowed for 31 people to achieve their personal best. Grand work to everyone this morning who completed the run, and thank you to all the volunteers.

Keep parkrunning!


Not too muddy – by Jules Farman

South Norwood parkrun #159

Despite the unexpected inclement weather yesterday the South Norwood parkrun course wasn’t too muddy or puddly (phew!), as 117 parkrunners scooted around in favourable conditions for a Saturday morning. Thanks as always to the volunteers who make it possible.

A few stats this week so hold tight: There were 11 personal bests and 21 people doing their first parkrun at South Norwood, including Alex Pembrey, Dom Watson, Chloe Smith and Michael Jennett who did their first ever parkrun with us - hooray!

Congratulations to Emilio Bernaez who completed his 10th parkrun as a junior runner, and Thomas David Weddell from Hilly Fields parkrun who completed his 50th.

We also had a few tourists with ‘parkrun Alphabeteer’ Brendan Kenny and his pooch, Robin Bertrand, and Ian Brereton amongst the visitors undertaking their first run at South Norwood.

As always well done to all for getting up early on a Saturday to enjoy parkrun! See you next week.


Autumn – a report by Jules Farman

Autumn is well and truly upon us. With a brisk breeze bustling the leaves around the country park, this week 143 parkrunners, joggers, walkers and amblers braced the chilly wind around the far field and up the Tramline Mound to complete South Norwood Country Park parkrun number 158. Top work all for getting up and around early on a Saturday.

There were 12 First Timers to South Norwood Country Park, including Peter Eveson who completed his 367th parkrun having completed over 50 different ones, including one as far away as Australia! There were 19 Personal Bests, and a couple of people returning back after a hiatus from parkrun.

Well done to Oliver Munn who completed his 50th parkrun - it was great to have you with us today at South Norwood. Congratulations!

As always thanks to the volunteers, who make it possible. If you fancy joining on the volunteer front, please do check out our roster page for opportunities in the forthcoming weeks.

Keep parkrunning!


South Norwood parkrun 157

If parkrun reviews and reports were about how many people turned up and how fast they ran, they would be short reports and we might feel a little disappointed that only 91 people completed the course today. That's until you remember at 8.50am, the rain was torrential and that only the brave and slightly mad would have stepped outside their front door on a day like this. In fact, you know it's wet when someone tells you that your umbrella is so big, you might have more than a few runners join you underneath it on the course!

Over the last few weeks, I’ve seen parkrun from different marshalling positions and today from the back of the field as tail walker. I’ve had conversations with complete strangers, some who ask what we are doing, or others saying what a lovely day it is for Jog in the park, or “I never knew this happened so close to where I live”. We’ve spoken about the history of the local area (did you know that the Country Park used to be a sewage works in the 1950s and 1960s), I’ve had discussions about Croydon Council and I’ve had the pleasure of congratulating and encouraging runners as they pass the spot I was marshalling at, or as they overtake me in last place. I’ve walked with one person on their first parkrun, who felt encouraged by his wife’s enthusiasm to join in, and today I joint tail-walked with someone on their 332 event. I’ve been surprised how far in front the first placed runner can be. I’ve seen different running styles, wheezers and those short of breath, one runner who smiles all the way round, those that look as they could run forever and those whose determination to finish is evident through the grimaces and agonised face pulling. And today, we had people covered in mud, very wet and those who gave up trying to avoid the puddles and ran straight through.

So, yes, we were all brave and slightly mad this morning. But that’s 91 mad people who feel better for the experience, who are 5km fitter than when they woke up. And then there’s the many volunteers who this made gloriously mad thing happen. See you for more madness next Saturday.

As for the results, well done to Julian Forbes for his second consecutive first place. Congratulations on an excellent 4th place for Felicity Miners-Jones, on which appears to be her first ever parkrun. There were 21 newcomers to South Norwood Country Park and 3 people ran personal bests.
And there were 22 volunteers!!!!

Keith Andrews


South Norwood parkrun #156 – by Karen Cole

When we arrived at the start line, a small, cheery band of volunteers, were massing and being briefed as to their duties which lifted our spirits as they do each parkrun morning. The parkrun fairies were kind to us today as well and managed to keep the rain clouds away, whilst we ran, though it was still a warm one, so a few extra layers were shed as we went around.

Thank you to for the new runner’s briefing where new runners were warmly welcomed and introduced to the course layout and what a lovely course you have too as it meandered around South Norwood Country Park. The course went past small waterways and we also had to trip trap over a small wooden bridge- being mindful not to wake the trolls! It's a 5km path with twists and turns at every step, just as you think you must be there another twist turns you away again. Mind you although still pretty solid today overall, I can see more challenge to this course when cooler and wetter conditions prevail.

Today, tourists from Eastville (Bristol), Prospect (Reading) Havant (Portsmouth) and as far away as Crystal Palace were using South Norwood as their tourist venue. There were a couple of seasoned tourists as well today, which allowed the perfect opportunity to catch up on where we had been over the last couple of weeks and where we were heading off to in the next coming weeks.

Isaac, our RD for the day, was volunteering as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award. It's good to see young people, who are volunteering for their DofE Awards engaging with parkrun, whilst enabling others to run at the same time. They were helped to give a big thank you to the other volunteers, who also gave up their time to ensure that we were able to run this morning. There were certainly a cheery band of marshals out on the course and around the finish funnel, all supporting by giving encouragement and clapping, Don't forget if you are unable to run, have a race coming up or are just generally a good egg, then volunteering is a great way to give back to the South Norwood parkrun community. Head over to the South Norwood parkrun webpage for details of the next few weeks roster and sign up for a position that suits you- you get to wear a pink hi- vis jacket! -what more incentive do you want?

The trick when working towards your milestones is #DFYB- Don’t Forget Your Barcode they all count towards those milestone tees. That’s the great thing about parkrun isn’t it, that each person has their own individual journey to talk and share about. Just like Niamh Vincent who was completing her 50th today. Well done to you! 7 finishers out of 131 forgot theirs today though, which means no barcode- no result, were you one of them? Especially pertinent though to also remember to hand in your finish token, parkrun needs them for next week as they unfortunately are not a souvenir, medal or indeed your own version of Bingo!

There were a fair few people staying at the finish to cheer in their fellow runners. This easy and relaxed finish, allowed perfect opportunity to catch up on how all of our runs had gone and what we thought of the course.

Thank you again South Norwood parkrun, for getting our weekend off to a great start. Look forward to seeing you all again.

Karen Cole (Havant parkrun).

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