Hell hath no fury like a woman in PURPLE! Yaaaaaaaaaas, GALS!

Hell hath no fury like a woman in PURPLE! Yaaaaaaaaaas, GALS!
Hayley Murray

It was a typical Saturday morning at Southport Parkrun. Runners from all walks of life were descending onto Hesketh Park in their usual way, meeting with friends, stretching out their limbs and wondering whether or not they might get a new PB. But there was something in the air that made today’s gathering feel that little bit more special.

Today’s Parkrun was dedicated to International Women’s Day. Women were gathering in their masses, fiercely and proudly strutting their stuff into the park – you could almost feel the breeze from the sass of their hair flicks! The colour of purple was strong, showing how many people (women AND men) were there to represent and celebrate such an important day. What was wonderful about today was that there were so many newbies! Women who had never ran a Parkrun before using IWD as the best excuse to make that first step to giving their first Parkrun a go! You go, sister!

Briefing was led by the beautiful Zana who gave us a brief history on IWD and why it was so important. International Women’s Day takes place on 8th March and is a way of celebrating the fight for equal rights for women. It’s about encouragement, empowerment, equality and visibility and how women deserve all of these things and more. If we weren’t already feeling pumped before Zana‘s briefing to smash out a fabulous 5k, then that definitely helped!

Off we all went to the starting line. Stravas were being set and we all were ready to go! The crowd started moving, all together in one large huddle, until we reached a wider part of the course where everyone usually starts to disperse. Our fantastic volunteers were dotted in their usual spots around the course; some were shouting “Happy International Women’s Day” as you ran past, one was playing some absolute female bangers like Whitney Houston’s ‘I’m Every Woman’ on her portable speaker and others were dishing out the high fives and huge amounts of encouragement that power us around the course. I’m biased, but our volunteers are EPIC. Thanks guys, thank you so much!

As I’m heading around the course, I was checking out the effort that was made by runners to wear a bit of purple and it was astounding. There were the purple Parkrun tshirts, purple headbands, purple lipsticks and even purple tights teamed up with a purple tutu! I only wished I had thought of that to be honest! It genuinely made me so proud and smug that I get to don my running shoes each Saturday and attend the Parkrun held at Hesketh Park. Such a marvellous community of people who all share one huge passion. I love it!

Finally, it came to that hill. Urgh, that hill. It never gets easier, but the feeling of achievement getting up it you cannot beat. The end was in sight, just 50 yards to go down the hill to reach the finish line. I got to the finish line, collected my chip and had my barcode scanned. All done! No, I think not…one of my girl’s was yet to cross the line, so a bunch of us gals who had already finished went back to the top of the hill to meet her and support her finishing the last little bit. Crossing the line altogether was amazing. We are a team and there is no better day to cross the line altogether than International Women’s Day. Once we’d caught our breaths back and chatted about how fierce we are for getting it done, we chomped down on one of the delicious cupcakes that were so kindly made for all runners by the Southport Strollers. You guys can definitely do that more often if you like! Yummy!
I think it’s safe to say that Southport Parkrun smashed it today for International Women’s Day. I, for one, felt encouraged, empowered, equal and visible and that was down to the amazing volunteers and wonderful other runners that I like to call my team mates. Parkrun is for EVERYONE and Southport Parkrun makes that absolutely known.

In the words of the great Beyoncé, WHO RUN THE WORLD? GIRLS!


A Soggy Sojourn Along the A59 to Splendid Southport

A Soggy Sojourn Along the A59 to Splendid Southport - 29/02/2020 Event #201
Ben Smithers

As Saturday morning dawned (at around 3.30am for me) I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the previous days wind had died down. So it was I resolved to head out into the darkness to make my way to (arguably) my favourite parkrun at Hesketh Park. The fact that this would be the only time it would be possible run a parkrun on the 29th February until 2048 was not lost on me so I knew I did not want to dawdle and risk missing this unique day in the history of parkrun so far.

So it was I passed over my home run at Preston and headed up to the high street to begin to make my way to Southport. The road from Preston took me past a number of lovely villages which were well known to me having grown up in Penwortham (Howick Cross/ Hutton/ Longton/ Much Hoole and the many others. Unfortunately it had been a good while since I had last made this journey and so as I passed San Marco’s near Tarleton I thought I was nearly there. Alas this was not the case and there were still another 8 miles to go (I was actually only halfway and starting to need a toilet stop.)

So it was I trudged on and after passing through Crossens and fining a locked public toilet I eventually arrived into Southport and after another couple of miles was at the park I had been aiming toward for the last 3 hours. On my arrival it was a simple matter to find our Run Director for the day who just as welcoming as I knew they would be here at this absolutely fantastic parkrun.

After a brief chat and forewarning that today probably wouldn’t be a PB kind of day (mostly due to a combination of wind and water) I heard Paul was calling over all the first timers ready to be briefed on the course. For those who haven’t been, Southport can be a little bit confusing. The course is essentially two and a half laps round a beautiful park but it can be rather easy to miss the final turn off toward the finish line although this is something I had managed to avoid doing on my first four tries at Southport parkrun. In total we had 24 people completing their first ever parkrun with us on Saturday so allow me to say on behalf of everyone involved, WELCOME TO THE PARKRUN FAMILY and WELL DONE for taking the first step on your parkrun journey!

As well as myself we also had a wealth of tourists with us from far and wide. The furthest I head of was someone from Glasgow (another tourism recommendation just fyi.) I hope all of the 18 other people who had made their first trip to Hesketh Park loved this amazing event as much as I do!

After all the first timers had heard about the course we moved on to the main brief. Firstly we had a number of people who had completed milestones this week. First up were three of our runners joining the 50 club. John Ashurst, Diana Wright and Mary Brown all completed their 50th parkrun's this week. CONGRATULATIONS! It seems that all good things come in threes as we also had another three people completing their 100th parkrun's. Those people were Scott James, Helen Pritchard and Peter Stokes. MASSIVE KUDOS TO YOU GUYS! As a special mention Clint Oliver completed his 150th parkrun this week which while not an official milestone I believe is still worthy of recognition. WELL DONE to you sir!

Then of course we had to thank all of our wonderful hi-viz heroes. Volunteers are what makes parkrun happen week in and week out from setting up the course to scanning barcodes. From tailwalking to ensure that no-one finishes last to writing run reports (shameless self promotion there) every contribution to parkrun is invaluable. The people below deserve all our thanks and the round of applause they received on Saturday morning. So THANK YOU VERY MUCH TO:
Adrian SHANDLEY • Barry RIMMER • Ben SMITHERS • Bob FAIRHURST • Caroline KESSLER • Daisy WELLS • David MARSH • Eileen KNOWLES • Glenys HURST-ROBSON • Helen HIBLE • Helen LODGE • Helen LYTH • James TAYLOR • Jan MARSH • Jane BLACKLIN • John HARRILD • Jon SINGLETON • Juliette WELLS • Leo TOBIN • Malcolm TEALE • Martin CARR • Paul HILL • Robert SCOTT-NORTON • Sarah YOUNG • Simon TOBIN • Tricia TABRON • Zana LADIPO

With the usual congratulations and thanks given and received we made our way over to the start line and before long were heading out onto the course. Starting out along the perimeter of the park we soon turned on toward the main feature. The lake. This twisty turny section is certain to make sure you’re awake on a Saturday morning negotiating both the tight turns and our fellow runners. We soon passed one of the most energetic marshalls I have seen in a while with a full on music station set up to give everyone a boost (THANK YOU, I NEEDED IT AFTER THE 17 MILES TO JOIN YOU.) Soon we were heading over to the greenhouse on the lake and turning off back to the perimeter of the park.

From here we then carried on to complete the full lap but not before encountering the water feature which park runners have the pleasure of passing through on the more rainy weeks in Merseyside (Jorge had certainly seen to that.) Once again though our awesome marshalls directed everyone though pointing out that the easiest way was straight through. Maybe I was a bit tired but given the immense mental health benefits of parkrun it got me thinking that this was a cracking metaphor for life. If it looks hard, just keep going and you can achieve things!

Not long after we were passing the start line once again and got to go all around this great course another time before heading out onto our third lap. Fortunately our friendly marshalls were directing the running/ jogging/ walking traffic excellently and for the 5th time I managed to turn off at the right point and came over the small rise and down toward the finish line.

Once again I passed through the finish line, grabbed a finish token and got myself scanned ready to await the days results. I normally aim for around 25 minutes but today this was not to happen. BUT times are NOT the point of parkrun. IT IS being out in fantastic spaces like this one with FANTASTIC PEOPLE like YOU GUYS!

Thank you so much to everyone that was involved on Saturday. Once again I have been reminded why Southport is up there with the best parkrun's in the country (top of the list in my opinion.) Even after the event had finished and I had wandered to find a cash machine the Southport strollers and volunteer team in the cafe still had time to make a visitor feel welcome. THANK YOU SO MUCH GUYS! It was an absolute pleasure to be back and you will see me again one day soon.



Southport parkrun hope to smash course record on International Women’s Day

by Zana Ladipo

Southport parkrun is hoping to smash their course record for the number of female participants as part of the celebrations for International Women’s Day on Saturday March 7th. Organisers hope as many girls and women as possible will take part as walkers, joggers, runners, volunteers or spectators and are encouraging participants to wear purple (the colour symbolising women internationally) or to come in fancy dress as an inspirational woman. There will also be tasty snacks, refreshments and music.

Run Director Dr Zana Ladipo said ‘’International Women’s Day (IWD) started in 1909 and seeks gender equality as well as celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political progress and achievements of women worldwide’’. The tradition sees men and women giving their mothers, wives, girlfriends or colleagues, flowers and gifts and in some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day where children give presents to their mothers and grandmothers.

This Girl Can was set up to encourage and support girls and women to take part in physical activities and reach their personal goals, no matter their shape, size, age, background or ability.

parkruns are free, timed 5km (3.1 miles) events for everyone that aim to promote health and wellbeing and reduce social isolation. There are 705 parkruns across the UK and over 2,000 in 22 countries across the globe. In partnership with This Girl Can, parkrun is celebrating IWD by campaigning to break down barriers faced by women and girls. Since its start in June 2016 and 200 parkruns, Southport parkrun has welcomed over 7,500 different runners and walkers who have set over 10,500 personal bests and covered a collective distance of almost 200,000 miles – that’s 8 laps of the whole world!

All participants are should register on the parkrun website http://www.parkrun.org.uk/register and print off their barcode, bring it on Saturday 7th March at 8.50am and meet outside the café in Hesketh Park for a welcome briefing.

For further information – visit the Southport parkrun website: www.parkrun.org.uk/southport

Anyone interested in volunteering should email the organisers at southporthelpers@parkrun.com


Christmas 2019

With Christmas fast approaching time for a quick reminder of our plans for this year!

Christmas Day - 09:00 with Zana, feel free to dress for the occasion and maybe the odd festive treat. The cafe will NOT be open after the run.

Saturday 28th - 09:00 with Sarah. One of our normal weekly parkruns.

New Year's Day - 10:30 with Simon. Start the year with a parkrun, or even 2! There's also a parkrun in Ormskirk at 09:00 if you want to join us in the double.

Saturday 4th - 09:00. I'm sure this will be the start of our busy season as all of those New Year's resolutions see plenty of you joining is for a run.

Remember... Just print out your barcode, join us for the briefing 5 minutes before the start (10 minutes before for the New Runners Welcome briefing), run and then we'll scan your barcode after the run.

No barcode, no result, no exception.

Please, only enter the funnel once, take a barcode whether you want a result or not and return the barcode to us straight away.

But most of all... Enjoy yourself and help everyone around you to enjoy their runs / walks too.

See you soon in Hesketh Park,



26th October 2019, Abbie Brooks

Abbie Brooks with regular Southport parkrun Run Director Simon Tobin

Southport parkrun you shined so bright today despite the constant drizzle! I normally run across the Pennines in York and was really excited to get the opportunity to run here. I’m used to running in all sorts of conditions but those ‘puddles’ were impressive. I generally try to avoid running through them, opting instead for the careful walk around the edge...not today. The wonderful marshals were so encouraging ‘keep that pace’ so I excitedly ran through the middle of every small lake (sorry, puddle) feeling like I was 6 years old again!

I do love a parkrun in a proper park and Southport perfectly fits that description. The first timers briefing and accompanying map was brilliantly done and I am pleased to say I remembered the route and didn’t go wrong. It was such a happy run despite the dreary weather, thank you to the volunteers and well done to all of the walkers and runners.

I’m not a regular tourist but have done a few different runs across the country, usually when visiting family or on holiday. I’m across this way to attend a conference in Liverpool and that’s where I crossed paths with the delightful Simon Tobin. We got to chatting as we have a lot in common, both being GPs who love parkrun. He encouraged me to get the train up to your wonderful parkrun before heading back home and I’m so glad I chose the early merseyrail journey over a lie in. Thanks for the lift, coffee and for printing my barcode Simon.

I hope you have all dried out. The seven day forecast is looking good.

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