Southsea parkrun #1 – it has arrived!

Hi I'm Alice Hooley and I have been asked by the Southsea team to write today's report.

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It is such a joy to be able to say the first parkrun in Southsea has happened! This is even more special for me, as not only was it my first ever official parkrun, but also I am the wife of one of the people who has invested two years in making this happen. I didn't realise much about parkrun before the concept was idly discussed one evening, but today I have witnessed what an amazing community it is and how it serves so many different people. It is fair to say I had no idea how many people would show up, but 276 surpassed all expectations, not least of all the level of support we received from so many of our parkrun neighbours. I was initially quite overwhelmed! It was the best recognition of the investment made to make this happen.

In terms of conditions, I don't think we could have asked for a more perfect day. A nice light breeze, which helped in the second section (!), sun and best of all no rain! For those who are Great South Run veterans, we all know how awful the rain can be in the final straight of a race.

As I was jogging my way through the crowd, I got chatting to lots of other people, and was welcomed into the parkrun community. Some stark things stood out for me; so many people running for the first time, people running with their children and people who weren't quite ready to run or jog, but resolute to get round the 5km as well. So many of the young runners were already sporting parkrun 50 t-shirts, which is such a personal inspiration. One girl and her Dad had come all the way from Basingstoke and she proudly listed off the many different parkruns she had attended and how she hoped to best her PB of just over 30 minutes. I was hoping for that too, but I will settle for a few minutes over to give myself a challenge for next time.

The atmosphere all the way along the prom was fantastic, with many smiles and congratulatory comments. Our volunteers were brilliant too making sure everything ran smoothly - thank you all.

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There were some exceptional PBs from both the quick and the dedicated, across all age ranges and abilities. See all the results here (when they are published).

I hope this is the start of a strong committed group of runners to Southsea parkrun and I hope to see many of you and new faces next week. Thank you for making today such a great experience. I am certainly in the parkrun posse now :)  and Southsea parkrun has very much arrived.