Southsea parkrun #242 – a tourist’s perspective

Sun and a Seafront full of parkrunners - a view from a visitor. Southsea parkrun #242, 5th May 2018, Run Report by Peter Chiverton. I was travelling from home in Basingstoke for a day trip to visit my parents on the Isle of Wight, to celebrate Dad's 91st birthday. I could have decided to run Medina parkrun (it was at Appley, Ryde this weekend so was easy to get to from the ferry), but I have run Medina more times than any other parkrun other than my home run and I fancied something different. But I do like Appley's sea front course so thought immediately of Southsea. My plan was to get the train to Fratton and then walk/ run to the start of Southsea's course on the far south of Portsea Island, do the parkrun and then catch the 10am hovercraft to Ryde. Easy I thought. My only worry was that the last time I ran along the piece of coastline where the parkrun is, was during the Great South Run of 2013. If you remember this, it was the event hit by extremely high winds. The first eight miles of the GSR (not coastal) were protected by buildings and the run was calm and straightforward. The last two miles after turning onto the seafront, I remember feeling like running through treacle as the gales were hard to penetrate. I was hoping very much that the parkrun would not present a repeat this on this my second run along this coast. And it wasn't. Walking from home to Basingstoke station was a little concerning as there was quite thick mist. IMG_9072But as I headed south this gradually cleared and we had a lovely sunny day. The train down to Fratton went as planned and I walked through the town to appear suddenly at a gorgeous seafront sparkling in the sunshine. I met up with today's Run Director, IMG_9080 spoke to a couple of other parkrun tourists visiting from Bracknell parkrun, IMG_9076and also to a couple of volunteers, who were so excited to be part of making today's parkrun happen. IMG_9078 All I spoke to made me feel very welcome. There was going to be no repeat of my 2013 experience as there was hardly a breath of wind. And the lovely weather (plus dare I suggest the excitement of the recent London Marathon) had brought out the crowds, waiting at the start. IMG_9083Suddenly we were off, and the sight of so many runners running, jogging and walking with buggies, dogs, and friends and family was so impressive, as we eased around others using the sea front path. IMG_9089 The friendly marshals cheered us all the way, especially the marshal at the far end of the course who made sure we didn't just keep on running to the end of Portsea Island. IMG_9101So what happened in today's run? A new attendance record happened 497 parkrunners completed the course today, beating the previous record of 483 only set on 21st April this year. IMG_9086 There were twenty-eight people running their first ever parkrun today. We hope you enjoyed your run along the seafront and that you'll be back to join us very soon. Twenty-three of us were first time visitors to Southsea having run parkruns elsewhere. Once again we really hope you'll come back and visit again very soon. I mentioned visitors from Bracknell and myself from Basingstoke, but there were other first time visitors from Banstead Woods, Lee-on-the-Solent and Southampton. IMG_9103There were sixty-nine PBs set today. Obviously the warm weather helped a lot of you to speed your way along the course today. Milestones: Well done to Timothy Pilkie-Rogers who reached his 10th run so will be able to order a white milestone T-shirt (only for juniors I'm afraid (adults who have reached ten runs will need to press on to fifty!). Congratulations to Craig Winter, Matthew Littlejohn and George Summerskill who each completed their 50th run, now being entitled to a red milestone shirt. IMG_9091 Hi vis heroes: well done and THANK YOU to the volunteers who made your parkrun happen today. Step forward and take a bow Dan BAILEY, Alice BIRD, David BRINDLEY, Nick CHARLTON, Peter CHIVERTON, Tracey DEAN, Kathryn HAMMOND, Ian HAYWARD, Tim HILL, Peter John HOOLEY, Cath LONGHURST, Cristian LOPEZ, Ben NASH, Debbie PENTLAND, Claire TOVEY, Mark TOWELLS. We always need volunteers each week to make the event happen so please consider joining the hi-vis crowd by checking the future volunteer roster at and email with the role(s) you'd like to do maybe a new one tha you haven't done before, full training will be given and none of the roles are very hard. And if you've never volunteered or it's been a while since you have, please think about being one of those who make your parkrun happen. Thank-you-to-volunteersWe hope to see lots of you back next week to enjoy the next Southsea parkrun! Thatsallfolks