Southsea parkrun #244

Southsea Parkrun 244 run report, courtesy of Paul Wheeler:

What a beautiful day for a Royal wedding and indeed a parkrun! A couple of park runners turned up in regal dress in recognition of the big day for Harry and Meghan.

After Kev’s pre- race briefing we trot off east bound for Southsea Parkrun number 244.
For me, as per usual I have a tune fixed in my head which is on repeat. Every week is different song and this week it’s ‘Can You Feel It’ by The Bee Gees which at least has a upbeat pace to it! Where the ‘earworm’ comes from I’m unsure but maybe it’s a tune from my radio alarm.

As we head out in the hazy sunshine, ships horns out at sea sound at regular intervals as a mist creeps across The Solent toward Southsea. At halfway Sam offers masses of enthusiastic encouragement for flagging runners which spurs me on into the second half and into a much needed cooling breeze.

Running ‘home’ is always a great feeling at Southsea and this week is no exception. The pier is usually a landmark to aim for in the distance knowing it’s close to the finish line, but this week it’s barely visible from along the prom, as the mist has shrouded it in its grey cloak.
I run stride for stride alongside a fellow park runner in almost perfect unison, we don’t actually speak, but I can almost feel the park run spirit between us as we gently increase our pace along the seafront. Hardly Chariots of Fire stuff but you get the idea!
We all make it home safe and sound to Speaker Corner and another park run is done. By now the mist has hit land and the temperature dropped accordingly, so much so that, despite a warm start in lovely sunshine, peoples breathe can now be seen as if it were a winter’s day.

447 runners and walkers took part this week with with over 50 pb’s!!.....7 sleep’s until the next one!


Southsea parkrun #243 – Run Report from Paul Wheeler

thank you Paul Wheeler for a fantastic run report!  - GD


Two weeks ago I can remember moaning to myself about the unseasonably low temperature and chilly wind. Last week I was moaning to myself again, this time about the unseasonable heat and, you guessed it, lack of wind to cool me and the fellow parkrunners down. This week everything was just about perfect.

Well over 400 people turned up for the 243rd edition of Southsea parkrun. Speakers Corner was alive with colour and chitter chatter and whilst warming up snippets of conversations could be heard, from in depth discussions about previous park runs and races to comparisons of injuries. Group selfies are taken and banter and giggling is prevalent from a huddles of running clubs such as Portsmouth Triathletes and Baffins Fitclub.

Willing volunteers line the route donning the hi vis and with beaming smiles. This is what makes parkrun so special, a genuine community spirit and camaraderie that makes Saturday morning such a joy. In my opinion there really is nothing not to like about it.

Shouts and cheers from customers at The Coffee Cup, as we head out, are gratefully received as is the sight of the turn- around marshal!

As runners pass each other on the out and back course shouts of encouragement for each other can be heard all along the promenade. ”Well done Pete” ,”Looking good Sue” or “You’ve got this Tim”are prime examples of the support parkrunners have for each other be they young,old,novices or old hands like me!

Somebody asked me once “What is parkrun,is it a race or what?”I replied “its what you want it to be” and it really is just that.

Most runners look spent at the end and join the winding queue, hands on hips , checking watches comparing times sharing their latest parkrun stories .A quick scan, thank the volunteers again and its all over for another week.

Sounds a bit extreme but I really can’t imagine Saturday mornings without parkrun now…..Roll on next week!



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


Weather Warning

We are watching the weather forecast very closely as Storm Brian approaches. The Met Office have issued a yellow warning for strong winds (40mph +) which are due to hit Southsea from 8am Saturday morning.

As it stands, we are currently planning to continue with the run, however if the conditions deteriorate rapidly where we believe there could be a significant risk to our runners and volunteers we may have to cancel at very short notice.

With that in mind, a decision will be made just after 8am Saturday morning following a route inspection as to whether it is safe to continue or not.

Please check our facebook page where any further updates will be posted.



Christmas Day & New Year’s Day parkruns


Southsea parkrun will be running special Christmas Day and New Year's Day parkruns, both starting at our usual 09.00am start time

Hope to see you there


Southsea parkrun #208 – a returning visitor from Lee

A lovely guest run report from Pippa from Lee on Solent parkrun, thank you Pippa

It was clearly a speedy week with 38 people doing their first run in Southsea and an incredible 70 pb's!


Apparently some people can miss a week

Firstly a huge thank you to Southsea parkrun volunteers, particularly those of you on the course who miss your claps and cheer given a couple of minutes before the start Thank you also to Southsea team for letting me swan in, run, scan, get a V point and scamper well before the end. Also a recommendation to Southsea runners to run and write it up - I love reading the news from my home run when I can't be there and the news at different runs that I've been to!
I understand that there are people who can miss a Saturday run. Sometimes this is because of volunteering or work... sometimes families are inconsiderate and plan holidays to non parkrun locations. This parkrun day I'd booked tickets for a John Rutter 'come and sing day' starting at 1000 in Portsmouth Cathedral. The only reasonable solution was to drive over, send the *doesn't get it but has worked out when to be tolerant husband* for sandwiches, run and then do a babywipe and clothes change. It all went mostly to plan!
For those 15 of you who came to Southsea prom for your very first ever parkrun, welcome. It's lovely to see people at the start of a parkrun journey. There may be a few hundred other parkruns to visit if so minded, but always lovely to come *home*. 13 of you came back for your second ever run and of those 13 running for the second time, 12 of you improved on last time. Well done.
Once settled in to regular running, each time you remember and get your barcode scanned successfully, you complete a run. For the 17 and under juniors the first award is 10 runs - well done Harvey.  For everyone the next 'award' is 50 completed runs, then 100, 250 and 500. Congratulations today to Steve O'SHEA for reaching 100, may the tshirt link become live very quickly. That is 500km of parkrunning and a massive 99 of those runs at Southsea.

Results aside, it was a lovely day to run, sunny but not incredibly hot and awesome yarnbombing on benches and bike racks. I'm not sure if there were any cycle path transgressions (don't do it  because it's not worth either injury or the council calling a halt to the run) but after the first few hundred metres there is a lot of space and nothing much to climb. No wind to speak of, just splendid.



Southsea parkrun #182 – Visitors from Lee

This week's fantastic run report comes from visitors Pippa & H from Lee on Solent parkrun - thanks both! 

From one prom to another!

Thank you to Southsea (prom) parkrun for a lovely welcome to two visitors from Lee on the Solent (prom) parkrun. A full roster at Lee meant that we could both be tourists with clear consciences. A quick email in with our barcode numbers so that we could be added to the volunteer roster and we had our roles. Harriet handed out tokens and I offered to write the report.

It's always a little nerve-racking to tour AND volunteer. There is an absolute obligation to be on time and while regular parkrunners know where their run starts and the drill, tourists have to read the website very carefully and be early rather than 'on time'.

Weather: a prom preoccupation. The wind was light, changing to interesting on the way back, dull and overcast, and unexpectedly warm when the wind stopped. It looked good on the way out for a run with a buggy – nice and flat, wider than we are used to, but it was a double workout on the way back with a sail in front. Ambience – great, not much chatting on the way around but enough marshals with a welcome clap and a happy funnel team. Just over 300 runners and it was all over and in the bag within the hour. A different view of the Isle of Wight but the same steely Solent.

Technically Southsea and Lee are only just over 8 miles apart but by road it takes a little longer to drive. We gulped at the cost of parking but wanted to make sure we were parked up safely for prompt arrival. Both parkruns are along the prom but Lee has two turns, some very narrow sections, a few metres of shingle and the small hill where Southsea has a tempting cycle lane to avoid, is really flat, runs past lovely cake and slushy stalls and there's a certain perfume of cooking fat that cuts through the smell of sweaty lycra. Neither have shelter and it was reassuring to see another RD brief where the wind is so key to hearing what's being said.

Bacon and egg sandwich and sausage sandwich for breakfast, a great post parkrun chat and some useful local knowledge to help us carry out the rest of the days' jobs. Both of us now have an 'S' in the unofficial parkrun alphabet challenge though Harriet is attempting hers entirely as a volunteer. We'll be back at some point, thank you for having us.

Pippa and H


An AED related Thank you!

Hello Southsea,

Back in September we launched an appeal to raise funds to install a public access defibrillator.

We were amazed at the community response to this appeal - our totalizer shot up at a remarkable rate!

you even responded in style to our cake sale

within no time at all we were able to purchase and install the AED and it's with great thanks to the following for your donations;

Alasdair McGregor
Alexandra Hipkin
Alice Hooley
Amanda Peart
Amy Hurley Dugdale
Andrew Seek
antony court
Billy Bilton
Brian James
Celia Oxley
Courtney Web Design
Daniel Del Piccolo
Daniel Tooley
David Aldred
David Moore
David Wands
Deborah Harmer
Elliot Webber
Gail Banks
Geoffrey Parsons
Grant Day
Hayley Newell
Ian Hayward
Janice Bell
Jean Riley
Jenny Campbell
Joanne Paige
John Scriven
Jonathan Isherwood
Kam Fan
Katherine Newell

Kevin Budd
Lee Waller
Loisa Hayward
Marion Moffatt
Martin Williams
Menno Groen
Michael Robinson
Michael Taylor
Neil Cater
Peter Hooley
Piotr Kazmierski
Rob and Kate Wilby
Robin Hall
Sarah Kitching
Shaun Poore
shelley cross
steve ayling
Steven Brooks
Steven Phillips
Thomas Worman
toby woodfine
Violeta Gonzalez-Perez

Runr of Southsea
Baffins Fit Club
Portsmouth Triathletes
Portsmouth Joggers

We were then supported in fantastic fashion from Trevor and the great team at TVR Electrical Services who installed the AED, donating their time and materials to allow us to finish the job

which left us with these glorious images..

Thank you so much  to everybody who supported this appeal.


Southsea parkrun #174 Run Report

This week's fantastic run report from Eleanor Newman


21st January - my 50th parkrun - and for the occasion I thought I would run somewhere local but new to me. With the weather forecast clear and bright, a run by the sea fitted the bill perfectly.  Decision made - I was destined for Southsea!

Once I'd parked up the start was easy to locate, clearly signposted by the steady stream of brightly clad park runners walking and running along the sea front towards Speakers Corner.  Over the past few months, Southsea parkrun has successfully raised funds to purchase and donate an automated external defibrillator (or AED) for public access on the Southsea seafront. A fantastic achievement.  This had been installed during the week, and today the occasion was marked with a special announcement followed by a group photograph.  Whilst everyone hopes the AED is never needed, in the event of a cardiac arrest, use of this valuable community resource will substantially improve an individual's chances of survival.  It's great to see parkrun making a such a valuable contribution to the local community.

Photographs completed, the course and safety briefing was delivered, and with a loud chorus of "3-2-1" we "penguin shuffled" over the start line before the field of runners quickly stretched out along the flat promenade and got into their stride.  A flat course known for personal best potential (though not for me today), Southsea parkrun also provides the opportunity to enjoy the impressive views across the Solent.  I was looking forward to this.

I also like a route with landmarks to guide me on my way, and there are plenty here.  The first was South Parade Pier to my right, followed shortly by the boating lake to the left.  The 1km alert on my watch sounded just before the row of pastel coloured beach huts, and we continued eastwards towards the Royal Marine Museum with its famous Yomper sculpture, before reaching the halfway turning point.  A big thank you to the turn point marshals - you were unbelievably cheerful for such a freezing morning!

Turning now, slight breeze behind us, back down the promenade with the seafront to our left, I took the chance to admire the views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight and Gosport - fantastic on this cold bright morning.  Past the Coffee Cup Cafe, South Parade Pier came back into view and before long the finishing funnel was in sight. Done!

An impressive 395 of us finished today, including 61 first timers.  Southsea certainly lived up to its pb potential with an amazing 84 runners securing a new personal best times - well done to you all!  Chris Brobin was first back in 16.53 - the first pb of the day.  Jen Elkins wasn't hanging around either. Not only the first female finisher in 17.44, but a pb and a new female course record too!  And on the topic of milestone events, special congratulations to Paul Ayre who completed his 100th parkrun.

Thank you Southsea parkrun for a warm welcome and to today's volunteers who cheerfully braved the freezing conditions to enable this event to take place.

Southsea parkrun started on 5th October 2013, and since then 7,116 different runners, including participants from 449 athletics clubs, have completed 42,448 runs covering a total distance of 212,240 km, and there have been 8,010 new Personal Bests.



Southsea parkrun AED appeal

Hello Southsea parkrun,

This is an appeal to the Southsea parkrun community to join us in a drive to purchase and donate an automated external defibrillator (AED) for public access on the Southsea seafront.

In the last couple of years there have been a number of cardiac arrests at sporting events (including parkruns), involving some that sadly became fatalities. Evidence shows that with every minute of delay from the onset of sudden cardiac arrest to defibrillation the chances of survival diminish by 10%. After 10 minutes the chances of survival are almost zero.

The chances are we are very unlikely to ever need an AED but we have the opportunity to substantially improve the chances of survival if it were ever to be needed.

This map shows how sparse the public access AEDs are in Southsea:

There are others not shown on this map available from business premises across the city, however not all of these are available out of office hours, and none of those are reachable from the seafront within the effective time

We have engaged with the South Central Ambulance Service to find out what equipment is required and understand the process of purchasing, installing and registering a public access AED. From this we are raising funds for a iPAD Saver AED and a Defib Safe Cabinet, both pictured below. Including installation these will cost approx £1,800


We could purchase a cheaper portable AED purely for the use at parkrun, however we feel that we have the incredible privilege to be able to use such a fantastic location each week and this is something tangible that we could give back to Southsea. The promenade is used 24hrs a day all year round by a great assortment of runners, walkers, swimmer and all sorts - the AED could be vital to someone in need.

How do I donate ?
1. Visit the Southsea parkrun about us page:
2. Click the donations banner which looks like this:

3. Enter the amount of your donation, and enter your address and the other details requested before submitting the form.
4. This will take you to a confirmation screen. Under the summary line, be sure to click to "add a special instruction to the seller"

5. Enter "Southsea AED fund" in the special instruction field to indicate it's a specific donation for our Defibrillator effort. parkrun UK will then exempt donations marked as such from the usual 15% contribution to the new event fund
6. Review the rest of the details, and click 'Donate' at the bottom of the form if you're happy.
7. parkrun UK will process your donations within a week or so, and send you a confirmation. Note that the confirmation email will still refer to the 15% contribution to the new event fund but this will not apply.


If you have any questions please pop us an email at:

We're very keen to involve as much of our community as possible in this fund raising process - if anyone has any suggestions or ideas we would love to hear from you

Grant & the Southsea parkrun team