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


Southsea parkrun #131

Southsea parkrun #131

A beautiful morning greeted the 310 runners today which was a relief after the troubles caused by Storm Katie last week. Most of the stones had been cleared from the promenade by the council for which we are grateful.

This was Southsea stalwart Katherine Newell's 100th parkrun (98 at Southsea) and there was a large round of applause after the run briefing. As she suspected, she had to run with balloons attached to her! Watch out for a couple of other 100th parkruns in the next few weeks.

There were 38 Southsea first-timers today of whom 23 were running their first ever parkrun. I hope you enjoyed it and will be back next week.

First male home was Denmead Strider Julian Manning in an excellent 16:32 over a minute ahead of team-mate Gary Armstrong (17:51). Julian has won all of his 5 runs at Southsea. 3rd was Lordshill Road Runner Danny White (17:55).

1st female runner was Emma Jolley in 19:19, with 2nd was Emma Williams of City of Portsmouth AC missing her PB by an agonising 1 second in 20:26, and 3rd was her team-mate Katie Carew-Robinson in 22:19.

There were 56 PBs today and notable ones for Matthew Smith, after 36 runs at Southsea, Courtenay Bridgeman after 28, Jenny Curwood, after 18, Portsmouth Jogger Davina Glading also after 18 and John Gosling after 16.

The highest age-graded percentages achieved today were 1st Martin John Williams 83.94%, 2nd was Julian Manning 82.56% and 3rd Emma Jolley 77.14%.

The three leaders in the men's points total are still Martin John Williams, David Brookes and Daniel Shawyer.

The three ladies points leaders are Emma Williams, Gemma Brookes and Emma Jolley.

Thank you as always to the great volunteers. We still have a few vacancies for the next few weeks. Next week and the week after it would be really helpful if someone could volunteer as funnel manager or photographer or marshal. Also if someone could write a run report on the 9th that would be much appreciated.


Southsea parkrun #130

This Saturday's parkrun brought dry conditions but a strong south-westerly cross wind that never really helped the 300 runners but hindered seemingly in both directions.

The highlight was Ben Stewart of Itchen Spitfires being presented with L-plates to attach to his shirt as he was getting married later that day at 2:30pm. Congratulations to Ben and now-wife Sharon from Best Man Paul and also Jessie, the Ritchie family and friends and all at Southsea parkrun. Respect is due to Ben for managing to do parkrun on such a busy day for him.

It was also the 50th parkrun for Jo Paige who has run all 50 at Southsea. Also reaching 50 and also all at Southsea were Debbie Sutton and Diane Hall. Benedict Deboo also reached this landmark. Watch out for some Southsea stalwarts reaching 100 in the next few weeks.

1st male was Denmead Striders' Jon Sullivan- welcome back Jon,
2nd was Chelmsford AC's Nathan Brearley who is in the 15-17 age group, and
3rd was Portsmouth Triathltetes' Piotr Meller

1st female was Emma Jolley after her success in the Duathlon last Sunday.
2nd was Katie Carew-Robinson of City of Portsmouth AC, and
3rd was Isabelle Brydon also of City of Portsmouth AC who is in the 11-14 age group. It is good to see Junior parkrunners like Isabelle and Freya Foord coming through and taking on the longer distances.

Best age graded times were:
1st Martin John Williams of City of Portsmouth AC 81.65%. (Martin is also way ahead in the male poimts table follwed by DavId Brookes and Daniel Shawyer).
2nd Reggie Ball of City of Portsmouth AC 79.21%
3rd Emma Jolley 76.09%. Emma is currently 3rd in the female points table behind Emma Williams and Gemma Brookes.

These percentages are of the world records for their ages and sexes so are an interesting way to compare performances.

There were 44 Southsea First-timers and 29 PBs .

Once again thanks to the wonderful volunteers who make the event what is is today. Volunteers are always welcome. Please consider helping out especially if you are out injured or have a race on the next day. Don't forget some of us have a coffee, tea or something to eat in Rocksby's cafe after and all are welcome.


Southsea parkrun #120

This week's run report comes fresh of his 100th parkrun - Great effort Brett

This morning saw much more typical cold weather conditions for January with a lot less wind but some frost on shaded parts of the course. Good PB potential? It also saw my 100th parkrun and 96th at Southsea. It was great to see all the familiar faces down there that I have got to know over the last 2 years or so. I have really met some great people who are now friends in that time. Saturdays would not be complete without parkrun and a tea and bacon sandwich in Rocksby's afterwards. It was much more enjoyable than my first (no. 2) when I pulled a calf muscle just 2 weeks before the Great South Run in 2013. I took today a little easier as I have the Stubbington 10k on Sunday.

344 runners started, the 3rd highest ever. There were 55 Southsea first-timers of whom 34 were running in their first ever parkrun. Let's hope they enjoyed it and will be back.

The first male was Lordshill's Danny White (17:20) who smashed 15 seconds off his PB after 32 Southsea runs. 2nd was City of Portsmouth's Robert Weeks (17:56) and 3rd was Southampton's Robert Dempster (18:06).

The first 3 females were all regulars. First was Emma Jolley (19:25) with Portsmouth's Emma Willams (20:25) 2nd with a new PB after 61 Southsea runs and 3rd was Hayley Newell (21:44).

There were a whopping 95 PBs. Some Southsea stalwarts achieved some great PBs today including Anthony Court after 87 Southsea runs, Harold Price after 78, David Brookes after 61, Warren Barker after 43,  Freddie Marshman 41 and Fran Marshman after 34.

Susie Tebbutt of Baffins Fit Club knocked an amazing 1 minute 8 seconds off her best (2 minutes 43 seconds in the last 2 weeks) and George Collins 66 seconds. It was good to see old work colleague Tim Hill running his fastest since his long injury lay-off too. Hayley Richardson (also Baffins) who has volunteered a massive 38 times beat 30 minutes for the first time at Southsea after 32 runs.

Top age grades were from Martin Williams, Alex Thomas and Emma Jolley.

Special mention to Brian James who first told me about Southsea parkrun  way back in October 2013 who has completed 105 runs and 102 at Southsea, and to Grant, Andy, David, Peter and Paul who set the whole thing up with great determination. Parkrun has helped my running at all other distances.

Thanks as always to the wonderful volunteers who had to stand around in the chilly conditions whilst we enjoyed our run.

Please keep an eye on the website and facebook page as it looks like we will have a change of route for the next 2 weeks, going back to the other side of the pier due to the coastal defences work being done in front of the shelter.

Thanks & see you next week hopefully with no wind!
Brett Rumfitt

Southsea parkrun #105

A grey morning in Southsea but another terrific run. 314 of you lovely people turned up to run today with 45 First timers and a whacking 82 new personal bests.

Great volunteering team today, a good mix of experienced volunteers and first timers. Volunteering really is a great experience, if you haven't tried it I would certainly recommended it - I would say this as a run director(!) but it really does give you a different view of parkrun and our lovely running community in Southsea.

Southsea parkrun stalwart Eric de Greef took the newbies briefing today, thank you for this Eric.

It was good to see a Run Director from Andover running today, it's always great to chat with the team from the different parkrun's and trade stories. We do always seem to get the same comment however "It's very flat here isn't it!", it sure is!

I was sad to see one of our runners pull up today, he was really flying. Fingers crossed that this isn't anything serious and you'll be back running soon. Thank you to all of you who asked about his well being on your way round today.

I've rambled on enough, enjoy your weekends all, until next week!



Southsea parkrun #93 – Bognor Cake Club on Tour

run report from parkrun tourist Anita Watkins visiting us from Bognor


Saturday Morning Bognor Cake Club on Tour

Parkrunday on 25 July, as promised yesterday’s gloom has lifted and it is a bright sunny day.  I’m off on an early train for a spot of parkrun tourism to Southsea.  Unlike many other visitors to the area today I’m not in town for the Americas Cup.  Today is Victory Morris’s day of dance and the side I dance with, Sompting Village Morris, are always loathe to turn down an invitation from Victory.

Over the years I’ve got used to stepping out in morris kit complete with bells and ribbons, and I almost forget it may strike some as being a bit odd.  Since I was converted from being a committed non-runner to a parkrun enthusiast a bit over a year ago I’ve even got comfortable in lycra and hi-viz tops. But I have to admit it felt a bit weird wearing my tatty coat (rag jacket) over my running gear.

I arrived at Portsmouth and Southsea station in good time, and remembering from last year that it’s a bit of a trek to the toilets from your start line, I stayed on the 23 bus to the Canoe Lake and then walked the short distance back to the start point.

Volunteers and runners were starting to gather by now and I chatted to a few people as we warmed up, stretched and generally milled about waiting for the pre run briefing.  I have to say what a friendly bunch of people you have at Southsea.

Before too long today’s run director called us to order and gave us a warm welcome and clear instructions.  Though ‘go that way, run 2.5 km, go round the cone and come back’ sounded a lot easier than it always proves to be.

I’d sort of hoped that Sir Ben Ainslie would put in an appearance to cheer us on our way, but I’m guessing he was a bit busy on the day – maybe another time!  We set off to the beeping of various Garmins, TomToms and mobile phone apps with me in my comfort zone towards the back of the pack.  I found my pace eventually and settled in to enjoy the sunshine and the views over the Solent.  I spent some of my early years in Southsea and as I passed the Canoe Lake I remembered going there on Sunday mornings with my Mum and Dad to watch the remote control boats (do they still do that?).  Next landmark was the world famous statue of the Royal Marine yomping by the Royal Marines Museum (Eastney Barracks in my day).

I was really pleased to reach the turnaround point in a good deal less than half of my best parkrun time.  Even allowing for the second 2.5 km being slower I was harbouring hopes of a 5 km PB.  On the run back I enjoyed watching the open water swimmers, as well as the comings and goings of all the vessels on the Solent.  From not far after the yomping Royal Marine I was tantalised by the smell of bacon, surely it couldn’t be from the café all this way away!  Eventually I spotted the culprit, a couple cooking breakfast at the back of their camper van – how cruel can you be?

Coming up to South Parade Pier, which I hope is being restored to its former glory, the head wind seemed to suddenly get much stronger.  Perhaps that was just because I no longer had the smell of frying bacon pulling me on.  I had been told that this parkrun would be good practice for the long last mile or so of the Great South Run, and I can see why.  Despite my ‘flying start’ my hopes for a 5 km PB were evaporating by this time, I’ll have to come back when it isn’t good sailing weather!

To lots of encouragement from the marshals at the finish funnel I crossed the line, picked up my finish token and went to seek out the barcode scanners.  My finish token wouldn’t scan so I headed off to see the manual recorder.  A lovely efficient operation.

I didn’t have too long to hang around and socialise after the run, but I couldn’t resist a post parkrun cuppa and a bacon buttie (what else?).  Then a quick change into morris kit and off to Guildhall Square for the start of a day of singing and dancing courtesy of Victory Morris.  All in all a brilliant day, what summers are made for.

Some stats for Southsea parkrun number 93:-

Number of finishers     241

First timers    43

First male finisher   Neil Riley     17:01

First female finisher    Emma Jolley   19:42

40 PB’s  (Yippee!! I was over 5 mins quicker than last year, but couldn’t match my Bognor Regis record)

As I’m writing this on a very wet dismal Sunday after a glorious parkrunday and a wet dismal Friday I remember what I was told several times yesterday, “It never rains on Victory Morris!”.  Maybe you should check their diary before you book your next barbecue!

Thanks for making me so welcome at Southsea parkrun, and a special thanks to all your volunteers who make parkrun happen every week.  If you haven’t volunteered yet give it a try, it’s as much fun as running in its own way.

Anita Watkins

Bognor Regis parkrun


Thanks Anita, that's brilliant!
Our volunteer roster is very sparse for the next few week's  - can anyone help out?


Southsea parkrun #79 – Sunny Speaker’s Corner

This week's run report was written by this week's tail runner Dawn Aytoun - Thanks Dawn


What a glorious day for a parkrun, especially along the seafront on our original course, as it was meant to be.

After a few months hiatus from parkrun due to bad health I was overjoyed to be back, and as tailrunner no less. I strongly believe this is the position where the most magic happens, as you see everything along the way.

Today that included the 283 runners, with dogs, kids and buggies in tow; the familiar faces of the people who run every weekend the 36 first timers who you can see have become as addicted as the rest of you, and the runners that make you swell with pride through the progress they have made in reducing their time (66 PBs!!!)/being able to run further or just by being pleased they made it.

As tailrunner, it was wonderful to see the support that Southsea parkrun embodies. A group of women (pictured below) who clearly champion each other every single week to push for better, and achieve everything their bodies can while developing friendship over gossip from the week.

Today we were also able to whoop 'Happy Birthday' to a lucky runner with a parkrun on his special day!

However, the privilege really is to see the smiles of every single runner. To come and run in a social, supportive community, on a sunny day with the unusual occurrence of the wind behind you on the home stretch and the sea glistening along side you, really is the best way to start a weekend.

I guess it does help to have the small motivation of a giggle over breakfast with your fellow runners at the cafe that sits conveniently at the finish line.



Southsea parkrun # 78 – Returning Home!

This week's run report comes from frequent volunteer Molly McMaster - Thanks Molly! 


Run Report 

This mornings weather brought the baptism of the return to the original start of Southsea parkrun. With 195 people huddled under the shelter of Speakers Corner, sheltering from the classic English weather, everyone was set for the return to the single-turn-around course (not forgetting not having to run all the way to Eastney!)

Southsea parkrun brought 41 new PBs and 22 first timers, marking a great return to Speakers Corner. The conditions looked to bring help to some on the first leg with a lovely push from the wind, but it returned for a battle on the turn around point.  To those 41 people who managed to win the battle and come home with a PB a very well done to you!


As always, a massive THANK YOU to the volunteers who make southsea parkrun as special as it is, we could not do it without you! Lets hope the new/old course brings many more PBs and hopefully some better summer weather!




Volunteer Plea!
Our volunteer roster is a little empty for the coming weeks - we'd appreciate any help!



March prize! 
Massive Congratulations to A THREADINGHAM who wins Southsea parkrun March for a remarkably consistent month; 4 runs out of 4, including 3 pb's and an astonishing 5mins 14 sec improvement - well done!


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