Southsea parkrun Cancelled 29th June

Hello Southsea & Visitors,

A quick reminder that Southsea parkrun is cancelled this weekend for safety reasons as the Southsea Regatta is on.

We recommend one of the many other courses in the area - you may even try one with hills! GASP!

See you next week!


parkrun report 18th May 2019.

parkrun report 18th May 2019.

Another Saturday morning and once again runners from far and wide gather at Speakers Corner,

Southsea to get their weekly fix of parkrun. An eclectic mix if ever I saw one.
This week the local press are here and photos both posed and natural are taken for publishing in next weeks The News, so watch out, the camera never lies!

On a personal note for me, this week run will be more of a shuffle than anything else as I am still nursing a calf injury, hence the rather fetching compression socks.
The conditions were close to perfect today and this was proven by an amazing 79 PB’s out of 459 finishers. That really is a fair chunk of the field and it is great to see people making so much progress.

I hope no one minds me picking out Sam Trout who not only ran his 200th parkrun today (you kept that quiet Sam) but also celebrated with a pb.

We also welcome 61 first timers to Southsea. If you were a tourist I hope you enjoyed our seaside course and if it was your very first time at parkrun I hope we will see you again soon. It’s always good to have new runners to Southsea and in keeping with the parkrun ethos to get to know new people and welcome them to the phenomenon that is parkrun.

Thanks once again go to the volunteers (21 this week) who gave up their spare time on a Saturday morning to make this event possible. parkrun’s up and down the country rely on willing volunteers week in week out and are what really makes the parkrun scene such a community event. They assist to make the run safe and enjoyable for all participants so let’s never take them for granted and always be willing to show our gratitude be it a “Thanks marshal” or a high five.

See you all next week. Keep fit and healthy!


Southsea parkrun # 294 – 27/04/2019

My alarm goes off at 6.30 am. Open my eyes leap out of bed (ok ,I don’t leap anywhere these days) and throw open the curtains! Why? Because it’s Saturday…So? That means its Parkrun day!

A quick look around outside shows no sign of overnight damage from storm Hannah and also no sign of rain. So, its breakfast, coffee, running kit on, laces of my trainers tied, grab my all important barcode and head to Speaker’s Corner for this week’s edition of Southsea Parkrun. The short cycle ride down there turns out to be a challenge in itself against a terrific wind.

With an formidable weather forecast of storm Hannah arriving at Southsea late on Friday and running into Saturday morning, bringing with it 40mph winds, is it any wonder that numbers were down by nearly 300 on last week ?

Although Hannah turned out to be a relatively tame storm she still made this week’s Parkrun much harder than of late for the 265 hardy souls who did turn out.
Any attempts at fast times were put on hold for this week but somehow 6 runner’s still managed to bag themselves a PB!

The 2.5 k on the outward journey saw the Westerly wind firmly behind us and created a false sense of security for most of the runners. At the turn we were all in for a bit of a shock as strong gusts slowed everyone down and almost swept some runners off their feet

To our left the Solent looks so dramatic as waves crash on the shore,, boats are tossed around the sea and gulls traverse above our heads.
The finish line has rarely been so welcome and there is a bigger sense of achievement than usual as the runners have beaten some challenging conditions for this week’s run.
Windswept?.... Yes. Tired …Yes. In need of a coffee?.... Yes. Coming back next week?.....You Bet!

Paul Wheeler


Southsea parkrun # 293 – 20/04/2019

Easter Saturday arrives and with it glorious sunshine and temperatures!

Easter at Parkrun Southsea can only mean one thing: The ever chipper Debbie Pentland dressed as an Easter bunny! Nobody quite does fancy dress like Debbie and  today’s effort was no exception. Debbie loves vivid colours and holds a belief that they can help generate energy. Given her obvious energy levels and vivacious character, I’m not going to argue with her.

Anyone who knows Debbie will know she really is inspirational in every sense of the word. Her story of her life, illness and recovery is told in her book Mutiny In My Body which is well worth a read. If you ask her nicely she may lend you a copy.

554 Parkrunner’s turn out for today’s run and at the front of the pack was Adam Barlow running for the Royal Navy who ran 16.36(just 6 second’s short of his pb) pushing a double, yes double buggy with both of his young kids inside! A really amazing piece of running with or without a double buggy.

Was great to see plenty of Parkrun tourism too ; Exeter, Poole, Tipton ,Oxford and a group from Lordshill Runners to name a few. In this weather Southsea is a popular destination for tourist and I’m sure many spend some time here after the event to explore our seaside town.

Christopher Stocks and his team put on a really great Easter Parkrun with so many runners to manage and with unexpected gremlins causing a delay in the results’ Christopher and the team have done sterling work in rectifying the situation and giving up their free time on such a beautiful day to do so. So I’m sure you would all join me in thanking them once again.

Let’s hope for another bright and sunny day for next week’s run.

Happy Easter Parkrunner’s enjoy your well deserved Easter eggs!

Paul Wheeler


Southsea parkrun # 292 – 13/04/2019

268 hours, 7 days or 1 week…call it what you want but at last Parkrun has arrived again!
For me, it’s at least a healthy habit, almost an obsession. I really can’t remember what I used to do on a Saturday morning before I found Parkrun.
It sounds a bit corny but I have met people who I would now consider ‘Parkrun friends’ in that I only ever see them on Saturday morning at Speakers Corner and this Saturday is no exception as I bump into Alan Davidson and Sam Trout for our usual pre run chat (moan) and we harp on about the old days long before Parkrun had started and at the same time celebrating that it does! Between the three of us we have completed over 700 Parkrun’s so the vast majority of which at Southsea. A quick “hi” to other evergreen’s such as Kev Budd, Robert Bilton, Evan Brice and a hug with the ever infectious Debbie Pentland and it’s time to warm up.
At 9am sharp we all head off once more along the seafront in the wonderful April sunshine.
It really is a pleasure to run along the promenade on such wonderful morning, all a million miles from the cold, wet, windy we had to endure during the seemingly endless winter.
I get to the turnaround point in one piece and head back with all intentions of a’ negative split’ and increase the pace. Looking around it seems everyone has the same idea as we stride toward the pier. It’s a strange thing, I don’t want Parkrun to be over for another week but for the purposes of a good time ( I know it’s not the Olympics, Kev Budd) I want to reach the finish as soon as I can!
A spurt at the finish brings yet another Parkrun to an end with only the scanning left to do.
A million thanks to the dedicated team of volunteers who turn out week in week out to put this amazing event on and make the whole Parkrun experience what it is.
See you all in 267.5 hours folks!

Paul Wheeler


Christmas Day Southsea parkrun Run Report

In the three and a half years I've been parkrunning, this is the second time I've joined in with the festivities down at Southsea parkrun on Christmas Day. Today, I'd arranged to go and pick up one of my parkrun buddies, Neil GODDARD, since he'd also been issued a parkrun Christmas Day pass.

Living on the south coast of East Hampshire opens a selection box of parkruns to choose from, even on Christmas Day, with local ones including Chichester (9:00), Fareham (9:00), Lee-on-the-Solent (9:00), Queen Elizabeth (10:00), Southsea (9:00) and Whiteley (9:00). Since I'd only completed the Portsmouth Coastal Waterside Marathon just two days before, Southsea, being flat and fast, seemed by far the better option, plus it was probably the closest of the six events I listed above, so off we went to event number 275 down at the popular seaside resort.

Neil and I arrived there in good time, so chose to have a warm-up on part of the course, spotting many running friends making their way to the start; it was great to see so many familiar faces, most of whom were wearing something festive to celebrate the fact it was Christmas Day. I already knew Steve HOLDER and Suzanne CONNOLLY were going to be there, and the same can be said for fellow running club buddies, Donna SHEPPARD and Robert LANGLEY (more about those two later).

After the usual announcements, Run Director, Grant DAY, asked whether there were any first timers to Southsea... out of the 356 participants, there were 48 who were new to Southsea, of which 12 were taking part in their first ever parkrun, what a fantastic turnout, especially on Christmas Day. We also saw three people celebrating their 50 milestone runs today, Aimee CHAMBERS, Sam MIDGLEY and Lisa CROSS, along with Spencer HAGEDORN who was celebrating his 100th parkrun, so a huge well done to each and every one of you. Massive thanks to each and every volunteer too for giving up such valuable time on Christmas Day so that all of us could have some fun on Christmas Day.

For those of you who have been regular readers of my run reports, you'll know that it's now time to share some interesting facts about where today's parkrun is held. If there are chasers of the various parkrun Google Chrome challenges, Southsea is great for your Compass challenge, however, had it been held here before the 19th century, it may well have been called Croxton Town parkrun, since that was the name of the Southsea area prior to it being developed as a fashionable Victorian seaside resort, so it would have been a great one for the Pirates challenge back then... the name Southsea actually originates from Southsea Castle.

Southsea parkrun follows the Esplanade in an easterly direction from Speakers Corner and passes several tourist attractions and landmarks along the 2.5km stretch before you head back in the opposite direction to where the course started. The first landmark is South Parade Pier, which first opened on the 26th July 1879 and its history has been incredibly eventful ever since then... several fires, for one, and it was also partly dismantled during the Second World War in an attempt to hinder any invasion. In 1974, it famously caught fire during the shooting of the film 'Tommy' and the pier also appeared in an episode of Mr Bean, entitled, 'Mind the baby, Mr Bean'.

After South Parade Pier, the course then passes Canoe Lake, an open space containing Canoe Lake and the Rose Gardens. The Rose Gardens are found within the remains of Lumps Fort, which were once part of Portsmouth's defences, the lake on the other hand was constructed from a remnant of the Great Morass, a large area of marshland, the majority of which was drained during the early 19th Century and opened as Canoe Lake on the 17th June 1886. There are lots of other very interesting facts about the route Southsea parkrun takes, however, this is a run report, not a history lesson!

First male over the line was Neil KEVERN in a very impressive 16:58, while first female finisher was Jennifer MILLETT in an equally impressive 19:40. There were 31 finishers today who recorded PBs, one of which was my mate Neil GODDARD, who I'd travelled down here with, well done to you and everyone else.
Other notable finish times, just because they're aesthetically pleasing, were Jonathan RACHWAL in 19:19, Naouele MCHUGH 21:12, Ian NICHOLSON 24:42, James RODLIFF 25:25, Georgina LEECH 25:52, Clare WELCH 29:29, Dave GILLARD 31:13, Vanessa WARREN-WEST 41:41, Jen HURLEY DUGDALE 48:48 and finally Kate WILBY in 52:52.

Think that's it, apart from one incredible piece of news... fellow running mate, Robert LANGLEY must have had a bit of a tumble once he'd finished his parkrun today, for he ended up on one knee and proposed to his long-term girlfriend, Donna SHEPPARD... I'm delighted to announce that she said, "Yes!" Congratulations to you both!


Southsea parkrun #273

Southsea parkrun #273 15/12/18

Well, what a day to do parkrun, it was absolutely pouring with rain and the wind was whipping it into everyone's faces. You couldn't even see the Isle of Wight for the mist. On turning up at the start line, we still found a cheery band of volunteers, who were massing and being briefed as to their duties which lifted our spirits as they do each parkrun morning.

Kev, our RD for the day gave a big thank you to the volunteers who gave up their time to ensure that we were able to run this morning. There were certainly a cheery band of Marshalls out on the extremely well marked out course, all supporting by giving encouragement and clapping. Don't forget if you are unable to run, have a race coming up or are just generally a good egg, then volunteering is a great way to give back to the parkrun community. Head over to the Southsea parkrun webpage for details of the next few weeks roster and sign up for a position that suits you- you get to wear a hi- vis jacket! -what more incentive do you want?

There were lots of milestones this morning, George and Daniel were celebrating their 100 and Dan his 200th. He was very brave (and red with cold!) at the start line as he was wearing a blond wig and a very short wedding dress, which he had tried to attach to himself with Sellotape


Christmas Day & New Years’ Day Southsea parkruns


A quick note to let you all know Southsea parkrun will be going ahead for Christmas Day and New Year Day parkrun's both at our usual times of 9.00am!

We can't wait to share some festive cheer with you lovely people!


NO PARKRUN 21st July 2018

Just a wee note to remind all that there is no parkrun on the 21st July 2018 as our course options are limited due to the regatta and the Thai festival. Take a break and enjoy all that Southsea has to offer.  If you can't cope without a parkrun fix don't forget there is Havant, Lakeside, Lee-on-Solent and so many more in our local area.

Southsea parkrun team ;-)

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