Run Report 7th March 2020 by George Sawyer

With parkruns all over the world hosting special celebrations of female participation. Welcome to the International Women’s Day parkrun report. #IWDparkrun

Remember me? I am George Sawyer. I’ve done this job once before when I was park runner of the month in October last year. I am 12 years old and go to St Augustine’s. I am a runner!

Not originally from the sunny Trowbridge I come from Southport in Merseyside, I lived there from 2007 to 2009 then moved to Bath and lived there for half a year before moving in to my current house.

I’ve been running from 15/6/19, inspired by soon to be Bath Half Marathon finisher Dawn Sawyer (my Mum) and my Dad who ran 23:16 today. Over the last 8 months I have run 29 parkruns; Southwick 22 times, Frome 3 times and Kew Woods, Ormskirk, Southport and Chippenham, all once. I have also run one on Christmas Day (Chippenham … likely to be a new Sawyer Family Christmas tradition) and 2 in one day on New Year’s Day (Ormskirk and Southport).

Running has changed my life, I’ve developed more stamina and muscle in my legs, I’ve even got a 5k in under 30 minutes. Yet to be beaten I have completed my fastest parkrun in 29:56 last October.

So far, I’ve volunteered 10 times. I will most definitely be getting my volunteer t-shirt as when the time of me being able to DofE (Duke of Edinburgh Award) I will no doubt join the brilliant parkrun volunteer group for the three-month volunteering part of it. Without our amazing volunteers parkrun would not happen.

Parkrun is such a lovely activity to do, you make great friends, stay healthy and have fun. Today I ran/walked with my friend Peter. Whilst it is called parkRUN, the run in parkrun doesn’t necessarily mean you have to run, you can run, jog and walk at parkrun at whatever pace you move at. Therefore, making it a fun, friendly and fitness activity; the perfect start to your Saturday morning.

As I said earlier, this is my second run report. My Mum has also written a run report about her park bench to parkrun journey. We both think it’s about time my Dad wrote one! Come on Colin Sawyer, what are you waiting for??

As to the parkrun itself, in total 263 people ran, jogged and walked the course today. Well done to the 31 people who got PB's today. Well done and welcome to our 30 First timers!

1st home today was Ben Mees. Ben was first home last time I was the run report writer and again in a new PB (17:49). Whilst our 1st female home was one of our first timers, namely Megan Clement in a fantastic time of 21:12.

Congratulations to Richard Parke for reaching his 300th parkrun milestone today! Many congratulations also to our parkrunner of the month for February, Keith Getheridge.

Today would not be possible without our amazing volunteers who turn out week in week out to ensure the safety of those taking part. Today’s event was made possible by 32 volunteers, namely:

Carrie ALMEIDA • Rosemary BARBER • Alison BREMNER • Dudley BROWN • Jerry CLARK • Amanda ELLIOTT • Debbie ELLIS • Daniel FIEVEZ • Benjamin Edward HAILS • Annalie IBISON • Wendy MARCHANT • Eloise NICE • Gil NOTT • Martin PEARCE • Gill PERRY • Ken PRICE • Sean PRICE • Alan RICHARDSON • Jonathan ROLINSON • Alexander ROSS • Bernadette ROSS • Robert SALES • Colin SAWYER • Dawn SAWYER • George Robert SAWYER • Judy Samantha SCHOLS • Robin-Mark SCHOLS • Kat TAYLOR-LAIRD • Cathy WARNER • Jorja WARNER • Tim YEOMANS

A high five and a massive thumbs up to all our hi-vis heroes today!

Volunteering at parkrun has a bigger impact on health & wellbeing than just running or walking! It may seem a bit intimidating, but honestly volunteering is really fun! All the tasks are pretty straight forward, and full training is given. If you would like to give it a go and volunteer simply email ‎


An amazing story about Run Director, Judy Schols’ Great Grandmother and #IWD

Run Director Judy Schols is really looking forward to welcoming you as run director for the Southwick Country parkrun for the International Womens’ Day on Saturday 7th March, an event that looms large in her family history.

“My Great Grandmother Mary Macarthur campaigned tirelessly for equal pay for women in what were known as the Sweated Industries in the early 1900s”, said Judy. Judy continued, “Mary was a well to do sort with very useful social connections and she utilised them to help the women less fortunate then her for all she was worth.”

From a wealthy family, Mary didn’t need to involve herself but did so with gusto, determined to right the wrong of the women being paid a wage of 5 shillings (25p) instead of the 11 shillings (55p) a man would receive for the same work. 

Women typically did jobs such as sewing, making boxes, wire brushes and chain links, often working from home and in the same rooms as their children and likely working from dawn until after 11pm for a paltry wage.

Mary formed theNational Federation of Women Workers (NFWW) in 1906 and took the women chain makers of Cradley Heath out on strike in 1910. With no wages being paid, a nationwide campaign raised £4000 to help the women while they were not working. After the strike's success a large part of the fund remained and it was decided to commemorate the women's struggle by building an Institute in Cradley Heath. It served as a trade union headquarters, community education and social centre and became a hub for the neighbourhood.

In 1911 because of her success as an organiser at Cradley Heath, Mary was immediately sent for by Ada Salter, a London union activist, when problems were arising for women workers in London. The August of that year was one of the hottest on record and the appalling conditions in some of the factories became unbearable resulting in 14,000 women suddenly walking out on strike from 22 factories. This would later be known as the Bermondsey Uprising. 

Though inspired by Salter it was Macarthur who organised the women strikers, led the negotiations and secured another historic victory for low-paid women. The highlight was a mass rally in Southwark Park where the blistering speech of Macarthur was backed up by Sylvia Pankhurst, Charlotte Despard and George Lansbury.

Mary continued her work with the Women's Trade Union League for her whole life and played an important role in transforming it into the Women's section of the Trade Union Congress. 

Mary Macarthur died of cancer on 1 January 1921 but her fantastic achievements are not forgotten, especially by the people of the Black Country for whom she campaigned so hard. 


A statue was erected at Cradley Heath and a secure medical unit also named after her in 2012. Many streets and facilities in the area have been named after her, along with local landmarks paying more than a nod to the impact she had on an entire movement and community. 


There is no doubt that Mary was a true peoples’ champion and one still fondly thought of to this day.judyjudy1judy2judy 3judy4


Run Report was written by Rachel Kerry, 22nd February 2020

As I arrived at Southwick Parkrun, there was a bustling of people, all ages, families, solo runners, volunteers, gathering, and greeting. Everyone seemed in good spirits. As a visitor to Southwick, I easily felt welcome. What a great start to the weekend. The skies cleared, and there were glimpses of the sun trying to find it’s the way through.

After cheers and whoops for first-timers to Parkrun, first-timers to Southwick Parkrun, milestone achievements, (Chris Bent for running his 100th, Colin Booth and Jackie Hall for running their 150th and Paul Lancaster for running his 250th), and of-course the Hi-Vis heroes that make this happen, we were off!

This parkrun is an almost 3 lap anti-clockwise course, run on a hard trail path, through Southwick County Park. There is a fast downhill stretch to the finish line, encouraging some fun sprint finishes today. There was a fair amount of mud that had accumulated on the paths, so the announcement of the ‘wet start’ made for a less mucky finish. There was only one main large puddle to avoid, or not! On the third time around, many seemed to simply glide through.

A big thank you to the marshals, shouting words of encouragement, egging us on. Such a friendly run, where everyone really does feel welcome.

Parkrun is an all-inclusive and mixed ability event. A shout out to Rosemary Barber and Stuart Macgregor our age-grade winners. Also, Alex Hammond and Polly Pennicott our Junior winners. Another shout out for our furthest traveller (parkrun tourist!), Dan Kate Stolworthy from Huddersfield.

The biggest shout out goes to all 308 of you, for completing the course, joining in and making parkrun what it is.

Open to everyone.

Safe and easy to take part.

Free, forever.


The Calm Before The Storm: by Michelle Pearson

As the weekend approached storm Dennis seemed to be mentioned every time I turned on the TV or radio, warnings of biblical storms and requests to tie down our trampolines. This was taken very seriously in the South West parkrun community and with run after run cancelled options for my Saturday morning fix became more and more limited.
Friday evening was spent studying various weather apps and the conclusion was to travel east and try to outrun Dennis. A quick cross reference with runs on the ‘to do’ list and up popped Southwick Country Park, I had run here a couple of years ago but not very quickly, so a PB was a good possibility. My companions were looking for a ‘south’ for their running challenges and whilst it looked like we would get wet, we should complete before Dennis could do his worst.
We set out from Bristol at 07:30, storm chasers in reverse, keeping a close eye on Facebook all the way, half expecting to see a last minute cancellation. We needn’t have worried, the team at Southwick proved more than a match for Dennis and preparations for the run were in full flow as we parked up. As we walked across to the toilets at the café and slithered back for the first timers brief I was slightly concerned we had made a mistake but this proved to be the only grass we encountered.
At the brief we were asked where runners had travelled from, unsurprisingly in the conditions, Bristol proved to be the farthest and the runner who shouted this was asked if he wanted to wear the tourist T Shirt. I didn’t know there was such a thing, why hadn’t I shouted up first, I came from Bristol, I would have loved to wear the tourist T Shirt, tourism is my thing……ah well maybe next time.
At the start the run director walked us through the final safety announcements and at this point the weather was dry and really quite pleasant, would it last, could we outrun Dennis?
As we set off it was quite congested and whilst wet under foot in places, the paths were firm. We had been warned not to wander off the paths and a quick glance down explained why with standing water and boggy grass on either side. It was not too difficult to puddle dodge and I soon became lulled into a false sense of security that my feet would stay dry throughout, rookie mistake. After the next bend I was met with a particularly spectacular lake to get through…OK maybe lake is a slight exaggeration, it was however deep enough to come over the top of my shoes and ensure damp feet from then on.
The marshal just past the ‘lake’ quickly took my mind off the damp however as he encouraged us onward against a background of music playing from his ghetto blaster. This was at least something to look forward to as we had to traverse the ‘lake’ twice more on the run. It was also a nice touch to see the volunteers at the finish funnel on the first lap, standing arms outstretched, taking jackets from runners and placing them on a tarp for collection at the end.
Despite the threat of a downpour it was a great event, well organised and friendly. Thank you to all the volunteers standing around in puddles or mud and not seeming to mind one bit. In the end the weather held for the run but as a volunteer you never know, you just put your name down and hope for the best. I salute you all.
Afterward we headed off to the café, nice atmosphere, friendly staff and amazing cakes. As we left the warmth of the café the heavens opened and we got drenched on the short walk back to the car. Dennis got the last laugh after all.


#IWD International Women’s Day – 7th March 2020

parkrun celebrate on Saturday 7 March 2020, the day before International Women’s Day.

In England, #IWDparkrun will be supported by This Girl Can, a campaign created by our partner Sport England.

Keep an eye out for our Social Media posts in the lead up to the event - we’d love it if you could share them to help us encourage as many women and girls as possible to join us on the day.

Men welcome too!


Run Report 01/02/2020 by Steve Weston


parkrun number 29 for me today, 28 of which have been at the fantastic Southwick Country Park.
First I must say thank you to everybody for making me parkrunner of the month for January! What a massive surprise this is to me.
I have been coming to Southwick parkrun for just over a year now, after being invited along by Samantha Collinson who was already a regular.
This did fill me with a little feeling of apprehension as I had never run in a ‘group’ type format before. My only experience had been completing an obstacle course ‘race’ (more of a challenge) in 2014. That in itself had been my motivation to get out and run having signed up with friends for a figured had best do a bit to not look silly.

With all that in the past I can say I definitely developed a passion for running and being able to do it at an organised event every week is just amazing. What ever feeling of apprehension I had when I started was quickly put to bed as the team - all of you who run, walk, pace, volunteer, organise and generally support are fantastic. Every week, whatever the weather, people are friendly, welcoming and very supportive.

The run today was every bit the same, we were even blessed with some sunshine! A welcome break from the colder weeks starting the new year. Shorts and t shirt weather for sure
I’m always amazed at the number of ‘First Timers’ who come to Southwick and in sure its the same at other parkruns across the country, its just goes to show that its never too late or too soon to start, Just today I spoke with a father and son team starting their parkrun journey....just brilliant to see.

From the impressive 16 minute runners to the tail walkers and all of us in between, we are all out there pushing to do our best, beating those personal goals or just enjoying being out every Saturday morning running with colleagues and friends. No matter what your level, ones thing for sure, you will always be welcome to join the Southwick parkrun Family.

Todays run was made possible by a team of 24 volunteers, overseen by run director Jeanette Sims.

Todays run had 248 participants, of which 27 were first timers, and 34 recorded new PB’s..massive congratulations to you all

A final thank you from me personally, to all the volunteers who make this event possible every week, without this dedication we would not have the fantastic event that we do.
And for awarding me parkrunner of the month....Thank you.


Run Report: 25th January 2020 by John Clark


This week’s run report is about our Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme volunteers.

The DofE award involves three levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold) and within each level there are four distinct sections, one of which is volunteering to help people, the community or society. For this section they can choose to do their volunteering with our Southwick Parkrun. For Bronze they do 13 or 26 hours of volunteering over three or six months, for Silver its 26 hours over six months and for Gold its 52 hours over 12 months.

Almost 50 DofE participants have chosen to do one or more levels of their volunteering with our Parkrun. That’s a lot of volunteer hours!

At today’s Parkrun we had three DofE volunteers; Benjamin Hails and Gil Nott on barcode scanning and Alexander Ross on timekeeping. Thank you.

photo southwick 2

Today’s DofE volunteers, Gil, Alexander and Benjamin

Benjamin has just started his Bronze.

Alexander has completed his Bronze and is now on his Silver

Gil did six months for his Bronze and is now doing 12 months for his Gold. So for him a total 78 hours volunteering over 18 months. Great.

Thank you to our DofE volunteers

We often struggle to get sufficient volunteers for our parkrun to go ahead so your reliable and regular volunteer support is so important. Your support is really appreciated and you have covered every volunteering role except Run Director.

It is a joy to see the commitment you and your fellow DofE volunteers give to your volunteering. This week’s run report writer is an early (1959 vintage) DofE participant and I can say that you will never forget your DofE experience, the sense of achievement it gives you and most of all the sheer enjoyment.

Today’s parkrun

We had 290 taking part, 32 volunteers, 43 PBs and 39 first timers. That’s all of 177 first timers since New Year’s Day.

So for those first timers new to parkrun: Welcome and hope you enjoy your parkrunning.

Our Top Tourist today was Sarah Offer from Tunbridge Wells, joining us with her Bradford on Avon friend, first timer Susie Kern. Hope you both enjoyed your morning.

I love to see the youngsters enjoy running with their families. What happy enthusiastic sounds you make. Amongst others, today we had seven year old Benjamin, nine year old Felix and nine year old Isobel, all running with their Dads. What a lovely start to a family weekend. Well done Isobel – thought you was wearing your Mum’s 50 milestone shirt but turned out to be you. Must be a few milestone records looming in years to come!

Changes looming!

Well we are about to get new pink volunteer tabards – the old yellow ones will not be thrown away – they are being recycled.

The second change is to the ‘end of run’ barcode scanning. Our DofE volunteer Gil has been a bit of a ‘Barcode Scanner Ambassador’ and over the past few parkruns has been testing a new mobile phone app for barcode scanning. He says the new app is really good and he has not had a single barcode scanning failure or error. It is quick, helps volunteers ensure everything is correct, and is unaffected by sunlight.

So for we runners, providing we keep our barcodes in good condition, no more having to do manual recording and we will have faster scanning, less queuing and for our volunteers less hassle. And the biggest benefit of all? Every week volunteers stay behind to process the results. Manual recording of barcodes and correcting errors takes time to rectify. So the new app means our ‘post run’ volunteers can get off home earlier.

Thank you Gil for doing the testing.

And so back to our DofE volunteers

From we parkrunners to our DofE volunteers past, present and future: You are a great bunch and such a help to us; have fun, enjoy your DofE and thank you for choosing to volunteer with us here at Southwick Parkrun.

John Clark



Run Report 11th Jan 2020 by Sean Price

An amazing welcome awaited White Horse Health Centre when they arrived at Southwick Country park on Saturday.  White Horse Health Centre (WHHC) are the first of, what we hope will be, many GP practices to sign up to "parkrun Practice" an initiative designed to help parkrun and GP surgeries partner up and create greater awareness of how running can benefit the Health and Wellbeing, both physically and mentally, of many people.



Here are the healthcare professionals from WHHC with Run Director for the day, Sean Price.  If you know of a GP practice that maybe interested please get them to email

This week 319 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 40 were first timers and 43 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 29 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 27 awesome volunteers without whom there would be no parkrun:

Sean PRICE • Fiona PRICE • Frank LAMERTON • Martin PEARCE • Catherine GREENLAND • Tony DUNFORD • Judy Samantha SCHOLS • Benjamin HAILS • Paul WARNER • Jorja WARNER • Gil NOTT • Eloise NICE • Cathy WARNER • Eileen FARRELL • Jerry CLARK • Rebecca BRACEY • Jenna LOVELOCK • Jeanette SIMS • George SAWYER • Wendy MARCHANT • Dawn SAWYER • Colin SAWYER • Alexander BUNNEY • James HILL • Amanda ELLIOTT • Alexander ROSS • Bernadette ROSS

If you would like to volunteer in the near future please email

Full results and a complete event history can be found on the Southwick Country parkrun Results Page.

Southwick Country parkrun started on 3rd September 2011. Since then 11,238 participants have completed 84,615 parkruns covering a total distance of 423,075 km, including 14,452 new Personal Bests. A total of 972 individuals have volunteered 9,650 times.


Run report by Toni Clark – 4th Jan 2020

First and foremost, Happy New Year
I will start off by saying congratulations to my "better half", Jerry Clark, who did his first stint as Run Director.
One of his first jobs was to announce the 100th "Runner of the Month" - massive congratulations to Eloise Nice. Great day for her as she also managed a PB.
There was a total of 318 runners, 47 of whom were first timers (let's hope we see them on a regular basis)
Romping home with a speedy 17.51 was John Reed, and a impressive 33 runners went home happy with a PB.
Milestones celebrated this week were:
Gill Perry doing her 350th parkrun - wow and congratulations, Isabelle Newble - 50th parkrun and our very own Sean Price also celebrated being a volunteer 400 times!

A very hearty thanks as always to all the volunteers who give up their time so that we can partake in parkrun safely.

The weather was very generous to us and it seemed very weird to see people stripping off and running in T shirts and shorts, especially this time of year.
Luckily the water had dried up quite a bit so the course was not so mucky as I thought it would be so suppose I will have to put my sluggishness down to wine and cheese.
I'm hoping to get my times down this year so if you see me on the course, please give me a shout out, any encouragement gratefully received.


Run Report by Dawn Sawyer – 28th Dec 2019

Formerly known as Saturday, for the last year and a bit in the Sawyer household it has very much  become known as parkrunday. Judy Scholes mentioned one day that the Southwick Country Parkrun was running a 10 week “parkbench to parkrun” programme starting on 20th October 2018. Having Toni and Jerry Clark (amongst others from the parkrun community) gentle guiding us through the 10-week programme ensured that on the 10th week I was able to run my first complete 5k (22nd December 2018). In the lead up to week 10 remember panicking about having to run the whole thing and thinking to myself that I CAN’T do this but I did and the buzz it gave me cannot be measured. It just goes to show that running engages the mind as well as the body and sometimes we need to overcome our fears to be able to move forward. 1

What parkrun has become to mean to me cannot be gaged having spent most of that year traveling up north to visit my now deceased Dad, I would parkrun on a Saturday morning and then jump in the car for 5 hours knowing that I had cleared my head and that I was ready for everything that was going to happen. Due to my parkrunning, Hubby (Colin) started running again and then our Son George started running too so we have very much become a running family with all of us running at least two/three times a week for various times/distances; all returning home chuffed at our achievements’. This year we even ran our 1st ever Christmas Day parkrun at Chippenham, my 49th parkrun, making sure celebrated my 50th at Southwick and before the end of 2019! I am so looking forward to wearing my “50” t-shirt with pride.

2Parkrun is not just for the faster runners at the top of the results page, I gauge how well I am running dependant on when the leader of the pack laps me. If I can get to the finishing funnel before I am caught then I am on for a good run. That said, it doesn’t really matter to me to what place I finish in as I gauge myself against my PB (currently 41.02). My aim for the start of 2020 is to go under 40 minutes as being lapped by Hubby (PB 21.51) is bad enough but as 12-year-old George has now run sub 30 mins (PB 29.56) I really need to up my game! On top of that, my parkbench to parkrun cohort, Michelle Cope, has talked me into entering the 2020 Bath Half Marathon (Sunday 15th March). 11 weeks and counting to race day, Michelle and I have gone from parckbench to parkun to half marathon in a little under 15 months, who knows where this may lead next?

5If you know anyone that you think may benefit from parkrunning please bring them along. The Southwick Country parkrun family is so supportive and encourages everyone to do their best; the “well done” and “you’re doing great” from the volunteers and other runners out on the course are most welcome and really do spur you on to give that little bit more!


  • The Main Event

As to today’s event itself, 1st home today was Christopher ELMER of Basingstoke & Mid Hants Athletic Club in a fabulous time 17:29. Whilst our 1st female home was one of our first timers, namely Victoria BAKER in a fantastic time of 19:17.


This week 226 people ran, jogged and walked the course. Well done to the 30 people who got PB's today. Well done and welcome to our 36 First timers!


Congratulations to Dawn Sawyer and Bridget Casey for running their 50th parkrun and to Carrie Almeida for running her 300th!!


Congratulations must also go to Bob Faller who has run 53 parkruns in a 2019 - WOWZERS!


  • Thank You Marshall

Parkrun is not possible without our plucky band of volunteers who turn out week in week out to ensure the safety of those taking part. Today’s event was made possible by 22 volunteers, namely:


Sean PRICE • Fiona PRICE • Diane HIER • Matthew EVANS • Martin PEARCE • Sarah WAUGH • Tony DUNFORD • James WAUGH • Peter CAMPBELL • Carrie ALMEIDA • Eloise NICE • George HENDERSON • Eileen FARRELL • Francesca BRACEY • Sandra SHARRATT • Jeanette SIMS • Dawn SAWYER • Colin SAWYER • Bernice TAYLOR • Charlotte HILL • Alexander ROSS • Ken BARBER


As always, a MASSIVE thumbs up to all our hi-vis heroes today!



  • How to Volunteer

Volunteering at parkrun has a bigger impact on health & wellbeing than just running or walking! It may seem a bit intimidating, but honestly volunteering is really fun! All the tasks are pretty straight forward, and full training is given.



If you would like to lend a hand and give it a go and volunteer simply email: ‎


  • New Year’s Day

Why not start the New Year with some parkrun fun? There will be a run at 9:00 at Southwick and one at 10:30 at the Bath Skyline parkrun as well as Chippenham parkrun.


Due to the Hope Centre (Southwick country park café) being closed everyone is invited t0 congregate at Frankie & Benny’s in Trowbridge (by The Odeon Cinema) for a well-earned breakfast!


  • Happy New Year

We hope the New Year brings you good health, much happiness, and of course plenty of parkruns!


Dawn Sawyer

Run Report Writer

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