New Year, Old you? RR#347

The start of a new year is seen a fresh start for many; a chance to put the past behind us and embrace a shiny new dawn where we promise we will eat better, drink less (dry January anyone?) and get fitter. A staggering 563 people did just that to kick off 2019 as Tilgate hosted the first opportunity for many to do the coveted new year ‘double’ as New Years Day is the only day of the year where parkrunners are given the opportunity to run 5k twice in one day! There were some amazing achievements as, not only did we have a large number of athletes taking part, we also had 42 wonderful volunteers - many of whom gave up the chance to double up by volunteering for us before moving onto other parkruns in the area. We also had 92 first timers to Tilgate and 82 people began the new year by scoring themselves brand spanking new PBs.

Jacob Cann from Horsham Blue Star Harriers was first finisher with a new PB of 17:19, and then, incidentally, went on to become first finisher at Horsham parkrun with 17:30 – great consistent running there Jacob, well done. Our second finisher was Ben Short (17:35) and third was Thomas James (17:30). Our first lady finisher was Kate Drew of Taunton AC in 18:53, followed by Caroline Wood (20:35) and Kat Owens (20:37).

As I was contemplating my stint as Run Director, I was thinking about the run report and how, traditionally, new year is an opportunity for many for reflection and the inevitable ‘new year, new me’ mantras. However, I thought I would talk about how for many, myself included, a new year is an opportunity to get the ‘old me’ back. In 2018, research was published by Staffordshire University which claimed that parkrun was found to have a positive effect on mental health, not just for athletes but for volunteers too. This research led to the establishment of over 500 ‘parkrun practices’ which are GP surgeries who ‘prescribe’ parkrun to those with mental health issues to complement or even replace traditional, medicinal treatment routes. As a person who has suffered with mental health issues, I can personally rate the virtues of parkrun and the effect it has had on me over the almost 5 years I have been attending. I have found enjoyment through running, fulfilment through volunteering and a sense of having an extended family who will be there if I need them. Nobody is claiming that parkrun alone is a magical ‘cure’ for depression or anxiety, but it’s certainly a great foundation towards improved mood and outlook. I know I am not alone in our parkrun community to have suffered injury, poor health and loss of a loved one in recent times, but whatever challenge has come our way, parkrun has been the one constant. Knowing that I would be among 400+ friends every Saturday morning at 9am got me out of bed on days when I could happily have stayed under my duvet troughing Maltesers by the kilo.

Recently however, after a difficult period of mental health, I took a hiatus from parkrun and did indeed spend most Saturday mornings under my duvet (sadly without the Maltesers!). The more weeks I missed, the more anxious I became about returning but, what kept me going was messages from my parkrun ‘family’. In my mind I knew that returning to Tilgate and back on my exercise journey would be the first step to getting the ‘old me’ back. The fact that all athletes are welcome from runners to walkers meant that I didn’t have to stress about getting anywhere near the PB I set back in 2015, but the ‘broken’ part of me had built my return up into such a big deal, I was terrified. Then another parkrunner suggested that I come back as a volunteer alongside her which was the best advice ever and my small volunteering stint gave me the confidence to come back. I have since (slowly!) walked my first parkrun in over 6 months and then, today, returned to my favourite role of Run Director. I won’t lie, I didn’t sleep the night before and I was shaking like a leaf, especially when I realised how many athletes were in front of me, but the buzz I got afterwards from all the achievements, high fives and thank you’s I received has lifted me right back up. My feelings of achievement, connection and inclusion exactly match the findings of the University boffins’ research!

It’s natural to praise the athletes who work hard to achieve milestones and achieve their PBs and rightly so, however I think those for whom getting out of bed and mixing with people is a challenge also need to be congratulated. I know that others, like myself, have lost their way with health and fitness but parkrun and the support of the community can be enough to get us back on track. So, for all those with a ‘new year, new me’ outlook for 2019, I salute you and may you be successful in all your endeavours. For those like me who have been a little lost, I hope that you navigate your way back on course and that you join me at Tilgate this year whether it’s as a parkrunner or a volunteer – especially as I have now laid my intentions out in public and don’t want to be on my own! You don’t have to be crazy to be a parkrunner – but in the cold of winter it certainly helps!

Normal parkrun resumes this Saturday 5 January for a 9am start by the boathouse. I hope to see lots of you there and #DFYB!



2018 a parkrun year in numbers

Today is New Year's eve and what better time to reflect on another fabulous year of parkrunning


Events - 52 - 2x cancellations (1x weather & 1x Race4Life)

Runs completed - 26,120 - 8 shy of last year's 26,128

Runners attended - 4,477

Highest run attendance - 665 our 300th run on 3rd February

Lowest run attendance -298 in heavy rain on 1st December

PB's earned - 1,540

Newbies starting their parkrun journey - 897

Volunteers engaged - 449

There have been some stand out performances in the year

New course record - James Westlake 15:13 14 Apr-18

Most volunteered - Mike Brice 52, Len Golding 50, Nigel Field 49

Most Runs - Mike Brice 52, Colin Scott 51, Denise Franklin 50

Most PB's - James Woodman 15, Stephanie Hill 13, Carol Brown 13

Most 1st Finishes Male - Ian Black 5, James Westlake 4, David Bull 4

Most 1st Finished Female - Susan Mcdonald 14, Nicole Airey 11, Kat Owens, Julie Briggs, Katrina Cheeseman 3

I'll finish off with a few graphs that show that parkrunning is certainly for everyone, we've had runners from U10 to over 80, with 45-49 year olds being our most runningest group we have also had 64 people attend to just volunteer.
2018 stats
Whatever your plans are for 2019, we hope that Tilgate parkrun will be a part of it.  See you all again soon - we start the year all over again tomorrow.




Christmas 2018 at Tilgate parkrun

We are pleased to confirm that once again we will be holding additional parkruns on

Christmas Day (25-12-18) starting at 9am from the Boathouse

New Years Day (01-01-18) starting at 9 am from the Boathouse

These are the only non Saturday days we are permitted to operate and New Year's Day is the only day that you can record 2x parkruns on the same day.

So on New Year's day, if you're in the mood for a parkrun double or if 9am is just a bit too early after the night before, we are pleased to announce that our friends at Horsham parkrun are operating their parkrun starting between 1015 & 1030am.

If you are planning trips away in the UK for Christmas to see family, friends or just to get away from it all and are on the lookout for a spot of parkrun tourism, see the link below which will be updated as events confirm whether they will  be running on these extra days.

For clarity, we will be holding our Christmas themed parkrun on Saturday 22nd December, mulled wine, mince pies and of course fancy dress and we will parkrun as normal on Saturday 29 December and 4th January.

Happy Christmas parkrunning

Tilgate parkrun team



It was a soggy start to Christmas Day at Tilgate parkrun, with a pretty strong wind, making some of the trees creak ominously around the finish area.  As I arrived at the park I noticed that the lovely Mike Brice had been up with the larks and set up the finish area and put out all the signs ready for the influx of runners.  The weather seemed to have put people off as by 8.30am there were still very few people waiting to start but then, as the rain stopped, the runners arrived.  I had estimated that we would attract between 200 and 250 athletes but was blown away by 377 hardy souls turning out to get their Christmas Day off to an endorphin-fuelled start.  First finisher for the boys was Jonathan Crickmore in 16:02, followed by Adrian Haines (18:26) and Thomas James (18:34).  First finisher for the ladies was Amelia Brown in 21:49, followed closely by junior April Hanslow (21:57) and then Victoria Williams (22:19).  27 parkrunners even managed a shiny new Christmas pb!

We also had some people reaching milestones on the day.   Kieran Lewer ran his 50th parkrun, Fiona Montgomery ran her 200thRichard Daniells and Adrian Feasby both completed their 250th runs – both suitably attired in obligatory celebration balloons for the occasion.  Carole Mills and Ken Tulley both completed their 50th volunteer weeks.  I would like to congratulate all those who reached milestones and those who came to parkrun for the first time.  I would also like to thank on behalf of all the runners, the volunteers who kindly forfeited a lazy breakfast in their pyjamas to brave the cold and wind so that we could put on our marvellous event.

The run passed without incident which is fabulous and meant myself and my volunteers could go home and continue with the festivities.  I hope each and every one of you had a very merry Christmas.

Our programme this week (subject to weather) will be

Saturday 30th December – normal parkrun 9am start

Monday 1st January 2018 – the ONLY day of the year you can notch up two runs!

9am – Horsham parkrun

10.30am – Tilgate parkrun

I look forward to seeing you all over the festive period but PLEASE don’t forget your barcode!



Cold and dogs…. Run report #290

It was a lovely bright morning but by gosh it was cold, after dragging myself out of bed and putting on 5 layers to brace the cold, I ventured out as RD once again.

The -6 wind chill didn’t seem too bad, thankfully I think that they got that a bit wrong on the weather report.  But with the weather so cold there was a bit of a rush to ensure that the icy patches were marshalled and the runners were informed.  The briefing and the run went off without a hitch and James Westlake came home once again in 1st position. Only 2 seconds outside the previous course record of 15:33 and he said he was injured,  closely followed by David Bull with 18:02 and Daniel Allum 18:24. 

Happy birthday to Claire Page who managed 2nd place this week with an impressive time of 22.18 who was just behind the first female position of Alina Cheeseman with a great finish of 22.01. Congratulations to you both. 

It’s amazing that we have now completed 290 Tilgate Park runs. I remember running the 1st ever parkrun and I never imagined that we would be as strong and as numerous as we are today.  Thank you to everyone who has made this a possibility. 

Congratulations to everyone who braved the weather this Saturday, and well done for all who managed their first time or a course personal best.   Well done to Ingrid Hollan-Ellidge who has been nominated as parkrunner of the month. 

We had an Injury this week, thankfully the gentleman involved was ok just a grazed knee and elbow.  This was due to a non-parkrunner`s dog, running in front of him.  Please be careful whilst running parkrun, there are many hazards especially when the weather is so cold and the paths are slippery.

Our Future Christmas program - subject to weather

23rd December Christmas Theme - Fancy dress, mince pies & mulled wine - Nick is selling Santa hats & suits.  All proceeds go to St Catherine's Hospice.

25th December extra parkrun - please bring food tins for Open House.

30th December parkrun as normal.

1st January - New Year’s Day, extra parkrun (10:30 am) start at Tilgate with the Option for double run with Horsham at a 9am start.

Don’t forget the Turners Hill Boxing day run / walk, the distance is 4 miles and the cost is only £5.

I hope to see you all there…



Christmas 2017 parkrunning at Tilgate parkrun

We are pleased to confirm that once again we will be holding additional parkruns on

Christmas Day (25-12-17) starting at 9am from the Boathouse

New Years Day (01-01-18) starting at 10:30 am from the Boathouse

For those without hangovers or in need of a hangover cure, there will be an opportunity for a double parkrun on New Years Day with Horsham stating at 9am.

If you are planning trips away in the UK for Christmas and are on the lookout for a spot of parkrun tourism, see the link below which will be updated as events confirm whether they will  be running on these extra days.

We will be holding our Christmas themed event on Saturday 23rd December, mulled wine, mince pies and of course fancy dress and we will parkrun as normal on Saturday 30 December.

Happy parkrunning

Tilgate parkrun team



Christmas & New Year running at Tilgate parkrun

Hi all

Just to let you know our plans for Christmas and New Year

Sat 20 Dec parkrun is on - Christmas theme, cakes, fancy dress, mulled wine & mince pies

Thu 25 Dec No parkrun

Sat 27 Dec parkrun as normal

Thu 01 Jan Extra parkrun will count towards T-shirt count 10am start

Sat 03 Jan parkrun as normal

Happy parkrunning


New Year’s Day run

Start the year off fine with a run at Tilgate parkrun.

We will be holding an additional Tilgate parkrun on 1st January 2014 with a start time of 9:30am (to allow for a little lie in). This will be a normal parkrun event with timers, signs, marshals etc and will count towards your T-shirt count, so begin the year running off those seasonal excesses with a 5k run around your favourite parkrun route. ps don't forget your barcode.

If you'd like to help volunteer for this extra event, please email in to

For more information of this event and our other upcoming events see our facebook page

Dates for upcoming events

Sat 21st December - Christmas themed run, Fancy dress & Cakes

Thur 26th December - Freedom run (run for the fun of it, not an official parkrun event)

Sat 28th December - Tilgate parkrun as normal

Wed 1st January - New Year's Day run (9:30am start)

Sat 4th January - Tilgate parkrun as normal

Thur 16th January - Quiz night at Redz bar (Crawley Town FC 7pm start)


Anyone looking to run on Christmas Day, Banstead Woods have confirmed that they will be running 10am start. For details of all parkrun events on Christmas Day and New Years Day see this link


Hope you enjoy our seasonal program of events

Tilgate parkrun - Every Saturday - 9am Start by the lake - Run! Volunteer! Support! Enjoy!

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