Tooting Common parkrun Weekly Report: Event #224 – 15 October 2021

My day started with an alarm going off at 5:45.

Not my usual waking-up time on a Saturday, but to do all the things I wanted to in the day it was a necessity.

I had agreed that I would join my wife and son near Sheffield in the evening before a birthday meal for my father-in-law tomorrow lunchtime because I was going to Watford to see them play against Liverpool today (let’s not mention the result…).

So, as is usual when I go to a lunchtime match, I looked for a south London parkrun to do before the game rather than my home location of Basingstoke. Having done a number of these already, I plumped for Tooting Common as it was a new location for me.

Looking at train times earlier this week it soon dawned that there were rail replacement buses from Basingstoke all weekend - hence a 6:23am bus rather than a 7:30am train, and the very early wake-up!

Anyway, the journey went smoothly and I arrived at Tooting Common via Waterloo and Balham (not Clapham Junction and Balham as there were more rail replacement buses) at around 8:30. I found the start area and started to chat to Run Director Rob Woodward. At this point I should point out that I am the Event Director at Basingstoke parkrun, which at present gets similar numbers to Tooting Common, so when I visit other events it is always good to compare notes. Rob told me a bit about the history of Tooting and the course, as well as introducing me to Event Director Ken, who told me more.
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Then is was time for a short warm-up before the first-timer briefing from Cindy and then the main briefing from Rob - who was very conscious of time after I had mentioned we once started Basingstoke parkrun at 8:59 causing a number of people to be late! Today’s event started at precisely 9, and after a busy section near the start the promise of a fast and flat course was fulfilled, with only short sections that were narrow and nearly everyone doing a good job of staying left as instructed to by the marshals.


After one lap I thought I was on for my fastest ever parkrun time, but I had misjudged where the lap started and at the end I had to settle for my fastest parkrun of 2021, finishing 19th in 19:30.

That was over three minutes behind the first finisher - Nick Bowker in 16:07, , with his 3rd first finish in his 4th Tooting Common parkrun. Second home was Will Cormack in his first ever parkrun, and third finisher was Pip Bennett, who had only been to Tooting Common parkrun five times before.

As I started my second lap, someone on the side of the path said ‘I haven’t seen any women go past yet’. They wouldn’t have had to wait long as not far behind me was first female finisher Rachel Soares, in her 4th parkrun at Tooting Common. Georgina Willis was second female finisher in her 13th parkrun, and Lucy Flitcroft was third female finisher, and also set a new PB of 21:25.

Our highest age-grading today was from Nick Bowker, who achieved 81.80%. For those of you who don’t know what the age grading is, it compares your time to the world record for your age and gender allowing comparisons between the times of any two people. Second highest age-grading was from Matthew Taylor (81.53%) and third highest was from Sarah Ridout (78.14%).

There were nine milestone runners this morning. There’s now a new milestone club for reaching 25 runs - which the quintet of Erica Hambly, Conrad Young, June Mellor Andy Davison and Rebecca Dixon did today - and that earns them the opportunity to buy a purple t-shirt. While the quartet of Craig Duncan, Phil Clark, Hannah Furey and Jess Timmiss did their 50th parkruns, and can get a red t-shirt.

In fact, there was a total of 483 people participating today - and among them, we had 33 people doing their first-ever parkrun. Welcome to you all - hope you enjoyed it and become regular. Also, 48 people (including me) visited Tooting Common parkrun for the first time.

Also a word for our volunteers. There were 33 today, led by Run Director Rob. We owe all of them a huge thank you for ensuring that Tooting Common parkrun can operate.

And so having finished and scanned in, I met a friend from work and we just had time to make our way to Balham for a well-earned and very tasty breakfast before headed off to watch the football.

I certainly liked the course and the friendly welcome this morning and will hope to return to Tooting Common soon. If anyone finds their way to Basingstoke parkrun, I hope you will also find yourself welcome - although the course is certainly not as flat!

Avi Govind

Thanks to the volunteers

We are very grateful to the volunteers who made this event happen: Tom ARMSTRONG, Richard BOGLE, Gareth BRIGGS, Jane BUTLER, Sophie COLE, Alexandra DE MARIA, Laura DE ROOY, Carlos DIAZ, Craig DUNCAN, Rob EMMETT, Max FITZPATRICK, Damian FLEMING, Katherine FRENCH, Simon GALLACHER, Cindy GODWIN, Jeremy HEARD, David HEPWORTH, Sarah HYMAS, Cal JONES, John KAZANTZIS, Joseph LINES, Ciar O'HARE, Liam O'HARE, Mavis ORBAN, Nandor ORBAN, Morgan PHILLIPS, Oscar READ, Max REKHI, Sarah VAUGHAN, Kate WHITAKER, Bethan Wyn WILLIAMS, Ken WILLIS, Rob WOODWARD

Full results and a complete event history can be found on the Tooting Common parkrun Results Page


Tooting Common parkrun Weekly Report: Event #219 – 11 September 2021

Tooting Common parkrun is back and going from strength to strength. The number of runners attending the event has increased over the previous week in all but one (the very rainy one!) of the events since the re-start. Run Director Rob Woodward supplied the encouragement and the runners put in the performances. Conditions were good, not too hot and not too cold, plus the ground was reassuringly firm underfoot. The two shortest times of the day had not been bettered during the previous 38 events.

The first runners choosing to collect a completion token were John Sanderson in a remarkable time of 15 minutes 44 seconds and Martha Reynolds in an equally impressive time of 19 minutes 50 seconds.

The lure of a compulsive Saturday morning fitness fix encouraged 459 runners and some buggies and doggies to take to the course. There were 79 first timers to Clapham Common of whom 31 were running their inaugural parkrun; a creditable 68 personal bests were set (15% of all runners) and 36 running clubs were represented. The inspiring list of running clubs included participants from well-known and highly respected clubs such as Bellahouston Roadrunners, Goodgym, Clapham Runners and Serpentine RC.

Official milestones recorded this week included Ross McClymont and Stephen Darlington who notched up 50 runs apiece plus Christina O’Beirne, Katherine French and Dave Lane who each clocked up 100 runs. Well done to the milestone runners!

A special mention goes to the three participants achieving an age-graded score in excess of 80%; they were John Sanderson, Jack Millar and Matthew Taylor, excellent running - very well done!

A note to touring runners, do please consider volunteering at a touring event. There are plenty of roles that a tourist could easily do in addition to their own run. This is a useful way to advance one’s personal volunteer ratio and helps to sustain the support structure for all events. It is also quite rewarding to be part of the team.

Home runners and tourists alike can sign up by emailing or just ask any of the other volunteers on a Saturday morning. It’s a well-known fact that volunteering doubles the quality of your smile on run days!

Lastly, well done to all those who took part; runners, amblers, volunteers, cheerleaders, future parkrunners in prams and especially the organisers.

Harold John Duckworth

Thanks to the volunteers
We are very grateful to the 32 volunteers who made this event happen:


Full results and a complete event history can be found on the Tooting Common parkrun Results Page


Tooting Common parkrun restarting…hopefully 31 July

The good news we've all been waiting for... we have permission to restart. I'd like to thank Wandsworth, Enable and parkrun HQ for all the brilliant work they have done behind the scenes to get us here.

If we get enough volunteers we will be aiming to have our first Tooting Common parkrun of the year on 31 July. So if you can volunteer that morning please have a look at the roster page and get in touch.

Also a good time to familiarise yourself with parkrun's Covid-19 Code.

We can't wait to see you all again!

Ken Willis (Co-Event Director)


Tooting will NOT be restarting on 24 July

Sadly, we will NOT be restarting Tooting Common parkrun on 24 July. We continue to work closely with our landowner and parkrun HQ to agree a restart date - we are hopeful for a restart date soon.

When we do restart, we’ll need LOTS of lovely volunteers, so please opt in to receive the latest updates by email - here's details

There are lots of other parkrun events that are restarting - both local and further afield. If you are heading somewhere else, I am sure they would appreciate extra volunteers (details of how will be on their event websites). If you are staying local, I'm sure our neighbours will appreciate if our regulars spread themselves around (north, south, east west), rather than all heading in the same direction.

I hope to see you at another event this Saturday, and look forward to welcoming you back at Tooting soon.

Ken Willis (Co-Event Director)


Unlikely Tooting restarting on 24 July

We are working closely with our landowner but are still waiting on landowner permission before the Tooting Common event can restart, so it's unlikely we'll be able to return on 24 July. We are preparing so we can be ready to go if and when we hear. Fingers crossed for a start date soon...

When we do restart, we’ll need LOTS of lovely volunteers, so please opt in to receive the latest updates by email - here's details

While we wait, you could helpfully download/update the parkrun Virtual Volunteer app - the old stopwatches and scanners have gone and results processing is going to be so much easier. We're very likely to need more volunteers to help scanning when we restart, so having the app ready on your phone is always useful.

Disappointing news for now, but we are hopeful for a restart date soon. Watch this space, or check us out on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Ken Willis (Co-Event Director)

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