Tooting Common parkrun Weekly Report: Event #150 5 January 2019

“We’re going to need a bigger funnel”

By Richard Stansfield
Photos by Holly Hamilton

Congratulations to all 953 people who ran, jogged and walked three laps of the Tooting Triangle on Saturday, you’re all record breakers! Just a few days ago Jasmine wondered, in the last run report of 2018, whether 2019 would see Tooting’s attendance record of 817 broken. Well it didn’t take long. With the help of 166 first timers at Tooting, 97 of whom were possibly putting New Year resolutions into action and running their first ever parkrun. It meant Tooting was the third biggest parkrun in the UK on Saturday, with only Southampton (1,062) and Bushy Park (1,505) seeing a larger turnout. All of whom were part of parkrun’s highest ever total turnout, over 340,000 participants. So you’re not just record breakers, you’re double record breakers! We hope you all enjoyed it and will come back soon.


It’s amazing to think that it all started less than 15 years ago with just 13 people in Bushy Park, and even five years ago the total turnout at the start of 2014 was 40,000 parkrunners. And it wasn’t just Tooting that broke attendance records on the first Saturday of 2019. Over 70 new attendance records were set around the country. Our near neighbours Clapham Common were almost as busy, with 871 people taking part, making them the sixth busiest in the UK. Still a little way to go before we match the world’s biggest parkrun, North Beach, Durban, South Africa, with a record attendance of 2,527 set in January 2018. They must have a really big funnel.

Of course not all parkruns are that busy. If you want to get away from the crowds then Bickershaw parkrun, near Wigan, had just two participants on Saturday, who were outnumbered by the three volunteers. It may be the smallest parkrun in the country, but then you need an invitation from Her Majesty to be able to take part, as the course is completely within the grounds of a closed prison.


One person who didn’t need to queue to pick up their finish token was Jeff Cunningham of Herne Hill Harriers, who was the first finisher in 17:05. The last time he was first across the line at Tooting was run number 75 back in 2017. The second man in didn’t have his barcode, so will remain anonymous, whilst the third finisher was Luke Pikett in 17:50, who must enjoy starting the year with a few laps of the Tooting Triangle, as he was the first finisher twelve months ago on the first Saturday of 2018.

Jordan Foster of Nene Valley Harriers, completing her 54th parkrun, and her fourth at Tooting, in 18:21, was the first woman to finish. Her time was a new Tooting PB for her, and with an age grading of 80.65% meant she also topped the age grade table ahead of Jeff Cunningham (77.66%) and Stefan Klasener (77.36%). Phoebe Heinrich of Clapham Runners, was the second woman in 21:17, in her first ever parkrun, and third woman was Sophie Wiles of Epsom Oddballs (a running club for all ages, shapes and sizes – now that’s a club I’d fit right in), finishing her 65th parkrun, and her first at Tooting, in 21:42.

Amongst the Juniors, Esme Freeman was the first Junior Woman in 24:50, just three seconds in front of the second Junior Woman, Georgina Waight, who’s well on her way to claiming her 50 milestone shirt in 2019, have already completed 41 parkruns. There were also some amazing Junior PBs. Isobel Burghes was over three and a half minutes faster than her last parkrun back in 2017, with a new PB of 25:10, Mabel McCarthy improved her PB from last November by over four minutes, finishing in 26:40, and Ella Pal set a new Tooting PB of 26:44 on her 110th full parkrun (she’s also done 118 junior parkruns!).


Dylan Sweet was the first Junior Male to finish, once again dipping under 20 minutes, with a time of 19:58, on his 80th parkrun, whilst JM10 Freddie Hake exactly matched his time from before Christmas, with another 21:38, putting him sixth on the overall age gradings with 72.96%. Jacob Dilley improved his PB by over two minutes, finishing in 25:27, as he completed his 10th parkrun. Which means Jacob can now claim his white junior milestone shirt, along with Julian Sakrouge, who also finished his 10th parkrun on Saturday.

There’s also a black 100th parkrun top waiting for Orla McLarnon who reached that milestone on Saturday, and just missed out on a new PB at the same time, running her second fastest ever time at Tooting. Whilst Adam Walker completed his 200th parkrun, in a new Tooting PB of 18:36. Just 50 to go for his 250 milestone top.

If round numbers are your thing (and they are mine), then it was good to see some parkrunners breaking through 20, 25 and 30 minutes for the first time. Thomas Costin, who completed his first Tooting parkrun back in October in 26:11 and has gone on to set a new PB every time he’s run since, this time knocking another 72 seconds off his previous best, breaking 20 minutes with a magnificent 19:29. (What’s the secret of your training Thomas?) Neil Sutton broke through 25 minutes, with a new Tooting PB of 24:55 on his 267th parkrun, and Jennifer Denitto went under 30 for the first time with a new PB of 29:49. Amongst 112 PBs, regular Tooting Run Director Laura De Rooy knocked 15 seconds off her previous best from last May with a time of 27:07, and Sheen Montague continued his recent fine form, knocking another 49 seconds of his PB set just before Christmas, with 33:04. Well done, Sheen! And Sophie Cole made it a PB and volunteering double, after knocking almost two minutes off her previous Tooting PB with 31:02 she then helped sort all those 953 tokens in the café afterwards. (I wonder which was quicker.)


A big thank you to Sophie and all of the 37 volunteers who made this event possible:

Lucie CUSTANCE • Joshua PEWTER • Janice HARDMAN • Celia DAWSON • Andrew SIMMS • Mark SHOTTON • Maureen KENNY • Craig BARNEY • Carol MCCALL • Sarah HYMAS • Richard STANSFIELD • Jordan FOSTER • Richard BALLAM • Richard BOGLE • Tom BAKER • Michael MCGETTIGAN • Jo CIELUCH • Cecilia BOGLE • Stuart HAMILTON • Mavis ORBAN • Holly HAMILTON • Sophie COLE • Kat HARDY-KING • Helen GOWER • Nicola WORTON • Simon FULLER • Kim BOYD • Madeleine GASCOIGNE • Gillian DEANE • April MARRETTA LORD • Dana ELFRING • Francesco MARRETTA LORD • Simon GALLACHER • Anna METCALFE • Francis ROSENBERG • Thomas WILLIAMSON • Christina BURMAN

See you next weekend!


Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Tooting Common parkrun Results Page. And photos of the event can be found on the Tooting Common parkrun Flickr site.


Tooting Common parkrun Weekly Report: Event #141 10 November 2018

Walruses, Flyswatters and Double Funnels

By Richard Stansfield
Photos by Alex Geach

It was a dark and stormy night... but happily by Saturday morning the sky had cleared and the sun was out, and 582 came along to squelch, splash and run three laps of the Tooting triangle, and discover why a set of flyswatters had been added to the parkrun kit list.


The overnight rain certainly hadn’t put off the 73 people - one in eight of all the day’s parkrunners - who were first timers at Tooting, and the 28 (almost one in twenty) giving parkrun a go for the first time. It certainly hadn’t deterred the 26 doing their second ever parkrun either.

Amongst the first timers was Reeve FLAVIN, one of three JW10 parkrunners today, along with five JM10s, whilst among the more experienced parkrunners VW75-79 Mavis ORBAN was doing her 81st parkrun, all but one at Tooting, and VM75-79 Michael MORFEY completed his 160th, almost half of them at Tooting. This means they’ve only got a little way to go to match Andrew RICE completing his 278th parkrun on Saturday, on his fourth visit to Tooting, and Sarah VAUGHAN, who obviously runs “Come Rain or Come Shine” to reach 282 parkruns.

Imogen _MG_7708-2

Three people today ran their 50th parkrun, making them eligible for the red parkrun milestone top: Matthew CARTWRIGHT, Jurgita RODRIGUEZ and Stuart COURT, who’s clearly getting into his stride as he also knocked 18 seconds off his PB set only last week. And black 100th parkrun milestone tops can now be claimed by both Sian MANSLEY and Imogen SWALES. Amelia SILVESTER completed her 99th parkrun, whilst Emma HAINSWORTH, who ran Tooting parkrun #1, was back for her 49th parkrun, just one away from claiming her 50th top to go with her 25 volunteering vest. And white junior 10th parkrun tops can now be claimed by Sebastian MARKS and Jack WESLEY, with Jack also knocking another 8 seconds off his PB in the process.

In fact it was a fantastic day for junior parkrunners as no less than ten achieved new course bests. As well as Jack, there were new Tooting PBs for Grace ALLEN, Jacob DILLEY, George GOWLAND, Lottie GOWLAND, Curtis HINES, Jarvis HINES, Micah MONTAGUE, Julian SAKROUGE and Hugo WARD.


And it wasn’t only the junior parkrunners picking up PBs. 103 runners (almost one in six) set new course bests, including the first man home, Hastings AC’s Max THOMAS, who finished one second under 17 minutes, a full minute quicker than his first Tooting parkrun back in July. Max came in almost a minute in front of second man, but first ‘Sexy Walrus’, Edward HUMPHREYS, and third man, Herne Hill Harrier, Matthew CARTWRIGHT. Hastings, Herne Hill and the three members of the Sexy Walrus Tri Club were among the thirty running clubs represented this week, including Nic BAIRD from Warrington Road Runners and Beccy JEPSON from Darwen Dashers, swapping the fells for the flat of Tooting Common.

First woman to finish was the astonishingly consistent Felicity HANNON whose nine Tooting times are all within about thirty seconds of each other. Felicity was almost a minute and a half ahead of second woman Iona MUMBY and third woman Bethan FAULKNER. And Felicity’s time of 19:14 also gave her the leading age grading of the day, with 76.95%, just pipping Helen OLDFIELD, whose 76.44% is her best ever age grading, and Stefan KLASENER, who knocked a massive 89 seconds off his PB to finish with a time of 19:31 and an age grading of 76.17%. However, even Felicity can’t claim as many ‘firsts’ as BAILEY, one of several four-legged parkrunners, who was not only taking part in his first parkrun, and completing his first 5K, but also his first ever run on grass.

_MG_7632 _MG_7533

Amongst the many other PBs, Jo CLOKE can celebrate knocking 59 seconds off her previous parkrun best and breaking 30 minutes for the first time with 29:19, whilst Cathryn NASSE keeps chipping away at her PB, knocking another three seconds off last week’s time to get to 30:11. This time last year her PB was 36:26.

And finally to the mystery of the flyswatters. They weren’t to fend off midges, mosquitoes, moths, or walruses. It was all to do with the new double funnel system, designed to improve circulation and avoid unwanted blockages - much like the congestion charge, compression garments and constipation medication, then. Every 50th parkrunner received a flyswatter, indicating that the runners behind them were to swap to the second funnel, smoothing their passage to the finish tokens. As a wise man said, double the funnels, double the fun.


Last but not least thanks to all the 37 volunteers named below who made this event possible, and to those who also came along after running to help with packing up all those funnels:

Liam O'HARE • Michael John MORFEY • Jaspal DHALLEY • Gareth BRIGGS • Claire WALLS • Roy NASSE • Kieran HOUSER • Charlotte THEEDOM • Andrew THEEDOM • Carol MCCALL • Sergio R • Richard STANSFIELD • Rob MILLARD • Margaret ROGERS • Rob WOODWARD • Alex GEACH • Pritesh RANA • Sarah HILTON • George JACKSON • Diana DOVERO • Rizwan HAFIZ • Nandor ORBAN • Holly HAMILTON • Kat HARDY-KING • David HEPWORTH • Catherine LAW • Jade PULLEN • Howard COAN • Madeleine GASCOIGNE • Isobel BEINT • April MARRETTA LORD • Oli GRIFFITHS • Simon GALLACHER • Rosy ALEXANDER • Anna METCALFE • Francis ROSENBERG • Carrie PEARCE

See you next weekend


Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Tooting Common parkrun Results Page. And photos of the event can be found on the Tooting Common parkrun Flickr site.


Tooting Common parkrun Weekly Report: Event #111 7 April 2018

By Richard Stansfield
Photos by Stuart Leeds

Normally I’d be up early on a Saturday preparing to run with my teenage son, but with the Brighton Marathon coming up and a self-diagnosed case of runner’s knee, I let him lie in this week whilst I listened to the golf on the radio before volunteering at Tooting Common parkrun #111.


Approaching the start it was a relief to see that the deep puddles on the path up from the Lido had gone. Today’s parkrunners wouldn’t be handicapped by any water features, but there was still plenty of mud around to catch out anyone who ended up in the rough. Feeling a bit below par I’d brought along a thermos of tea to keep me warm whilst seeing everyone made it safely through the wood into the funnel, and home to the 19th hole.

With lots of people back from their Easter holidays, 480 came along to walk, jog and run the three lap course. 72 were first timers at Tooting, 37 were running their first ever parkrun, and there were 29 who’d enjoyed their first parkrun so much they’d come back for their second, including Ellie THOMSON and Ellie THOMPSON - sadly not twins.


There were 84 new Personal Bests this week, including the aptly named Jonathan PACE, setting the pace and finishing 111st male in Tooting parkrun #111. There was also a new PB for Radha SHUMOOGAN, who finished 111st overall, whilst Nicole KAY came in 111st female. In fact four of the first five into the funnel set new PBs, though none of them could catch Alex DAVY from Leeds City AC, who led from start to finish. Alex came in 41 seconds ahead of Max HARRISON-TOSATTO from Serpentine RC in second, and third place went to Simon MESSENGER from Herne Hill Harriers. There were also new PBs for the first and third female finishers, Hannah BOWE and Laura ANDERSON, whilst Arabella JAMES came in second on her second parkrun. And Oritselumewo ALATAN set a new PB with a sprint to the line at the end of her second parkrun.


In the age gradings, Arabella JAMES’s 79.97% put her second overall, behind an impressive 84.73% for VM 55-59 Mike BOYLE of Herne Hill Harriers. Finishing 11th in the age gradings, with 71.81% and a new PB was JW10 Isobel PERRY. This was her 10th parkrun as a junior, making her eligible to claim the white parkrun milestone top. Not far behind Isobel in the age gradings with 66.15% was VW75-79 Mavis ORBAN, finishing her 62nd parkrun. There was also a new milestone for Alex GEACH, finishing his 50th parkrun, making him eligible to claim the red parkrun milestone top. And 100 parkrun veteran Rob FOSTER showed a spring in his step to set a new PB on his 106th parkrun.


As part of the run brief today, Liz ALLEN also announced that parkrun's official charity partner Alzheimer's Research UK launched their Running Down Dementia (RDD) campaign at the beginning of this month. They are asking parkrunners to walk/run 100k and raise £100 over the summer. If you're up for taking on this challenge, please take a look at
for more details.


Last but not least thanks to all our 25 volunteers:

Sai-Yee LAM • Simon James LEWIS • Jez ROBERTSON • Gary SALMON • Tanya BASSI • Rebecca AITCHISON • Gareth BRIGGS • Mark SHOTTON • Carol MCCALL • Richard STANSFIELD • Rebecca JACKSON • Tom BAKER • Imogen SWALES • Michael MCGETTIGAN • Sophia HAMILTON • Holly HAMILTON • Catherine DA GRACA • Nicola WORTON • Catherine LAW • Nicola LYTTLE • Alice HORNE • Stuart LEEDS • Phoebe LILL • Howard COAN • Soren FROOME-LEWIS

See you next weekend!


Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Tooting Common parkrun Results Page. And photos of the event can be found on the Tooting Common parkrun Flickr site.

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