Event #113 – 10th August 2019

Saturday the 10th of August was a very blustery morning at Upton country park, following heavy winds overnight a couple of volunteers did an early morning course check to make sure it was safe to proceed. Fortunately no trees were down so we were good to go. The sun came out and so did 31 volunteers and 331 runners!

This week 331 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 72 were first timers and 36 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 30 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 31 volunteers:

Andy WELLINGTON • Kate RABJOHNS • Jane CHANDLER • Keith MANN • Denise DAY • Rob MURRAY • Kirstin HAY • Lucy HARVEY • Jemma Kathryn BROCK • Kirsty WESTON • Stephen HOGARTH • Barry MILLER • Jemma MURRAY • Andrew LEACH • Anya BRYLEWSKA • Helen RICHARDS • Michael WESTON • Alison HARDY • Philip BENHAM • Rob RIDGWAY • Jan WHARMBY • Matthew REEVES • Francesca BRYLEWSKA • Aileen BARROW • Charlotte WATTON • Roman FRY • Dennis SPENCER • Les BONIFACE • Brooke BENNETTON • Jacob MALLAN • Graham MCMASTER

Upton House parkrun started on 3rd June 2017. Since then 7,083 participants have completed 32,504 parkruns covering a total distance of 162,520 km, including 6,085 new Personal Bests. A total of 614 individuals have volunteered 3,526 times.


Event #111th – 27th July 2019

Thank you to Simon Matthews for this week's run report.

I admit I’d offered to be this week’s Run Report Writer because I thought it would be an easy way to get volunteer credits! My plan had been to just lazily regurgitate some of the data that the Parkrun team collects every week, as everyone loves a stat, right? And so, the first draft of my report read like this:

  • 27 th July 2019 saw the 111 th Parkrun at Upton House. There were 421 runners, 112 of whom were first timers. 38 PBs were achieved. 31 volunteers made the run possible.

But then I thought that readers might be interested in a rather more in-depth analysis of the run, so I analysed away and came up with this:

  • According to event statistics, the average number of runners at Upton House is a very precise 286.6, so this week’s run had 133.4 more runners than normal!

Then I worried that to reduce Parkrun at Upton House to a few statistics and a bit of dodgy analysis would do it a huge injustice. I concluded that if I wanted to capture the event’s charm, I needed to describe the event in more poetic terms. So, I penned this:

  •  Parkrun at Upton House is lovely for its bucolic setting. With the sun glistening on the water of Holes Bay, the views were breathtaking. (Actually, the vista’s effect on my respiration was a bit annoying, as it meant the 5 kilometres of running was made even harder than if I had run a less beautiful course).

It was then that I conceded that some readers would probably be more interested in the results than poetry, so I turned to the official table detailing the position, name, time, age category, age grade,
gender position, club, and total runs of every runner. You can imagine my disappointment therefore, when I saw that the person taking 1 st place was listed simply as ‘Unknown’! Either the ‘winner’ had absentmindedly forgotten their barcode (done that myself), or, humbly, they had not wanted to register their ‘win’. Mind you, if I had come first (never done that myself), I would have sought publicity, not anonymity!

Perhaps, though, that runner understood more than some of us that Parkrun is not a race, it’s a run. Your finishing position is not important (being the slowcoach I am, I would say that, wouldn’t I?!); the most important thing is to enjoy it. And while it didn’t feel much like fun trudging up the final slope to the finish, I enjoyed it at the end when I could stop running!

Upon reflection, I don’t think I have the words to adequately illustrate the friendly spirit of Parkrun at Upton House in my Run Report, but I do think this picture of me, with my son and his friends, comes pretty close.



Event #110 – 20th July 2019

Many thanks to Gary Head for this week's thought provoking run report.

It is an honour to provide the race report for Upton House’s 110th parkrun.  Over two years ago, Event Director Kirsty Weston, reached out to me through my role as Operations Manager at Active Dorset and we were able to source funding to ensure another parkrun was up and running in Dorset. At Active Dorset, our role is to increase levels of physical activity and parkrun is one of the most innovative ways our industry has ever seen to entice people of all abilities to get active. It is great to see the numbers growing thanks to the hard work of volunteers.

This week, I was one of 321 people who took on the picturesque Upton House course, with 43 first timers and 43 people recording new Personal Bests. Congratulations to Pawel Klimkowski who celebrated his 100th run this weekend. 24 volunteers, including Kirsty, made this possible, so thank you to everyone who gave their time to help others enjoy their Saturday morning.


It isn’t just the physical benefits that parkrun offers that makes it so successful. The Dame Kelly Holmes ‘Our Lives’ documentary that featured on the BBC this week (link), explored the rise of parkrun and the mental health benefits of running. And I’ve recently embarked on a personal running challenge where I have tried to raise awareness of mental health issues.

On 11 May 2019, I started running the full 1,013km (630 miles) of South West Coast Path in memory of a friend, John Paul Childs, who took his own life last year. For weeks, I took on the gruelling clifftops running from Minehead, through North Somerset, North Devon, Cornwall, before entering back into Devon and finally coming ‘home’ to Dorset. On 22nd June, I ran the final leg from Lulworth to Studland beach, exhausted but very proud of what I had achieved.



After six weeks of running at least a half-marathon of hills and tough terrain (I ran two marathons on the last couple of days), I had taken more than 1.1 million steps, burned 75,000 calories, and physically ran for a grand total of more than 4 days and 11 hours. Most importantly, I have raised more than £7,000 for mental health charities in Dorset, Devon and Cornwall.

The South West Coast Path is challenging in many ways. I've run up and down hills, climbing over rocks, fallen over, been cut and bruised, faced with thunder and lightning, biblical proportions of rain and days where the sun zaps all my energy. But the most difficult part of all, was running past where John took his life. John made a brave decision to take his life at Berry Head, a huge cliff face in Brixham, Devon and it has left my friends and his family devastated. The challenge was more than physically draining, it was emotionally too.

We do not speak about suicide or suicidal thoughts enough. John was one of 5,000+ UK suicides in 2018. Suicide accounts for 1 in 100 deaths in the UK. It affects 3 times more men, kills more young people than cancer and more middle-aged people than accidents. It's the leading cause of death for both men under 50 & for new mothers. This is an extremely serious problem that we do not talk about, whether it is concern about contemplating suicide or the after affects when someone has made a decision to end their life.

In the face of adversity comes hope. Since leaving Minehead on 11th May and returning to Poole on 22nd June, I have had, and am still having, numerous conversations with friends, family and completely unexpected conversations with complete strangers who have all been affected by mental health and in many cases, suicide. I didn't anticipate this, but I believe my challenge is helping many of people who have lost loved ones to suicide to focus on moving forward. I've had conversations with people who have spoken about their loss of loved ones this year, last year and even from 40 years ago - and some are opening up for the first time.

You can look back at my progress and check out videos of my run on FacebookTwitter or Instagram, or donate direct via my funding page, which will remain open until 31st July. All funds raised will be split between three mental health charities in the South West, the local Minds in Devon, Cornwall and Dorset.



Event #109 – 13th July 2019

This week's report was penned by Andy Wellington

It was another great day for a Parkrun at Upton House. Event number 109 was warm and pleasant but not as hot as some have been previously which I for one was grateful for. We had 310 parkrunners taking part today including some first timers and visitors from Gloucester, Twickenham, Tring and Lee-on-the-Solent.



I hope you all had a good morning with us. Having missed a couple of weeks, it felt good to be back. Parkrun tourism is a fantastic thing but there is no place like home.

We were reminded of the Upton House social event which takes place on 20th July. It will be in the garden area between 6.30pm and 9pm. Remember to bring your picnic. 

Screenshot 2019-07-15 at 08.12.10
Thank you and we'll done to all our volunteers too. I am a regular volunteer and frequently feature at the finish line with a stopwatch but today I ran the event for only the second time this year. It's been hard not running as often as I would like but volunteering really helps me feel better and it is nice to still be involved when running isn't possible.

Screenshot 2019-06-04 at 11.25.54

I know timekeeping can be a role that scares people and it scared me too but once you try it, you realise it isn't actually difficult or scary. Don't be afraid to try it some time.

I'm looking forward to event 110 already.


Todays event was made possible by 28 volunteers:

Andy WELLINGTON • Keith MANN • Denise DAY • Geoff SCOTT • Mark POPE • Lucy HARVEY • Kevin DAY • Rose CLARKE • Elliot CLARKE • Barry MILLER • John MORRIS • Helen RICHARDS • Philip BENHAM • Tom COLEMAN • Elanor CADZOW • Alex BARRETT • Scott WINTHROP • Aileen BARROW • Janette WITHERS • Neil WELLINGTON • Grace MORRISON • Charlotte WATTON • Elizabeth HUMPHREYS • Brooke BENNETTON • Jacob MALLAN • Jayme BENHAM • Jack YEOMAN • Alex BURROWS

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Upton House parkrun Results Page.

The female record is held by Emily HUTCHINSON who recorded a time of 18:57 on 25th August 2018 (event number 63).
The male record is held by Daniel MULRYAN who recorded a time of 15:45 on 29th December 2018 (event number 81).
The Age Grade course record is held by Caroline HORDER who recorded 92.14% (22:41) on 13th January 2018 (event number 32).

Upton House parkrun started on 3rd June 2017. Since then 6,773 participants have completed 31,074 parkruns covering a total distance of 155,370 km, including 5,916 new Personal Bests. A total of 602 individuals have volunteered 3,408 times.


Event #108 – 6th July 2019

A huge thank you to Matt Brown a regular parkrunner at Upton House for stepping in last minute to write our report this week, and its brilliantly written. Thanks Matt!

We all pack tightly into the start; sun shining through the small gaps in the canopy of trees above our heads.

We wait.

We’re all here for our regular Saturday Parkrun and there is the usual buzz in the air.

We wait.

We wait..

We wait…


Finally we Go!

Hundreds of feet kick dust up of the hard parched ground. Hi-viz hero volunteers protect us from running face first into two prominent trees, or is it the other way round.

 The field starts to stretch as the cool woods give way to the heat and space of the open fields. We are a kilometre in and the harbour comes into view. People walking their dogs kindly wait for this multi coloured sweating horde to pass. More hi-viz hero volunteers encourage us as we pass. They are our guardians and essential.

 A little hand from a little child hangs in the air and he encourages us up the hill. His expression says he doesn’t know why we are doing this. I’m sure he’s not the only one thinking that today as the heat from this perfect British summer morning rapidly begins to rise.

 Into the second loop and the heat starts taking its toll. A few people start to walk, but they are quickly running again as they refuse to be defeated.

 A hand drawn sign, suspended 4ft off the ground, lets us know we’re half way. We can do this!

 High Five Corner becomes Water Spray Corner for the day as its only resident provides a little cooling respite. Simple but effective.

 Onto the second loop and the pace is slowing. Never liked that hill, but we’re soon back up to a good pace. Got to keep pushing. Runners are encouraged ‘Only 1200m to go’ or ‘It’s all downhill’ Both are lies, but when they finish, it won’t matter and the falsehood will be quickly forgotten.

Out into the heat and bright sunshine for the final time. Groundskeepers with their big green tractors mow the grass putting Clarityn and Benadryl to the maximum test. Do they only cut the grass on Saturday mornings?

Final stretch. Legs protesting. Much faster runners have finished and are running back past the field. How do they do it?

Through the gate, happy faces, clapping hands, finish line in sight.

 10 meters

 5 meters

We’ve done it.

 Parkrun – I wouldn’t want to spend my Saturday morning any other way.

 This week 352 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 65 were first timers and 42 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 34 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 26 volunteers:

Tail walkers - Jan , Elizabeth & Charlie

Tail walkers - Jan , Elizabeth & Charlie

Hugh GURNEY • Keith MANN • Denise DAY • Jenny CAMPBELL TRAYFORD • Kevin DAY • Rose CLARKE • Kate HUGHES • Andrew LEACH • Anya BRYLEWSKA • Helen RICHARDS • Michael WESTON • Julia HOWLETT • Troy BENNETTON • Graham FORD • Geoffrey WALDER • Alex BARRETT • Dylan TOWNLEY • Aileen BARROW • Nigel REDMAN • Neil WELLINGTON • Charlotte WATTON • Elizabeth HUMPHREYS • Roman FRY • Jacob MALLAN • Jack YEOMAN • Mary MELLOR

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Upton House parkrun Results Page.

The female record is held by Emily HUTCHINSON who recorded a time of 18:57 on 25th August 2018 (event number 63).
The male record is held by Daniel MULRYAN who recorded a time of 15:45 on 29th December 2018 (event number 81).
The Age Grade course record is held by Caroline HORDER who recorded 92.14% (22:41) on 13th January 2018 (event number 32).

Upton House parkrun started on 3rd June 2017. Since then 6,734 participants have completed 30,764 parkruns covering a total distance of 153,820 km, including 5,876 new Personal Bests. A total of 600 individuals have volunteered 3,380 times.

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