Upton House parkrun is cancelled on 2021-05-15 – COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Event #143 – 14th March 2020

Many thanks to Rev Claire Carlin for writing the Run Report for this week's event 

It would be difficult if not impossible to write a run report without the mention of Coronavirus, but for us, and I am sure many of you, this morning’s parkrun hopefully was a positive distraction from such matters. For some, it is about a weekly challenge of trying to beat one’s 5k PB and for others parkrun may simply be a weekly escape from the pressure of a hectic pressured everyday life. The impact in such a short period of time has been massive for the whole world - we think particularly for the tragedy of those who have lost loved ones. At times when others are being forced to self-isolate it brings a reminder to us all that parkrun is far more than a simple 5k run, it is a community and another family and often can bring people out of isolation who may find themselves experiencing daily isolation.

The spread of Coronavirus is leading to the cancellation of many big city marathons which can be difficult for many. I was at a Dorchester RIOT awards event yesterday evening with many talking of their disappointment, but understanding of Manchester and London marathons being postponed, only yesterday night with a number signing up for Taunton marathon to find that had also cancelled today. Again there were many at parkrun disappointed at the cancellation of these events, so I particularly want to say a massive well done if you were one of those who still turned up and ran parkrun today at a time I am sure your motivation has been challenged a little.

For my husband and I we have been spending hours preparing for our first half marathon next weekend in Weymouth, only possible through being introduced to running through parkrun. The uncertainty of if this race will now actually take place has caused increased anxiety amongst our training, and we like many others I am sure appreciated the escape at parkrun this morning, both running and volunteering.


Today’s parkrun was a little muddy, however, it was great to see a reduction in the wind and rain we have had in many recent weeks our parkrun has run. Well done to the 380 people who took part in parkrun today running, jogging or walking the course. It really doesn’t matter what one’s pace is, parkrun really is for everyone. I was only discussing this during the week with a biggest loser group I am leading in my role as a personal trainer whom in a couple of weeks’ time will be completing their first parkrun, with many excited but also anxious about running, but this really doesn’t matter regardless of pace parkrun really is for everyone.

Volunteer 3

Well done to the 31 first timers. Hopefully this will be the start of a fantastic journey as you have joined the great community of parkrun. Also a big well done to the 56 people achieving a PB. A particular well done to good friend Adam Brewer who knocked off an impressive 40 seconds off his PB. A big well done to milestone achievers today Dave Wood and Elaine Oddie both achieving the impressive achievement of club 100 Dave Wood. A big well done also to Lizanne Elliott and Jason Hawkings joining club 50 and Katie Townley joining junior Club 10.

Again another big thank you to today’s team of volunteers who made the event possible. Upton like all parkruns is always keen for more volunteers and it does add an additional spark into your weekly parkrun. This maybe one way to develop an increased sense of community at a time when isolation is sadly in society at an all-time high.

Park Run Volunteers Group

The event was made possible by 32 volunteers:

Andy WELLINGTON • Michele WHITEHURST • Keith MANN • Philip WHITEHURST • Mike BARRON • Denise DAY • Sheena KEEP • Kirstin HAY • Claire HARVEY • Lucy HARVEY • Kirsty WESTON • Kevin DAY • Barry MILLER • Kate HUGHES • Helen RICHARDS • Mark STREET • Wendy BRIMICOMBE • Jules BOOTH • Philip BENHAM • Nicola LANAWAY • Martin ORR • Ian BANDY • Daniel SALMON • Lucy GLADDIS • Scott WINTHROP • Duncan LANE • Neil WELLINGTON • Marley HENSHAW • Les BONIFACE • Andrew NEAGLE • Claire CARLIN • Paul CARLIN

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

The male record is held by Daniel MULRYAN who recorded a time of 15:45 on 29th December 2018 (event number 81).

The female record is held by Annabel GUMMOW who recorded a time of 17:53 on 17th August 2019 (event number 114).

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 8,692 participants have completed 43,805 parkruns covering a total distance of 219,025 km, including 7,641 new Personal Bests. A total of 702 individuals have volunteered 4,499 times.


Event#141- 7th March

I always think I am going to arrive late at the Upton House Parkrun because I live in Branksome Park between the Bournemouth and Poole parkrun and it takes longer to get to and is usually into a head wind. As I have not drunk for two days, and woke up early, today I knew I would be on time. Enough time to warm up in the walled garden, look at the fading red camellias and smell the box wood hedges.

I started my Parkrun journey in Poole Park 2012. As the course grew in popularity, partly as it is a fast flat course, it has become a victim of its own success with crowding at the start.

So to take the pressure off , new parkruns have since opened in Bournemouth's King’s Park and Upton House. I was at Upton House for the inaugural run on 3.6.17 (as were 323 other runners) and I knew it was going to be a success. However when I ran the second run on 10.6.17 numbers dropped to 216. Luckily numbers have steadily grown with 344 souls dragging themselves out of bed today. Today was a delight none of the cold windy rain that has plagued 2020.

What do I like/love about the Upton House Course?

  1. Firstly the bicycle ride out along the water’s edge of Holes Bay a chance to dodge dog walkers, look at the waders and swans and glance across the harbour. It saves the car park fee and is a good warm up and down.
  2. Before the start there are two toilets and never the queues of Poole.
  3. No confined spaces where runners assemble where you could catch Corona Virus!
  4. You can run on grass, gravel or mud rather than tarmac for a lot of the course, so better for your joints.
  5. There are no cars or café delivery vans to try to avoid, in fact no sight or noise of roads.
  6. You can hear the announcements.
  7. No elephant costumes overtook me!
  8. No likelihood of dogs trying to run you into boating lakes.
  9. There is a café for a post-race drink or food with 10% off for PR barcode holders.
  10. Lastly the ride home along the harbour’s edge.

    What do I not like about the Upton House Course?

  1. For me based on 20 runs it is on average 82 seconds slower than the Poole course (216 runs). But it is not comparing like with like.
  2. The other runners won’t let me win (today my place was 35th 22.56 and my fastest time this year. I was 1 minute 2 secs off my pb set in 2019. If I lost weight, trained more, drank less perhaps I’d be a few seconds quicker, perhaps…

Today’s top male was Jason Robbins, a Lytchett Manor Strider in 18.27 ,not bad for a vet 40-45! Top female Clare Wood in 22.41 who is also 40-44 category!, when she went past me lap 2, I tried to stay with her.…Top junior was Abigail Westcott in 22.57 cat 11-14 who was staring at the back of my T-shirt! Top gent over 60 was Nigel Haywood 21.01 .Top lady over 50 Julia Hurt 23.59. There were 65 PB’s today too, so congratulations to them.

Well the Temperature was 9 degrees centigrade, Wind was 20 mph (so it felt like 6 degrees centigrade) South Westerly, Humidity 89%, Precipitation 0 , Air Pressure 1018 mb and 100% clouds .

Thanks to all the marshals, deputies, sheriffs and Race Director. It could be your turn to volunteer next week. Your Parkrun needs you!

James S. Fuller




Event#140 – 29th February 2020

Many thanks to Katy Astle  for writing the run report for this week's event. 

Well done for making parkrun history today - If you ran today, you completed the first ever parkrun on 29th February. Your next chance to do a parkrun on 29th February will be 2028... Will this be the next time we run the reverse route?

Luckily storm Jorge did not put a stop to the very exciting first reverse run of Upton House parkrun. Despite a very heavy downfall just before the briefing, the sun came out to guide the 564 runners in the opposite direction with the support of the 33 amazing volunteers!!

I'm sure everyone will have mixed feelings about how they found this new route - lots of positive feedback on the Facebook page and plenty of PBs.  What I really liked about it was the start. Being able to see the faster runners sprint off ahead was great and we must have all had a quicker start than normal, but the tree marshalls were sadly missed!!!

The reverse route didn't make it any less muddy. In fact, thanks to the wettest February, I think it was one of the muddiest for a while. The different route didn't avoid hills - I don't think that's possible at Upton House but it made a change running the opposite way up and down certain hills.

For us runners who like to hang out at the back of the pack, it was the first time we got to see those front runners sprinting for the finish while we headed off for our second loop.  Despite their sprint, they often shout an encouraging comment as they fly past.

All in all, another great run at Upton House parkrun and a massive thank you to all the volunteers. Also happy 15th birthday to John Morris - dressed very appropriately for the occasion!  And a big well done to all the milestone runners.

I'll leave you to ponder when we'll next be running in reverse...will it be in 28 years or sooner?

This week 564 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 54 were first timers and 53 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 38 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 33 volunteers:

Andy WELLINGTON • Michele WHITEHURST • Keith MANN • Denise DAY • Kirstin HAY • Rachel ELFORD • Kirsty WESTON • Kevin DAY • Barry MILLER • Helen RICHARDS • Mark STREET • Wendy BRIMICOMBE • Rachel GLADDIS • Lisa SHAKESPEARE • Philip BENHAM • Lynnette PAYNE • Debra COHEN • Danika WESTWOOD • Alex BARRETT • Daniel SALMON • Lucy GLADDIS • Katy ASTLE • Aileen BARROW • James TAYLOR • Marley HENSHAW • Stephanie GALPIN • Les BONIFACE • Jo GAMSTON • Jayme BENHAM • Andrew NEAGLE • Claire CARLIN • Paul CARLIN • Dominic WOOD


So this parkrun yeah, how does it all work?

Many thanks to Hove Prom parkrun for the inspiration for this week's news report. As there are a lot of new parkrunners at this time of the year we thought it would be useful to explain how things work.

We've come a long way since 2nd June 2017 when we first welcomed parkrunners to Upton House. Since that day, 206,435 km have been run on the course and our numbers have risen from an average of 150-200 to seeing over 400 on a regular basis. Who knows where we will be next year?

With this in mind, and with so many new people joining us on a Saturday morning, we thought we'd put together some information about our event - why we ask you to do what we do, give you a bit of terminology and let you see how everything works.


Firstly, everyone is a volunteer; we try to be as professional as we can be, but do bear this in mind if the results are late, or there are no photos on the Facebook page yet (photographers are also volunteers so there won't always be photos every week). Having said that, we volunteer because we love it - it's fun, engaging and you can learn new skills in a warm and welcoming environment. It's not a closed club and anyone is welcome to join in, whenever they want to.

So, let's look at a few parkrun day rules and explain why they are there!

So that run brief? I heard it last week so don't need to hear it again..right? - nope and that couldn't be further from the truth! Yes, there will be some recap on the rules we and every parkrun have to have in place, but there may be hazards on the course and other things to be aware of, as well as some announcements of special events and running milestones. Also, just because it isn't your first time, it doesn't mean that there aren't new people there so they won't have heard it before. All we ask is for 2-3 minutes of silence before you parkrun. Please keep quiet during the run brief.

Don't forget your barcode (or #DFYB) - this is the parkrun golden rule. Without a physical barcode you can't get an official time. You can still take part of course, but please take a finish token and simply give it us back.

What is a funnel ducker? - this is someone who enters the finish funnel then jumps out without taking a token. This causes issues for the team when processing results as the below explains.

Why should I take a finish token? - when you cross the line into the finish funnel, our timekeepers will click the stopwatch. Every time someone crosses the line, they click. These "clicks" are recorded and we upload them to a results processing system called webFMS. The data is very simple - it tells us that the 99th runner over the line crossed in 25:00, the 100th runner crossed in 25:10 and so on.

At the end of the funnel you are passed a finish token. These are in numerical order and what we aim to do is ensure that runner 99, gets token 99. When we scan you and your position token, and upload that to webFMS, the system looks at all of the information and basically says, runner 99 is John Smith and the 99th runner clicked was 25:00 so therefore John Smith's time is 25:00. Simples, eh?

BUT - things can go astray! If runner 99 were to be a funnel ducker, then there is a chance that runner 100 actually gets token 99 - meaning the computer gives Joan Smith 25:00 when she actually got 25:10. Now this doesn't sound much but if a few people do this, then as more and more people enter the funnel (and if a few duck out) then the results get more and more mixed up - still with us?

The same would happen if you refused a token - the person behind would get your time and so on. So we're not being funny when we say that you must take a token - it's simply how the results are processed.

What if I don't have a barcode and I'm not fussed about a time? - In this case we ask runners to still enter the funnel, collect a token and then hand it to the finish token support person in the orange hi-vis. We note down the numbers of positions where the runner had not barcode which helps the team when processing the results. We don't think this is much to ask. But, if you are using the parkrun as part of a long run and want to keep going, or if this above sounds too much like hard work, then please simply don't enter the finish funnel. We would prefer it if you did so we can get an accurate number of participants, but if you aren't prepared to wait a few moments in the funnel for a token, please don't enter it.

I'm in the funnel but why do I need to stay in order? I've crossed the line so it's ok, yes? - well no actually! On the same basis as what we said about the stopwatch clicks, you will only get an accurate time if you stay in the finish position you entered. Taking a token in order means you'll get your actual time rather than your funnel neighbour's time.

When does the stopwatch start? - timing starts when the Run Director says "go". Some of you start your watch as you cross the start line and though this could be a few seconds after the Run Director has started the run, your official time is from the first click on the stopwatch.

Why can't my time be from when I cross the start line? - resources, simply. We are a free timed run and don't have chip timing as some races do.

These tokens are nice and would look good on a keyring; can I keep them? - Sadly not. The finish tokens are always required back at the end of the run. If you have your barcode with you, the scanner will retain your position token so we can use it again next week. If you've forgotten your barcode, please simply pass the position token to a barcode scanner - please don't take them home. If you were to do this, and you find it in your pocket, please let us know! We're always relieved to get them back - just email us with the number!

I would like to take part but may not be able to complete the full 5k, can I still cross the finish line and get a time? - parkrun is open to everyone and we love to see people getting out and active. Our tail walker will always be the last to cross the line and participants can take as long as they need to walk/jog or run the course. However, as the event is a 5k event if you do decide to drop out and not complete the full course please do not cross the finish line as our results system is not designed provide times for different distances. It won't be long before you can complete the full distance.

Oh no - I ran a great run today and didn't get scanned until 15 mins after I finished - does that mean my time will be 15 mins more? - no, this isn't the case. Whilst it is always a good idea to get scanned straight after the run, a delay in scanning doesn't add minutes to your finishing time. Remember the tokens we discussed above? The system knows that if you crossed the line in position 200 and collected the appropriate finish token, that your time would match the 200th click on the watch.

I've taken a photo of my barcode on my phone - you can scan that, right? - actually we can't, sorry. Our scanners cannot read off screens and a photo of a barcode will be locked away with a PIN number so if something were to happen to you, we couldn't access your "In Case of Emergency" (ICE) number. We only accept paper, tag or wrist bracelet barcodes.

Ok, so you won't take it off my photo, but you can write it down, yeah? - again sadly no. The rules for this are firm and clear and when you access your barcode from your profile screen, that photographs are not permitted. If the volunteers were to do this, there is huge potential for them to be manually adding lots of results from people who didn't apply the rules. The same applies if you have forgotten your barcode. We will not add you to the results for the same reasons. At Upton House, if you can go and retrieve your physical barcode and present it to us in the tea-rooms before we have finished the results we can add you in.

Sounds a bit mean! - It's not really. Let's put this into context - our volunteers between them have to remember to bring a laptop, stopwatches, scanners, hi-viz, lanyards, folders, signs and many other pieces of kit to ensure the parkrun happens safely each week. Then it is packed away, results are processed, tokens are sorted, run reports done and social media updated - all we ask is that you bring one thing - your barcode.

Ok, you've got me. But what happens if my barcode gets smudged or the scanners can't read it? - now, that's a different story. As you have brought a barcode and for some reason it can't be scanned, then we will write it down for you and add you manually. This is the only occasion where we do this and another reason why we don't write down for people who've forgotten or have it on their phones. We utterly LOVE parkrun and volunteering, but we do like to do other things on a Saturday after the run has finished!

What else do I need to think about in the finish area? - to make the core team's role easier and the results more accurate there are a few more things we ask.
- Only cross the finish line once - if you have already finished and collected a token and run the last stretch with a friend, please peel away in plenty of time and do not cross the finish line a second time as you will have a second time recorded. Similarly, if your child did not complete the course and wants to run in with you, please ensure they do not cross the finish line.
- Do not re-enter the funnel. As described, it is important that every finisher who enters the funnel stays in the same order and collects a position token. We have volunteer funnel managers to try and ensure this happens. Access to the area on the far side of the funnel such as the new play area please must not be through the funnel, please go around. You can enter at any point beyond where the tokens are handed out.

That covers quite a lot and hopefully some things are a bit clearer now. Perhaps you already knew this, but it's quite likely that there is something in there that was new to you. We do the results in the tea rooms and you are always welcome to watch and learn. And of course, if there is anything that you are unsure about, please ASK! We're a friendly bunch and want you to come back again and again. Plus your barcode is your passport to 2,500 parkruns across the globe. No need to re-register!

See you at Upton House soon!


Event#135 – 18th January 2020

Many thanks to Gary White for writing the run report for this week's event. 

On a day when 112 park runs were cancelled owing to ice or floods , all 489 of us should be very grateful that our parkrun went ahead. We had heavy rain every evening this week and on Wednesday Morning there was a flood right across Blandford Road not 300 yards from our course.  I was amazed that when I ran a freedom run on Thursday, there was hardly any water or mud at all and I even remarked that my running socks were relatively clean. I was quite happy that the run would go ahead but was concerned when the temperature dropped suddenly on parkrun day, about the threat of ice. All the cars around had a thick deposit of ice on the windscreens and the road surface was white with frost.  Good work by the parkrun organisers and Upton House Rangers, who salted the icy patches, meant that the run was deemed safe and could go ahead.

IMG_1846 IMG_1845

In the event there was a little mud on the first downhill section and a few puddles and some mud near the railway line but I didn’t slip at all wearing road shoes. We are lucky that our course is so well drained as some events are regularly cancelled due to excess muds and flooding.

The attendance of 489 was the third largest ever and as Poole had 1050 runners you can appreciate the popularity of parkrun. To my knowledge we had visitors from Pontypridd, Manchester, Swindon, Yorkshire, Plymouth and St Albans.


Milestones. Jim Keir completed his 300th parkrun and there were seven runners who completed their 50th on the day. Colin Hawkins, Graham Fisher, Abigail Price, Penny Ettling, Paul Green, Lisa Francis and Shelley Harford. Congratulations to them all. 18 runners had their first taste of parkrun and we trust they enjoyed it and hope to see them return.

Upton House parkrun is not going ahead on the 15th February as there is another event in the park. This is your chance to try a spot of tourism. Please don’t all head to Poole when we have Blandford, Moors Valley and Bournemouth on our doorstep. Why not get a group together and try Southampton, Eastleigh, Weymouth, St Marys etc. All courses are very different and we are sure that you will be welcomed and enjoy them.

This week 489 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 59 were first timers and 62 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 40 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 39 volunteers:

Gary WHITE • Colin SMITH • Jeff HINSLEY • Kirsty WESTON • Jenny CAMPBELL TRAYFORD • Paul WHITTY • Kevin DAY • Barry MILLER • Christopher MILLER • Hazel MCCABE • Kate HUGHES • Andrew LEACH • Dawn ANDREWS • Michael WESTON • Mark STREET • Wendy BRIMICOMBE • Rosanne BUCKLEY • Timothy FRY • Jules BOOTH • Danika WESTWOOD • Alex BARRETT • James PARNALL • Sally KETCHLEY • Daniel SALMON • Lucy GLADDIS • Scott WINTHROP • Emily KETCHLEY • Aric KETCHLEY • Aileen BARROW • Tracy CRICKMORE • Sam FUTCHER • Duncan LANE • Marley HENSHAW • Brooke BENNETTON • Andrew NEAGLE • Mary MELLOR • Amy KING-HALE • Arthur FRY • Dominic WOOD

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

The male record is held by Daniel MULRYAN who recorded a time of 15:45 on 29th December 2018 (event number 81).
The female record is held by Annabel GUMMOW who recorded a time of 17:53 on 17th August 2019 (event number 114).
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 8,356 participants have completed 40,824 parkruns covering a total distance of 204,120 km, including 7,182 new Personal Bests. A total of 687 individuals have volunteered 4,279 times.


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