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

 

Event#134 – 11th January 2020

Congratulations to the 468 people who ran, jogged and walked the course at Upton House parkrun this week, of whom 56 were first timers and 60 recorded new Personal Bests! We hope you had a great morning with us, and visit again soon! 

11-01-20

The event was made possible by 37 volunteers:

Michele WHITEHURST • Philip WHITEHURST • Sheena KEEP • Tiffany FREKE • Lucy HARVEY • Kirsty WESTON • Kevin DAY • Julie GOSLING • Christopher MILLER • Samantha FRY • Andrew LEACH • Helen RICHARDS • Dan RICHARDS • Issy RICHARDS • Mark STREET • Wendy BRIMICOMBE • Troy BENNETTON • Jules BOOTH • Philip BENHAM • Rick BOVILL • Alex BARRETT • Julie DONACHY • Ian BANDY • Daniel SALMON • Lucy GLADDIS • Scott WINTHROP • Roger CRICKMORE • Marley HENSHAW • Stephanie GALPIN • Roman FRY • Les BONIFACE • Brooke BENNETTON • Andrew NEAGLE • Claire CARLIN • Paul CARLIN • Arthur FRY • Dominic WOOD

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 8,297 participants have completed 40,335 parkruns covering a total distance of 201,675 km, including 7,120 new Personal Bests. A total of 680 individuals have volunteered 4,240 times.

 

Event #133 – 4th January

It was another great morning at Upton House this Saturday, with over 400 parkrunners taking part and our fantastic volunteers helping us put on another great event. We had lots of enthusiastic supporters , happy smiley marshals, a great atmosphere and a brilliant volunteer team at the finish funnel so all ran smoothly.

RD

We also have a great bunch of Duke Of Edinburgh Candidates who help us week on week by volunteering. This is children from local schools or organisations who are completing their Bronze, Silver or Gold awards, and have chosen to complete their required volunteering with us. Thanks Guys!!

Roman

This Saturday we saw Roman complete his 26 weeks, the requirement for his Silver Award, and you've guessed it, it also means he's a now member of the 25Volunteer Club and a proud owner of the purple milestone T-Shirt too. Congratulations Roman! Even better, Roman wants to continue volunteering with us. YAY! You see folks, volunteering really is fun, why not give it a try!

This week our event was made possible by 43 high Viz Heros:

Jerry SHIELD • Michele WHITEHURST • Philip WHITEHURST • Denise DAY • Sheena KEEP • Jenny WALKER-LEACH • Jenny CAMPBELL TRAYFORD • Kevin DAY • Barry MILLER • Christopher MILLER • Margaret MILLER • Jack LEACH • Andrew LEACH • Helen RICHARDS • Clare MCDERMOTT • Wendy BRIMICOMBE • Troy BENNETTON • Jules BOOTH • Michele SHIELD • Philip BENHAM • Rick BOVILL • Nicola BARKER • Alex BARRETT • Ian BANDY • Daniel SALMON • Chris LE FEVRE • Lucy GLADDIS • Scott WINTHROP • Katy ASTLE • Aileen BARROW • Maria SMITH • Robert GRAHAM • Roger CRICKMORE • Neil WELLINGTON • Roman FRY • Les BONIFACE • Brooke BENNETTON • Paul ARNAUDY • Andrew NEAGLE • Mary MELLOR • Claire CARLIN • Paul CARLIN • Dominic WOOD

438 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 47 were first timers and 45 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 32 different clubs took part.

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 8,241 participants have completed 39,867 parkruns covering a total distance of 199,335 km, including 7,060 new Personal Bests. A total of 677 individuals have volunteered 4,203 times.

 

Event #132 – 1st January 2020

Many thanks to Katy Astle a regular volunteer at Upton House, for our first run report of the year.

Our High Viz hero's truly were amazing this morning and we're excited for the year ahead at Upton House. Why not give volunteering a go in 2020. All the tasks are quick and easy to learn. Why not come along and marshal and get an idea of how things work. All you need is the ability to clap lots, shout a little and an abundance of enthusiasm.

Give it a try in 2020 and before long, like Katy you'll be on your way to earning your purple T-shirt and becoming a proud member of the 25volunteer club.

What a great way to start the new year. 659 people ran, jogged and walked Upton House parkrun to celebrate the new year, breaking a new attendance record by 115!!! And the best thing of all, we all got a parkrun PB for 2020!! The earlier start and slightly misty, dull morning obviously didn't put anyone off being part of the fabulous parkrun community and Upton House is always such a great location for a 5K.
Well done to all who did the double - some went on to Bournemouth and some even went to Yeovil hunting for the rare letters to get their alphabeteer badge!

Congratulations to the milestone runners - Duncan completing his 50th and Sue, John and Lisa completing their 100th runs!! Also well done to all those first timers - especially those embarking on their parkrun journey.

Duncan Lane - Celebrating 50!

Duncan Lane - Celebrating 50!

This fab event would not have been possible without the support of our High Viz Heroes - great volunteering effort from them all to make a busy event run smoothly.
Also a special mention to the runner in the red 50 top who helped a park visitor relocate his dog - this guy ran extra to help the dog who I think got confused by the sheer number of runners. Luckily dog and owner were safely reunited. Just goes to show what a friendly bunch the parkrun family are.
So what are your parkrun resolutions for the coming year? Will it be to smash your PB, volunteer more, tourist more or just continue to enjoy this free, weekly timed event that we are so lucky to have available to us? Maybe your aim is to run up all the Upton house hills!!
My aim for this year is to join the 25volunteer club - only 13 more to go.
Good luck to you all on your running journey in 2020 and Happy New Year!

659 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 198 were first timers and 52 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 78 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 35 volunteers:

Michele WHITEHURST • Kirsty WESTON • Christopher MILLER • Margaret MILLER • Kate HUGHES • Helen RICHARDS • Michael WESTON • Alison HARDY • Tony PAYNE • Wendy BRIMICOMBE • Chris SPARKES • Jules BOOTH • Philip BENHAM • Rick BOVILL • Jess WHEADON • Sam ADKINS • Katy ASTLE • Aileen BARROW • Maria SMITH • Henry COX • Tracy CRICKMORE • Duncan LANE • Neil BICHARD • Sam COX • Jan BONIFACE • Kelly FRY • Roman FRY • Les BONIFACE • Jayme BENHAM • Graham MCMASTER • Andrew NEAGLE • Nicola SHEPPARD • Mary MELLOR • 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 8,194 participants have completed 39,429 parkruns covering a total distance of 197,145 km, including 7,014 new Personal Bests. A total of 675 individuals have volunteered 4,160 times.

 

Event #127 – 30th November 2019

Thank you to Upton House regular and frustrated author Hugh Gurney for this weeks report, which we have titled "Hughlock Holmes and the case of the Missing Marshal"

Enjoy...

In this week’s episode of “Weekend Mysteries” we look into a happening that took place on the south coast of England. It’s a tale of runners and volunteers and it occurred on a late November’s morning. By all accounts, it’s a mystery that has left a friendly local community shocked by a disappearance.

Our story begins on November 30th at Upton House parkrun. 322 runners had turned up to complete the free weekly timed run with another 31 people volunteering. The lovely Kate Hughes was Run Directing on the day and, hiding away from the loudspeaker, she invited everyone to come join her on the barkchip. As usual there were tourists from other parkruns, runners celebrating milestone runs (Kim Durdle – 100, Teresa Graham, Henry Cox – 50) and 16 people running their first ever parkruns (big round of applause). At this point it seemed like any other parkrun and it was, only the details differed.

The runners walked round to the start then they were off. They ran past the usual landmarks, avoiding the trees, avoiding Kevin Day standing in front of a tree, down the hill, round the corner, through some mud and so on. Back up the hill, past the volunteers and into the wilds of the small lap. Until this point it was just another parkrun. A stream of runners charging along the paths of Upton House Country Park, dodging puddles as they huffed and puffed along.

Gareth Alan-Williams was first man over the finish line in 18min03 but he didn’t mention what he’d seen. He was followed a moment later by Joseph Stachowiak (18:04) and then Andre Jensen (18:47). Fern Kimber was first lady home in 21min49 followed by Jenny Walker-Leach (23min31) and Lisa Bowyer (24min04). None of them talked about the mystery and yet it had been there right in front of their eyes.

In fact no-one talked about it until much later.

Some runners didn’t even realise anything was wrong but the regulars did.

There were whispers of bad things having gone on and no-one wanted to think the unthinkable.

Slowly but surely, word spread. Where was Keith Mann?

Event 61 - HG3

A regular fixture with his giant foam hand, cheery disposition, silly hair and fancy dress he’d not been seen. At his regular spot stood a lovely lady and while rumours started to circulate that Keith had begun to transition these rumours were soon scotched.

The chances of him not turning up to do his spot of volunteering were a million to one they said. But still, he didn’t come.

Even on the cancelled windy day of November 2nd Keith had turned up to marshal. The man was as reliable as they come and for him not to be at parkrun suggested something was amiss.

Some believed with Advent beginning the next day, Keith had been called away to the North Pole where he’d being helping out. Obviously not with marshaling but something much more important. The glasses, the white hair, a liking for outrageous costumes – it doesn’t take much imagination.

Youtube videos sprung up with conspiracy theories. Vblogger KrustyEastoff put forward an intricate tale of how while trading his trusty 1975 Raleigh racing bike with its saddle bag and mudguards for a new carbon fibre ebike, Keith had become involved with some Poole parkrunners who missed his poems and had abducted him to try and force him to write more. But it was standard conspiracy theorist stuff.

Wherever he now was, Keith was being missed and as good a job as the lady marshal had done she couldn‘t replace his high fives. The parkrun community was in despair and desperate pleas and messages circulated hoping to see him return.

I took it upon myself to investigate the disappearance even though all leads had run dry. I did a cold case review of the facts to see if anything had been missed. I went through Results page with a fine toothcomb, checking out each runner and interviewing them about their dealings with him in the last few weeks.

One mentioned that Keith had been babbling at previous parkruns about a run report he’d read. It was the one about being Zen that had appeared after event #119. Apparently Keith had become come obsessed with the idea of enlightenment and taken to repeating his “Do you want spraying?” mantra during the week. He’d walk round Poole offering to spray people in the high street or as they came out of shops but few accepted his kind offer. Then as the colder days set in, he no longer needed the sprayer and he seemed to go quiet at parkrun.

I stared at the results a while longer and then I spotted something astounding. It was so unbelievable that I had to check twice. But it was there in black and white on the webpage - Keith Mann was named as a volunteer. How had we missed this?

It was peculiar. Somehow Keith had volunteered and yet no-one had seen him. I got hold of photos from the run but there was no sign of him. I accessed video footage from around the café area and there I saw a glimpse of what appeared to be Keith chaining up his bike. It was a brief clip and he was a little obscured but I managed to zoom in and positively identify him. I interviewed the café staff and they confirmed that he’d been in.

I did more research, accessed old emails and was eventually able to make contact with Keith. He’d gone into hiding. It turned out that when he read the article on Zen volunteering he'd been struck by the line “it is the best kept secret of parkrun that the best volunteering job is token sorting”.

Having volunteered 41 times to marshal in 2019, the cognitive dissonance had been too much for him. He couldn't believe that token sorting might be better than marshaling and kept trying to disprove this. But he couldn’t shake the thought and so he’d succumbed and quietly put himself forward for token sorting. Keith had turned up a little later than usual so that others wouldn’t believe he was abandoning them.

Having got hold of the pot of jumbled finish tokens he went to the café to learn the dark arts of token sorting. At first, it had seemed been difficult for his old eyes to pick up the small numbers, but once he wiped his glasses everything became clear. Eventually he relaxed into the task and was able to return the board of sorted tokens to the core team.

And that is where this week’s story ends. Who knows what he’ll do next week. Maybe it’ll be barcode scanning or a First Timer briefing or perhaps a return to his marshaling point. Whatever it is we all wish him the best and thank him for his steadfast contribution to our parkrun.

Everything seems to have been resolved.

Although there is one outstanding question - where was Nigel Redman?

 

Event #125 – 9th November 2019

My milestone 250th Parkrun at Upton House Parkrun - I don’t believe it!

After being parked on 249 runs for four weeks with a sore Achilles tendon I have managed to do my 250th Parkrun and we even had a little bit of sunshine before the rain set in.
So, 250 runs should be about five years, right? It’s taken me a bit longer than that.

On Christmas Eve 2011 my sister persuaded me to join her at Parkrun Poole (run no. 38) and that was my run number one! I have not looked back and I thank her for coercing me to go. It feels such an achievement to reach 250 as along the way there have been significant ups and downs: ups with new friendships and the odd PB, downs with various injuries that have stopped me running, in 2014 I had a serious back injury keeping me out for months, later on ankle problems and a broken wrist.

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In 2015 I started volunteering at Poole when I could mobilise again and this really helped my recovery because it was such a positive experience and I felt valued. I did wonder if I would be able to run again and later on in 2015 my daughter encouraged me to give it a go and she would stay with me. Now I feel so fortunate that we do Parkrun together followed by a good breakfast at my house. I switched to Upton House Parkrun for the inaugural event in June 2016 and this is now my home Parkrun. How lucky are we to have such a fantastic course with such a fabulous core team?
For me the benefits of Parkrun are simple: it’s outside and active, running or volunteering you are part of something great, I don’t get grumpy when my husband wakes me early on a Saturday morning because he’s going to work, it stops me (usually) drinking too much wine on Friday night, I’m with family and friends.
Enough about me.......so huge thank you to the amazingly wonderful volunteers today - it can’t happen without you. Well done to the 308 people who ran, jogged or walked today. Congratulations to the first timers, the PBers, other milestone achievers and all visitors.

Thank you to Owain and my lovely daughter for getting me round the course today - it was tough even wearing the 250 superhero cape.

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Thank you Parkrun and the brilliant Upton House core team.
Onwards.......... to infinity and beyond..................

 

Event #124 – 26th October 2019

Written by Denise & Samantha from Havant

We Travelled down to Bournemouth on Friday night from Havant and meet up with our friends Tim & Claudine from Maldon Prom to do your parkrun, we are touring around doing a 100 different parkruns.

We arrived at the parkrun around about 8-30 to book in for our volunteering of token sorting at the end, we was welcomed nicely and thanked for our help, the weather had not been kind with rain over night, but the ground was a bit muddy with a few puddles along the way, the sun did appear but not to warm so a bit chilly but perfect for the parkrun, the course was challenging which was two large laps and one small lap in the country park with some beautiful views along the course, we had our first timers briefing from a skeleton and a pumpkin which was in good detail about the course, quite a lot  had dressed up for Halloween theme, the RD was very clear with his instructions to everyone, all round the course all the volunteers were very friendly and encouraging to everyone, after finishing our parkrun we set to sorting the tokens in the lovely tea room with other parkrun users enjoying the lovely drinks on offer, we was made very welcome and would highly recommend it and it’s one we will return too, thanks to everyone who made our parkrun a lovely and enjoyable one and it was Denise’s 50th Parkrun too and she liked the cape nice touch.

This week 296 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 39 were first timers and 49 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 34 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 32 volunteers:

Andy WELLINGTON • Michele WHITEHURST • Keith MANN • Philip WHITEHURST • Denise DAY • James CRICKMORE • Kirstin HAY • Kevin DAY • Laura HORSWILL • Julie GOSLING • Barry MILLER • Jackie GODDEN • Kate HUGHES • Jules BOOTH • Philip BENHAM • Martin ORR • Tom COLEMAN • Danika WESTWOOD • Matthew REEVES • Teresa SALMON • Aileen BARROW • Liz PRICE • Robert GRAHAM • Tracy CRICKMORE • Duncan LANE • Marley HENSHAW • Grace MORRISON • Roman FRY • Denise FOXE-KING • Jayme BENHAM • Ash JONES • Samantha FOXE-KING

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

 

Event #123 – 19th October 2019

Written by Claire Carlin.

Today 343 runners took part in the Upton House parkrun supported by 28 fantastic volunteers.

Well done to all who completed Upton House parkrun today and particularly for these who completed their first parkrun either their first to Upton House or first parkrun altogether of which their were 50 of you, a journey I hope will be a long and enjoyable one. My husband and I were speaking to a lovely lady at the start of the race line today a little unsure about what parkrun is about and I am sure this feeling was how we all felt but I hope that this really is just the start for you all.

For the tourists amongst you we have also done parkrun in Oxford and Birmingham and will be doing Panshanger parkrun in Hertfordshire next weekend with my brother for the first time who lives up their but equally enjoys his weekly parkrun. There is something nice about visiting different parkruns but is also nice to return to our home parkrun as there is a great team at Upton.

There was certainly a lot of tutus today, which was great to see, and fantastic effort to all who wore a tutu today. I hope the tourists amongst you will want to return to Upton in the future. Then a particularly well done for all who completed milestones amongst you their were five, Esther Downes and Lauren Little both achieving the inspiring accomplishment of 100 parkruns and Adam Brewer, Joe G Thompson and Jo Pasker all completing their 50th parkrun I am sure you will all look great in your new well deserved t-shirts. The course today was still a little muddy and wet in places but nothing on last weeks parkrun from which I think we are all still drying out. Speaking to the race director a few weeks back I was encouraged to share in a run report of our parkrun journey so this is now going to take a slightly different turn to some previous reports.

On Saturday 17th August, just over two months ago my husband and I started a new journey. We joined the parkrun community; this was thanks to two close friends, Darryll and Adam Brewer for these of your amongst you observation you will notice that Adam was one of these today who completed a milestone completing his 50th parkrun following in his brothers footsteps just a month later.

Ironically the only reason I did my first parkrun was because the Oxford parkrun was on the way to Leicester where I was going to watch a certain local team play away from home with both with Darryll and Adam and they were not going to miss their weekly parkrun; I couldn’t understand why to be fair. Today was only our 10th parkrun; now volunteering with pre event setup at four with seven at Upton but we are already hooked.

I had told Darryll that I didn’t run, but he assured me that I could join in and that walking would be fine and it is, many people walk or simply jog at their own pace around the parks. Reading about today’s parkrun at Northampton they had a debut parkrunner at the ripe old age of 92 so parkrun really is for everyone.

Just like the lady whom we were speaking to on the start line today I must admit I didn’t really know what to expect regarding parkrun at first but I have found it to be both a fantastic and supportive community, there is such warmth and kinship and I really felt at home, I love it. Following our first parkrun at Oxford the following week we went to our first Upton House parkrun.

It is such a joy being able to attend parkrun and also to be able to volunteer in the pre event set up; today is our fourth time volunteering and we intend to continue with this, it has been a great joy to us and it means we have been able to give something small back to the parkrun community. So if you are thinking "I can’t volunteer as I want to run myself" I thought the same but you can and volunteers are always needed both for pre and post parkrun tasks. Today the rota for volunteers wasn’t full so more of you are needed. For the regular parkrunners amongst you have you consider volunteering?

Going back sixteen months ago there were some dramatic changes in my personal life, despite being a qualified gym instructor and personal trainer I was massively overweight, I had never followed a good diet until recently and as a result had never been able to use these qualifications. I mean what gym would want to employ an unfit and overweight instructor? I have since completed some further gym courses and now also involved in some gym work.

When I was younger I never took part in any running at school and as I have said before "I don’t run". I somehow managed to convince my school to let me get out of all running stating that I had dyspraxia (a diagnosed balance and coordination learning difficulty) and because of this I believed my running would always be poor and that no one was going to make me run if I didn’t want to!

I still have to pinch myself when I look back at how far I have come and how much I have gained; I worked towards and achieved my black belt in karate in Belgium this July. Training for my black belt was the catalyst to improving my fitness and completely changing my diet for the better. This is all more than a dream, and I have lost 9½ stone in weight.

I spent a couple of weeks following my grading being absolutely delighted with my achievement but also thinking to myself "I really want to set myself another goal". I want to and will always continue my karate but I wanted to set another goal to keep me focused but was unsure as to what I could do. I knew I needed something to keep me motivated as the times between grading’s can now be quite long. I found my new goal but in a way I wouldn’t of even dreamt of parkrunning and to "run it" I still struggled in the belief that I would ever be a runner. I look back on the first time, I recall saying to my friend that I was "no runner" I remember being nervous, my friend assured me I would be OK again saying I could "walk" if I wanted to I knew there would be no judgements of me and no expectations from others. This made things easier and I want to assure you that if you decide to join, this is how it will be, the courses can be a little challenging initially, but since joining I have improved, I have found it to be addictive and I now "Run not walk". We have now taken it a stage further and have joined Dorchester Riot running club. I can honestly say, and this is from someone who "couldn’t and wouldn’t run", to someone who can say with conviction that "I love running". I love training with Dorchester Riot club and have more than surprised myself with the distances I have managed and the speeds I can now run, there were times when I never believed this would have been possible. When I look back I know that it is due to the atmosphere, the people and the support of the parkrun community. This has kept me going and has helped to get me to the place I am in now. Following my black belt karate grading and after dramatic weight loss I had really got my fitness up but still believed I couldn’t run.

I was delighted to break under the 30-minute barrier and my times have gone down even further with a PB at 27 minutes. I have now run two 10ks, one turning into 12k as we were sent the wrong way. I have at least another two 10k's organised in the next couple of months and will be running 10 miles tomorrow and another surprise for me is that I have signed up for a half marathon in March 2020. I will continue to be part of parkrun both running and volunteering; it’s in my blood now. So if you have friend who hasn’t done parkrunning take them along no matter how unsure they may be. You might be really surprised about where the journey takes them.

I have quickly become addicted to parkrunning and running in general, running almost everyday now but on Saturday 28th September after the parkrun I started to feel quite unwell and believed I had a incredible bad toothache. The pain got worse and worse until ending up in A&E the Saturday evening. After a incredible difficult few days which involved incorrect diagnosis and collapsing six times in the week we found ourselves up in Birmingham there was no way I was able to on the 5th October run the parkrun but that didn’t matter I managed to walk the parkrun up there and was really encouraged despite fully walking the parkrun. I was back running at Upton the following week, despite at a much slower pace and I have been now diagnosed with a very rare condition Trigeminal neuralgia that is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal nerve, which carries sensation from your face to your brain. Trigeminal neuralgia, triggers jolts of excruciating pain to one side of your face the pain continues and we are not sure as yet how this will advance. It has come out the blue but one thing for sure despite chronic pain I couldn’t have found more of a supportive environment than from the parkrun community and Dorchester Riot. Parkrunning is excellent for your mental health and emotional stability, I couldn’t imagine despite the pain losing parkrun or club runs.

I want to encourage anyone who has never thought about joining a parkrun to do it! I am sure I am preaching to the converted in many regards, as a minister myself this is quite ironic but you still have a job to do to bring your friends along, these who may never have thought about doing a parkrun. It really could become important to them to and make a real difference to them in their daily challenges; it’s a safe space without judgement. Also I’d like to ask anyone thinking of volunteering to consider this too.

Finally I want to say a big thank you to the other parkrun volunteers for their incredible organisation and encouragement, a special thank you to our good friends Darryll and Adam Brewer. Thanks to the Upton House parkrun volunteers and to Dorchester Riot. You are all fab and yes, a previous non-runner has signed up for her first half marathon!

 

Event#118 – 14th September

This weeks run report is written by regular runner and volunteer Andy Wellington.

Saturday has come round again, also known as parkrun day. The park was ready to host another amazing event for the 118th time. Summer might now be behind us but the weather is still being nice to us and playing it's part in making today's run a pleasant one.

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Those who joined us on their summer holidays may have gone but parkrun tourism always lives on and today was no exception. We had a good number of runners going over to the first timers briefing. Whether they were here chasing a U for their alphabet challenge or just happened to be in the area, it's always good to see different people at our event. We had visitors today from Lincoln, Leicester, Harwich, Colchester, Bristol, Shapton Mallet, Little Stokes, France and Australia. We had 46 first timers in total so I hope everyone new to our parkrun or new to any parkrun had a good morning.

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363 participants finished today and as I was one of them, I can confirm we had great conditions for a good run. I was very happy to achieve my best time of the year. I might not be in shape for an overall PB but an impressive 76 were. Well done to them. Members of 39 different running clubs were present too and we mustn't forget the awesome 36 volunteers who made today's run possible. Anyone out there who fancies giving something back by volunteering in the future, I promise it's not hard and it's very rewarding. There was lots to be positive about today and I am already looking forward to next Saturday..... sorry I meant parkrun day, to do it all over again.

The event was made possible by 36 volunteers:
Matt CRAKE • Hugh GURNEY • Andy WELLINGTON • Michele WHITEHURST • Keith MANN • Philip WHITEHURST • Denise DAY • Robert HART • Colin SMITH • Jo ALLAM • Tiffany HARRIS • Kirsty WESTON • Stephen HOGARTH • Kay WRIGHT • Barry MILLER • Christopher MILLER • Margaret MILLER • Kate HUGHES • Charles CRAVEN • Kate ALLAM • Troy BENNETTON • Philip BENHAM • Alex BARRETT • Daniel SALMON • Scott WINTHROP • Aileen BARROW • Karen O'SHEA • Robert GRAHAM • Neil O'SHEA • Neil WELLINGTON • Roman FRY • Brooke BENNETTON • Andrew BULLARD • Jack YEOMAN • Alex BURROWS • Ash JONES

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 7,436 participants have completed 34,529 parkruns covering a total distance of 172,645 km, including 6,408 new Personal Bests. A total of 632 individuals have volunteered 3,698 times.

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