Wimbledon Common Parkrun Weekly Report – Event no. 688 – 11th January 2020

Sandy in official mode bringing us to order.

Many of you are Parkrun tourists, visit other parkruns and no doubt have opinions about those you like more or less. I thought that this week it might be interesting to compare the composition of the runner group at Wimbledon Common with Clapham Common. The choice of Clapham Common is purely personal as it is in fact my nearest but I started parkrunning at Wimbledon and have a strong attachment to the people and the course. The two Parkruns are only 7.4km apart but there is a large difference in the demographic of the runners which reflects the differences in the population of the two areas. The two Parkruns are different insofar as Wimbledon Common is long established, has grown steadily over 13 years and numbers 688 events. Clapham Common has had only 83 events but has grown exponentially. Wimbledon had 717 runners (possibly the largest field ever at Wimbledon?) last week compared with 1310 at Clapham (certainly their largest field). The most interesting difference is in the age groups.

In the 20-30yr old group Wimbledon have 18.1% of total runners
Clapham have 44.3% of total runners
In the 30-40yr old group Wimbledon have 22.6% of total runners
Clapham have 18.6% of total runners
In the 40-50yr old group Wimbledon have 20.1% of total runners
Clapham have 7.2% of total runners
In the 50-60yr old group Wimbledon have 16.9% of total runners
Clapham have 3.9% of total runners

Unknowns make up 8.5% of total runners at Wimbledon and 23% at Clapham.

Many of the parkrunners are statistics geeks and so will find some of these figures interesting. I do personally, living in Clapham and runnning Wimbledon.

Let's move off such serious matters. What about some photos?

Parkrunning gets up your nose
I had to put this one in as Peter, the Run Director, likes it!! (Editor: Crawler!)

Oh, no, I left the kettle on the gas!

Bob, photographer, time-keeper, sometimes runner and general stand-in. Thanks, Bob.

Colin being cool - he can afford to be; he has done 638 runs!!

Now to the run itself. As I mentioned earlier, this is the largest Parkrun field ever to run at Wimbledon Common. I hope it is not just people who feel that they have to salvage their consciences after the Xmas excesses by taking some exercise and will stop in February.

Runners as far as the eye can see.

The first two men over the line were both First Timers at Wimbledon: James Hall in 17'16" and Ian Ellwood in 18'17". Alexander Vanston was third in 18;25". The first three ladies were all bunched together: 43. Helen Record in 21'02' (she was also a First Timer) 44. Charlotte Davies in 21'03" and 45. Lucy Woolhouse in 21'05". There were 47 new PB's. Congratulations to all.

In terms of the Age graded scores only Lucy Woolhouse and Ros Tabor were over 80%. Congratulations. Obviously Ladies' day.

Lastly and very importantly we must thank today's volunteers: Annette BARRETT, Alex BINLEY, Sally BOVILL, Francesca CARTER, John Philip CARTER, Simon CHEETHAM, Peter Alasdair Fergus COLLINS, Kylie CORSO, Richard CROWLEY, Katie DRIVER, Robert FORTES, Charles HAMPDEN-SMITH, Georgie HARDING-EDGAR, Matthew HAUGHTON, Jayne HURRELL, Katherine JONES, Sophie LAVIN, Caroline LEE, Bronwyn MAYO, Diane NEIL MILLS, Sandy PFEIFER, Georgia RENNIE, Catherine Louise SPURIN, Andrew TEE, India TRAINOR, Ella WADDINGHAM, Karen WALSH, Bob WALSH, Clare WOOD

Report by: Robert Fortes
Photographer: Georgie Harding-Edgar.


Wimbledon Common parkrun, Event number 687, 4th January 2020


Happy 13th Anniversary Wimbledon Common parkrun, Enjoy Those Teenage Kicks!

 2020 Vision

On Saturday morning Ian Higgins took us gently by the hand and walked us down memory lane as he hopped onto the bench once again for the first time in many a year. Ian was the first run director at Wimbledon Common parkrun.  I'm a bit odd but it amuses me to think of run directors as James Bond actors, everyone has their favourite, Sean, Roger, Pierce - Ian, Charles, Peter... you get the drift! (I couldn't possibly admit to any partiality on such a public forum, although if Daniel Craig were to take to the bench my customary reserve may be challenged). While watching all 649 of you out on the course (it would be fair to say that it was a congested sight complete with buggies and dogs aplenty) I asked Ian if this had been the vision  that Paul Sinton-Hewitt had for his parkrun concept back in October 2004. I was interested to find out if the notion of what started as a time trial, which attracted predominantly keen runners, that has now evolved into a community populated by all walks of life was what Paul had hoped for. Ian confirmed that parkrun in its current format, one which encourages everyone to don their trainers and get out on a Saturday morning was precisely what Paul had wished for although back in the early years nobody could have predicted the giddy heights of success this idea would reach.

There were 3 runners in attendance on Saturday who took part in the 1st Wimbledon parkrun event 13 years ago. They are Colin Price, Ian Higgins and David Jenkins seen here rolling back the years.


400 Not Out

The popular and effervescent Francesca Carter completed her 400th parkrun on Saturday, a great effort, well done indeed. Francesca is woven into the very fabric of our parkrun and has always been generous with her enthusiastic support for fellow runners as well as with her time spent volunteering both here on Wimbledon Common and at Junior parkrun in Wimbledon Park. Many of you know that she and her husband John found fame with their star turn on the television programme 24 Hours in A&E after John took a spill at parkrun. However I bet you didn't know that while getting a book signed by the artist Grayson Perry, he instantly recognised her (he watches 24 Hours) and wanted to know if John had made a full recovery. He's clearly a fan Francesca!

Francesca and Ian who styled their hair to match one another especially for Saturday


Milestone Magic Moment

This young runner has just received a prolonged Paul Hollywood style handshake from Ian for making it to the 10 Club. Congratulations Gabriel Billingham.


Tantalising parkrun Titbits

On the subject of Milestones, any lady who reaches 200 runs gets to hold the Lawrie Cup albeit briefly. I'm delighted to report that the cup has enjoyed it's first and thus well deserved holiday over the festive season. It Christmased well in Cork, Ireland with current holder Annette Barrett. I have spent many a happy Christmas in that part of the world and I hope the cup enjoyed some excellent Irish hospitality!

Aaaaand… did you know that our run community has its very own Mastermind contestant in the form of Wimbledon Windmiler and parkrun regular Dave Wood? So if you want to see this delightful chap face John Humphrys in the big black chair then tune in on 13th January.

A Lark Ascends

Many of you are by now aware that on 7th December 2019 we lost a much loved member of our parkrun community in Doug Laidler. Up until his illness Doug was a regular at Wimbledon, completing 258 parkruns over all with 244 on the SW19 course. His PB was 28.06.  I don't think he would have minded if I confessed that I didn't think he had the appearance of a natural runner, much more substance over style than the other way around. He always seemed to give 100%, not one to leave anything out on the park proving how dogged determination and total commitment to get from start to finish could win the day. However if speed is your thing then you'd be hard pushed to find someone who could flash a grin so quickly on completion of each 5k, all running pain was forgotten in an instant as Doug and his wife Jane, daughter Katherine and son in law Jim headed to the café to do battle with a toast mountain!

I was privileged enough to join a few other parkrunners to attend Doug's Celebration of Life service where we  heard a bit more about this modest man's achievements. Despite his accomplished career and his sporting success, the passion that outshone everything was for one thing only, he was first and foremost a family man.

Doug Laidler

This week 649 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 98 were first timers and 54 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 46 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 24 volunteers:

Ian HIGGINS • Andrew TEE • Charles HAMPDEN-SMITH • Peter Alasdair Fergus COLLINS • Annie TOSH • David C WOOD • Karen WALSH • Tim ASH VIE • Bob WALSH • Sandy PFEIFER • Louise ROBINSON • Clare WOOD • India TRAINOR • Katrina OSBORNE • Ben PALMER • Morgan RENNIE • Georgia RENNIE • Matthias HEGER • Alexia MCKENNEY • Tamsin ABBEY • Ellen WHITE • Jacob GUEST • Adam REED • Hugo PEUROIS
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Wimbledon Common parkrun Results Page.
The male record is held by Chris PARR who recorded a time of 15:04 on 23rd April 2011 (event number 224).
The female record is held by Justina HESLOP who recorded a time of 16:33 on 17th March 2012 (event number 271).
The Age Grade course record is held by Jane DAVIES who recorded 92.99% (21:24) on 29th January 2011 (event number 212).
Wimbledon Common parkrun started on 6th January 2007. Since then 24,633 participants have completed 194,245 parkruns covering a total distance of 971,225 km, including 29,557 new Personal Bests. A total of 1,197 individuals have volunteered 10,884 times.

Writer: Annie Tosh

Photographer: Louise Robinson




London Landmarks Half-marathon 2020, 29 March

You might have tried to enter this event but found you can't because it's full. Well, the charity Clothe Me - Thank You, which exists to provide clothing to homeless and/or people experiencing poverty, has some places available for the 29 March run. Obviously, it involves raising some money for the charity. If you would like to find out more, please click here.


Wimbledon Common parkrun – #686 – 28th December 2019

Wimbledon Common parkrun 686-4


It’s late on friday night and here I am writing up last week’s parkrun. I have no idea where the time went - it’s the holidays and not even a notion what day it is. After all many of us were parkrunning on Wednesday (elsewhere I hasten to add, but I’m sure lots of you had a nice trip to one of our neighbours or perhaps further afield if you were visiting family). You might even have run twice!

It’s the same reason the TV news has silly stories and your newspaper is about half the thickness. Everyone is on holiday time and the work experience guys are writing the stories. I can only apologise. I have been much too busy eating, drinking and generally making merry whilst neglecting running - both writing about it, and actually running anywhere.

There were however some special efforts out there so I will let some of Bob Walsh's photos do the talking. Take a look at the Wimbledon Common Flickr feed for more.

Wimbledon Common parkrun 686-104
Wimbledon Common parkrun 686-22Wimbledon Common parkrun 686-3
Wimbledon Common parkrun 686-86


Polly Cameron reached her Junior 10, Naomi Guest, Paul Barnes and Andrew Evans all reached their 50 and James Martin reached his hundred.

Winter is never a good time to set a PB at Wimbledon with our cheeky puddles, but occasionally the course can open up and 26 parkrunners set new personal bests this week! Saskia Robbins perhaps most impressively setting a new mark after 64 outings here.

Attendance was a bit off our maximum this week, but as always a plea to spare a thought for the Windmill Rangers, other users of the Common, and our hard-working car park marshalls. If you are able to, please don’t drive to WCp. Walk, jog or run in. Cycle - there’s loads of bike parking. The 93 bus stops at the entrance to the Windmill. Or park on the other side of the Common and have a short warm-up jog in.

This week 331 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 46 were first timers and 26 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 27 different clubs took part.



Parkrun is committed to remaining free and relies on the hard work of a group of volunteers to keep going. Thanks to this week’s 23 volunteers: Tamsin Abbey, Rosemary Archer, Luigi Atherton, Malcolm Brookes, Jennifer Brookes, Peter Alasdair Fergus Collins, Kylie Corso, Charles Hampden-Smith, Caroline Lee, Fiona Mclaren, Ben Palmer, Morgan Rennie, Georgia Rennie, Roger Reynolds, Andrew Rice, Saskia Robbins, Sarah Robbins, Jeremy Rolls, Steven Rudland, Andrew Tee, Niamh Thompson, Bob Walsh and Sally Windle. Please do get in touch if you want to help out!


First Finishers

Alistair Fitch of Marlow Striders was first over the line in a time of 18:17 on his first attempt at Wimbledon. An unknown runner separated him from Windmiler Sandy Pfeifer in third in 19:10. Lucy Woolhouse was first lady in 21:11 (12th overall), followed by Hercules AC Junior Millie Thorpe in 22:03 (25th overall) and Katherine Laidler in 22:48 (42nd overall).


Age Gradings

This week’s best Age Grading was attained by Lucy Woolhouse with 87.80% for her time of 21:11.



Wimbledon Common parkrun started on 6th January 2007. Since then 24,535 participants have completed 193,596 parkruns covering a total distance of 967,980 km, including 29,503 new Personal Bests.

The female record is held by Justina Heslop who recorded a time of 16:33 on 17th March 2012 (event number 271).
The male record is held by Chris Parr who recorded a time of 15:04 on 23rd April 2011 (event number 224).

The Age Grade course record is held by Jane Davies who recorded 92.99% (21:24) on 29th January 2011 (event number 212).

This week’s full results and a complete event history can be found on the Wimbledon Common parkrun Results Page.

Your parkrun reporter - Andy Rice


Wimbledon Common Parkrun 685, 21st December 2019

Given this is the last parkrun, and parkrun report, before Christmas, the most fitting way to open this report is definitely to wish all runners and readers a very merry Christmas! I hope everyone enjoyed the run, despite the development of what was referred to as a ‘second lake’ on the course as a result of all the rain.


Perhaps the most exciting and report-worthy thing to happen at parkrun this week was the unexpected handing over of the baton! What is this baton, and why is it being handed over, you may ask? Well, this baton is currently being passed around between parkruns all over the country – presumably with the goal of it travelling to as many parkruns as possible. The baton arrives at a parkrun and is passed on to fellow runner who should be a parkrun ‘tourist’ (i.e. with another run as their usual parkrun), or going to another parkrun soon, and can therefore pass it on the next week.


So not only is it interesting to ask at the beginning of a parkrun if there are any tourists in the crowd, but it proved useful too! The furthest distance we saw this week were some runners from Wales – so they were entrusted with the baton, a process captured by our fantastic volunteer photographer for this week, James Spinks. Hopefully the progress of the baton will eventually extend internationally.


And now a closer look at this week’s results. This week 324 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 31 were first timers and 6 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 32 different clubs took part. First over the line this week was Matt Gallagher, of the Wimbledon Windmilers, with a speedy time of 18:01. He was followed by Sebastian Jones, from Clapham Chasers RC, who finished in 18:32. Third to finish was Russell Beard, also of Clapham Chasers RC, who completed the course in 18:43.


With regards to the female placings, Lucy Woolhouse finished first, placing 24th overall, with a time of 21:36. Millie Thorpe was the second woman to finish at 21:40, placing 25th overall. The third female finisher was Lisa Thomas of Hercules Wimbledon AC, placing 33rd overall with a time of 22:05.

We have some great milestones to celebrate from this week’s run as well, with six runners reaching a momentous round number. Huge congratulations to junior runner Sam Dyson for his 10th, Mike Knowles and Christine Fent for their 50th, Lloyd Williams for his 150th, Annette Barrett for her 200th, and Sally Aitken-Davies for her 250th!


Today’s full results and a complete event history can be found on the Wimbledon Common parkrun Results Page.

And finally, a big thank you to this week’s volunteers: Simon Cheetham, Andrew Tee, Peter Collins, Chris Abell, John Hudspith, Sarah Robbins, Karen Walsh, Joe Busa, Kylie Corso, Peter Harris, Katie Driver, Bob Walsh, James Spinks, Clare Wood, Viz Patel, Dieter Schlegel, Matthew Searle, Jessica Searle, Katrina Osborne, Morgan Rennie, Georgia Rennie, Alexandra Maxwell, and Caroline Lee.

Writer: Jessica Searle

Photographer: James Spinks

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