Event 715, 20 November 2021


Oops, I did it again


In Keats' ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun’, there was a minor miracle on Wimbledon Common last Saturday and it wasn’t just that the lack of rain in this cold autumn made it passable for lightweight running shoes for once. 

Tom Phillips last ran Wimbledon Common parkrun on 15 December 2018, coming over the line first in a time of 17:30. Fast forward to 20 November 2021 and he again crossed the whitewash first, and again in a time of 17:30. (Was it deliberate? Only Tom knows, but it’s incredibly hard to run the same time on purpose and he probably didn’t even know what his first time was.) Tom also has a 100 per cent record and, because no one gets younger, his age grading has improved from 73.9 per cent to 74.57 per cent. At this rate he’ll sneak over 100 per cent by the time he’s in his 90s.

The first female, Alessandra Martines, was also running just her second Wimbledon Common parkrun, in her case after a break of only two years, but the attempt to exactly match her previous time didn’t go so well - she beat it by more than two minutes to post 21:04!

A break from our fair pastures seems to have done some good for Andy Allan too – having not run here since April 2019, he’s managed two participations since the great restart after the Covid break and has beaten his PB twice, this week taking it down to an impressive 21:16.

This week’s PB by Adrian Croft proves the value of application. The last time he posted a fastest time at Wimbledon was May 2018, but this week he beat that by 16 seconds with his 26:18. Bravo.

Zachary Watling appears to have benefited from a strict training regime during lockdown, having set PBs six times since parkrun reappeared. This week the youngster, in the JM10 age group, achieved 26:35, while his dad Anthony (I’m assuming it’s his dad - apologies if that’s wrong) broke his own PB just behind Zach, posting 26:37. So who was pacing who to a faster time?

In the VM65-69 category, Christopher Greenwood broke his PB for the first time since May 2019, going under 27 minutes for the first time with 26:51.

Wimbledon Common parkrun #715 20 November 2021

Lucy Woolhouse (left) pays respect to ageing husband Hugh (centre), while damaging her average position and age grade figures

On the total parkruns front, massive kudos to Hugh Woolhouse, whose dodgy knees have now carried him round Saturday morning 5ks 400 times, 395 of them at Wimbledon. Pretty good going for someone who recently received his free travel pass for reaching 60. For once his partner Lucy accompanied him around the course (she’s usually a fair bit faster) and still achieved an age grading of 76 per cent, putting her fourth on that scale for this week.

Wimbledon Common parkrun #715 20 November 2021

Robert Fortes looks anxious, his knobbly knees knocking, as his 300th parkrun gets under way

The veritable Robert Fortes, a key part of our report-writing team, had something to write home about this week, completing his 300th parkrun, all but 12 at Wimbledon. Another ‘senior’ runner, Paul Willatts notched up 250 (which gets a t-shirt), with 226 of them here. Wimbledon Windmiler and big Public Service Broadcasting fan (look them up – great band) Lisa Wood now has 150 parkruns under her belt. Only 69 have been at Wimbledon, but Lisa has an impressive array of about 70 other appearances all around the world.

Wimbledon Common parkrun #715 20 November 2021

It's all 'Go' for Lisa and David Wood, serene and alone in autumnal pastures

Carl Speak (a first-timer here), Emma Frew and Jonathan Head have all now qualified for their 50-parkrun t-shirts. Well done to them.

To return to the podium, an unknown runner was second over the line, so we’ll give second (though third) to Joseph Houlton, a first-timer in the SM25-29 age group (18:06) and third (though fourth) to old trooper and stunning runner Sandy Pfeifer (VM60-64, 18:36), who has come through a bad injury to run amazing times once again.

Wimbledon Common parkrun #715 20 November 2021

Sandy Pfeifer (red shirt) sets off apace last Saturday

Behind Alessandra Martines, the second female athlete was Tahlia Mistry (JW11-14), running a sensational 21:56 in her first-ever parkrun for 49th place overall. With 339 parkruns behind her, Katherine Laidler (VW35-39) is a more seasoned performer and came close to her PB with third spot in 22:35, 65th overall.

The aforementioned Sandy set the best age-grade this week, with just over 87 per cent. Next was Andrew Lenon, with 79.63 per cent for his 20:52, and Caroline Dunleavy, with 76.75 per cent for her 23:35.

There were 382 finishers, of whom 14 braved the cold to do their very first parkrun and another 26 were running for the first time on Wimbledon Acres though they’d already run at other parkruns.

We always need volunteers, so please consider it - there are lots of spaces to fill and it makes you happy, as the picture below proves.

Wimbledon Common parkrun #715 20 November 2021If you would like to volunteer, please email parkrun towers or present yourself to Jo or Kylie or Sophie at the bench on Saturday morning. You really will be helping others, which is the main point really. Thanks to all this week's volunteers, who are honoured on the home page.

Writer: Peter Collins. Images: Louise Robinson (who co-owns Chester, the dog pictured below)

Wimbledon Common parkrun #715 20 November 2021
You talkin’ to me? Well I'm the only one here


Wimbledon Common parkrun Event number 714 13th November 2021

Friends, Pals, Mates, Muckers... you get the gist


Your buddy, your amigo, your chum... we've all got them... gawd love 'em, long may they roll. Making friends through parkrun is as simple as lacing up your trainers on Saturday morning (Colin always tells you to double-bow to be sure, just saying.)  So here's a tribute to some of those beautiful friendships.

If it's your birthday,  you don't have to push your buggy,  your friend will. Is this a thing? It should be. The birthday buggy buddy, don't read that too fast!

Here are the DIYers... It's not their birthdays

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Oh but what do we have here? It's none other than BBB Amelia with Birthday Girl Julia. True friendship.

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Some friendships pack a punch, be warned. By lap 2 on the first left hand bend of the course I spotted shenanigans a-foot, possibly an elbow too. Our delightful visiting friend from the north Mark Proctor was pedal to the metal in an effort to keep Wimbledon regular Phil Tosh at bay as they vied for position. Mark eventually took the honours showing a clean pair of heels over the last few metres, a sight I personally witnessed with great glee and I am relieved to say that when they dusted themselves down, hands were shaken while friendship was not.

Mark below left alongside an image of the almost "Rumble in the Jungle"

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This week our photographer Bob Walsh was joined by his very able assistant Ben McKay. Ben took the picture of Mark above and Bob below plus many others with interesting angles, please check out more of his work on our Flickr page.

To friends who just clicked, Ben and Bob

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You always get those friends who just egg each other on to break all the rules, not a short lead in sight!  No identifying bark-code either!!

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Finally there are the kind of friends who have just welcomed their first baby. Huge congratulations to Michael and Rachel Darcy on the birth of their very beautiful little daughter Ava Amelia Rose Darcy.

This week 428 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 63 were first timers and 54 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 38 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 32 volunteers:

Ella WADDINGHAM • Nick MCKAY • Sophie MCKAY • Bernadette MAHER ALLAN • Annie TOSH • Manuel LOVELL • Tessa LOVELL • Charlie SNOW • Joe BUSA • Kylie CORSO • David CROWTHER • Graham WHITE • Bob WALSH • Andy ALLAN • Nicola GOSCOMB • Luigi ATHERTON • Anna AGNARSSON • Jo MANLEY • Amelie MOREL • Jane SCOON • Andy TUCK • Sally WINDLE • Nigel GRAY • Sally SCOON • Carly SCOTT • Benjamin MCKAY • Claire BOYNTON • Phoebe LANDER • Tamsin ABBEY • Bea LOTERYMAN • Nis AREND • Emma DAWE

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 26,268 participants have completed 205,602 parkruns covering a total distance of 1,028,010 km, including 30,773 new Personal Bests. A total of 1,253 individuals have volunteered 11,680 times.

Report writer: Annie Tosh  Photographers Ben McKay and Bob Walsh


Wimbledon Common parkrun, Event number 713 – 6th November 2021

Inching towards Winter

Although the temperature was much higher than Friday morning, there was a notable autumnal chill in the air the morning after Bonfire Night. That didn’t stop no fewer than four hundred and seventy-three runners, joggers and walkers tackle our two laps of Wimbledon Common heaven. So many in fact the run director Katherine Laidler had to delay the briefing to give stragglers time to find a parking spot - more on that subject later!

Event 713 - CS(3)
strange kind of autumn...?!

Milestones and more…

Katherine’s search for tourists failed to yield anything other than a visitor from Harrogate, who was very welcome nevertheless! A light day for tourists was however more than compensated for with an impressive haul of milestones…

Firstly, top of the bill and clocking up and amazing 350 parkrun (336 of them on the Common) was Tessa Kelly. Massive congratulations.

Keith Robbins took a lonely but important position between Tessa and no fewer than seven other milestone runners with his impressive 150 outings.

Both of the runners celebrating their 100th parkrun outing did so by setting a new Personal Best. Congratulations to Paul McGee-Renedo and Rhea Hudson.

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marking the moment with a banner and a PB each!

Finally, five runners got their fiftieth notch, Joe Richards (also with a PB), Gemma Sharpe (on her first visit to the world’s best parkrun), Laura Stritch, Charlotte Bransgrove and Marianne Wilson.

In other news, forty-four more people joined Gemma making their first visit to Wimbledon Common parkrun, and a total of fifty-seven hardy souls found a Personal Best despite the conditions underfoot.

Congratulations to all!

Event 713 - CS(5)
Ready for the off...

About that car park…

So the great news is that we are learning to live with COVID and people are feeling more confident about spending Saturday morning sharing our passion. The consequences of that though is that the Windmill car park simply cannot cope. The last free space went this week at 9:44am, after that is was one-in-one-out.

There is lots of parking around the Common within ten minutes of the briefing bench which conveniently provides the keen athlete with the optimal 5k warm-up distance. Failing that there is a range of sturdy metal frames ideally suited to the cyclist looking for a solid object to chain their steed to. The number 93 bus connects Wimbledon and Putney stations and is an exquisite example of the genre. The Queensmere Road bus stop is a short walk (backwards down the parkrun route) to the bench. Finally, if you do have to drive to the windmill, please, please, please ram your car full of runners!

Results round-up…

The fastest person across the line was Unknown with no recorded time so I am ignoring them and awarding Gold to Richard Cohen (VM35-39, Wimbledon Windmilers) with his 18:12. That gives Silver to Alexander Vanstone (SM25-29, Fulham RC) with 18:31 and Bronze to Sam Dalgleish (SM30-34, Ranelagh Harriers) at 18:40.

Chloe Baker (SW25-29, Thames Valley Harriers, 13th overall) led the ladies home in 19:32 with Albane Fery (JW15-17, Hercules Wimbledon AC, 22nd overall) chasing her down at 20:11. The final podium step was occupied by Robyn Falck (VW40-44, 34th overall) setting a new PB with 20:51.

Lisa Thomas (VW55-59, Hercules Wimbledon AC) was in a league of her own in the Age Grade battle with an awesome 86.60% - the only runner to get into the eighties.

Congratulations to all.

Event 713 - CS(51)

Thanks due to…

Event 713 happened thanks to Alastair Brown, Nick McKay, Gavin Berry, Katherine Laidler, James May, Manuel Lovell, Clive Scammell, Fiona Bunker, Kylie Corso, Bob Walsh, Sandy Pfeifer, James Spinks, Nick Hudson, Nick George, Luigi Atherton, Dominic Ostrowski, Liz Ostrowski, Saskia Robbins, Bronte Trainor, Anna Agnarsson, Jo Manley, Amelie Morel, Mary-Ann Turnbull, Sally Bovill, Chris Smith, Jackie Mclaughlan, Carly Scott, Phoebe Lander, Tamsin Abbey, Jan McQuaker, Bea Loteryman and Emma Dawe. We could probably live without a report and the photos, but over thirty roles are mandatory and have to be filled each week or we cannot run. Report writers get some fun facts from parkrun HQ to help with the report writing, and when I filed my last report (706) 1,235 unique people had volunteered at least once in the history on Wimbledon Common parkrun. Today (713) 1,235 unique people have volunteered, an increase of zero! We need more people to step up and help!

Stepping up is dead easy. All the instructions are on the Wimbledon Common parkrun website under the volunteer tab. The future roster page shows the gaps over the next few weeks, and if you know what you want to do, just email the super friendly volunteer team with your choice and date. If you don’t know what roles suit, the human faces of that super friendly team (Jo Manley, Charles Hampden-Smith and Kylie Corso) are around the bench every Saturday. Say hello and step up!

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they stepped up...

We have a special offer at the moment for membership of the elite car parking volunteer sub-team. For those that have to drive (see above!) it’s vital we respect our impact on other Common users by directing the car park activity and making sure the log jam is managed. Simon Cheetham manages this elite team, and most weeks you can still nip to the start line and run. I think one person each week sees the task through to completion (kudos today to Nick George, 09:45!) but Simon has the low down and can induct you into the order!

A lesson in history…

Wimbledon Common parkrun started on 6th January 2007. Since then 26,205 participants have completed 205,174 parkruns covering a total distance of 1,025,870 km, including 30,719 new Personal Bests. The male record is held by Chris Parr who recorded a time of 15:04 on 23rd April 2011 (event number 224), and 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). These figures were made possible by 1,235 individuals who have volunteered a total of 11,648 times.

Words Alastair Brown, pictures Clive Scammell


Wimbledon Common parkrun report #712 October 30 2021


“Heavy rain changing to sunny intervals by lunchtime”

So said the Met Office on Saturday morning at 07:00. In other words, parkrunners get a good soaking, and then it clears up - nice! While it was certainly tipping it down, by the time we were at the start and given the off by the timekeeper, the rain had stopped.
Had any boats in yet, Simon?

Weather or not?

Some parkunners just love the mud, others not so much but, whether you’re a puddle lover or a puddle dodger, a good downpour unsurprisingly affects turnout. Since we got back to business-as-usual on July 24, the numbers started in the 300s then increased to the 400s, with a maximum so far of 479. Noticeable variations have been August 7 with 181, and this week 252, both very wet and rainy days. I remember August 7 well as I was running a marathon along the Thames Path, and the rain was coming down by the bucketload!
Never mind the weather, as long as we're together

Ghoulies out for a run

Halloween was looming, and some runners entered into the spirit, but there were (for me) some unidentifiable characters lurking in the woods. 20211030-WC-Parkrun-SJW-3985
Squidman, and I'll never find my barcode in this man, follow the Grim Reaper

This week’s treats, in tricky conditions

First three (very muddy) finishers were Benjamin Carr SM25-29 in a PB time of 17:58, Ranelagh Harriers’ Jordan Mungovan VM35-39 in 18:02 running his first parkrun at Wimbledon Common, and fast and first lady Hercules Wimbledon AC’s Ellen Weir JW15-17 in 18:17. However, the age grade percentages tell a different story, with Ellen ahead of the men with an impressive 82.68%, with Jordan 73.11% and Benjamin 71.80%. Lisa Thomas came out on top with 85.85%. There were 41 parkrunning on the Common for the first time, and congratulations to the 12 runners who splashed round to achieve a Personal Best. Just one milestone this week: some old bloke called John Carter notched up his 350th! For the record, my first (then called Wimbledon Common Time Trial) was on February 9 2008. It’s fair to say running has changed my life (for the better!) and I’ve met some wonderful people.
Fast lady Ellen Weir, third runner across the line

Blowing in the wind

A big thank you to all the volunteers this week who were working in less-than-ideal conditions, but kept everything running smoothly. Phil Tosh had a particularly tricky job marking the course with flour but, despite the wind and rain, Phil did manage to mark the course in the places it mattered most - well-done one and all. Have you volunteered lately? As you know, parkrun doesn’t run itself and volunteers are always needed. There’s a role to suit everyone. Go to 'volunteer' on the website then send an email to wimbledon@parkrun.com

Lofty ambition

Any parkrun graduates who fancy something more challenging may like to try the Empire State Building run-up. Held in New York’s famous art-deco skyscraper, and billed as the world’s first and most famous tower race, runners climb 86 flights, 1,576 stairs from the lobby to the observation deck. This year’s event, held last Tuesday October 26, attracted 200 runners from 24 countries and was the 43rd running of this annual event (cancelled in 2020) and was won by Malaysian Soh Wai Ching who shot up those stairs in 10mins 47 secs - perhaps inspired by the $100,000 prize, which was donated to the charity of his choice. The men’s record is 9:33.

January 1 2022

New Year’s Day falls on a Saturday, so there will be a parkrun - the perfect way to shed those had-too-many blues.

And finally

If any readers are wondering why there was no report for last week, it’s because there was a minor hiccup in the writers’ department. Apologies, normal service has now been resumed.

Clockwise Halloween round-up from top left: less welcome than a bunch of hornets, skeleton man from Guildford, unknown warrior, thumbs up and enjoying himself, stylish mud-free lady and dog, 350 runs man with Francesca (418 and counting)

Words by John Carter + Photography by Stephen Willerton


Wimbledon Common parkrun – #710 – 16th October 2021

Parkrun added purpose to the start to a somewhat dreary day that offered a fine mist of rain to envelope the 430 runners who shrugged off a decidedly autumnal feel to the beginning of the weekend.

Wimbledon Common parkrun 710-10

The day almost looked like the start of a seasonal head cold and as we go into winter we should all remember that Covid is still very much with us and by exercising personal responsibility in addition to adhering to the remaining guidance we can all contribute making sure the things we enjoy stay available to us.

The field managed to produce 55 PB's. Interestingly of the 55, 35 were achieved by runners on 20 runs or less. Inspirational performance from one of our “VM's”, Dominic Ostrowski, who produced a PB on run 227 after a PB drought of 182 runs. For any doubters out there, time to banish the thought that your fastest runs may be behind you and that is before we even consider the dark art of age grading.


We all know the Candy Man can and the Muffin Man of course is a legend in Drury Lane. Well at Wimbledon we celebrated the 450th run for John Sabourin who provides the post Parkrun coffee and the Flapjack Snack so clearly in addition to Sammy Davis Jr, John can as well. Other milestones from Oscar Sims (Junior) who achieved 10 and Hugh Lenon on 300.

Wimbledon Common parkrun 710-1

First Finishers

First in this week was Laurence Hill on his maiden Wimbledon outing 17:49. He was followed by one of our regular juniors Will Taylor 17:59. Third over the line was Alexander Vanstone 18:02.

The Wimbledon ladies Lisa Thomas 20:54 and Lucy Woolhouse 20:56 came in first and second. Third was Louise Rowley 22:23 who joined us at Wimbledon Common the first time.

Thanks to the volunteers
Parkrun is committed to remaining free and relies on the hard work of a group of volunteers to keep going. As we have more barcode scanners each week in order to reduce crowding our need for volunteers has increased so it is even more important to join in.

Thanks to this week's volunteers: Tamsin ABBEY, Annette BARRETT, Matthew BEANEY, Robert BEEBY, Sally BOVILL, Claire BOYNTON, Jennifer BROOKES, Kylie CORSO, David CROWTHER, Charlie DAWE, Emma DAWE, Jaspal DHALLEY, Adam FENTON, Emma FREW, Nick GEORGE, Matthew HAUGHTON, Nick HUDSON, John HUDSPITH, Tessa KELLY, Sophie MCKAY, Amelie MOREL, Dominic OSTROWSKI, Matthew SALISBURY, Carly SCOTT, Matthew SEARLE, Laura SOLOMON, Mary-Ann TURNBULL, Bob WALSH, Gilmar WENDT, Graham WHITE


Wimbledon Common parkrun – #709 – 9th October 2021

Joggers in the Mist


Well it was quite misty - we could quite frankly have been anywhere. Nervous moments trying to remember if this path is actually Windmill Ride, or am I halfway to Richmond Park… (I once ran an unexpected 15miles somewhere between Queensmere and the golf course largely running around in circles…)

Our very own photographer Warwick Bookman took a series of photos to rival the classic ‘Polar Bear in a snowstorm’. (Check out the Wimbledon parkrun group on Flickr). The whiteness was happily punctuated by parkrunners clad in apricot, and proudly by recent London marathoners clad in their neon orange victory shirts. Well done to them all.

This was however quintessential Wimbledon Common parkrunning. Cool conditions: springy underfoot. Enough rain in the week to leave a few muddy puddles for the brave, but a wide enough dry line for the focussed.






Danann Clarke picked up a Junior 10, whilst Alastair Kendrick made it to 50 runs. A cheer was given at the start for the unofficial milestone of 150 runs to Sandy Pfeifer, serial volunteer at Wimbledon.

As the mist cleared, the conditions were excellent for running resulting in 57 new PBs, Steve Banham pick of the bunch setting a new lowest mark after 39 runs on the Common.

As the weather gets a bit more wintry attendances will naturally drop off relieving the pressure on our venue - however please do still consider 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 427 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 54 were first timers and 57 recorded new Personal Bests.



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 32 volunteers: Amelie Morel, Andrew Rice, Andy Allan, Angharad Callaghan, Bea Loteryman, Bronte Trainor, Charles Lawrie, Christian Fielder, David Lanfranchi, Duncan Watkins, Elinor Goodhead, Ella Waddingham, Gary Forde, Gavin R Berry, Graham White, Harsha Arunkumar Naik, Helen Fontes, Jane Scoon, Jasmine Paradinas, Kylie Corso, Laura Solomon, Lee Regan, Linda Kipping, Lucy Woolhouse, Luigi Atherton, Norman Urquia, Sally Windle, Sandra Perlaki, Sophie Toomey, Steve Banham, Tamsin Abbey and Warwick Bookman. Please do get in touch if you want to help out!


First Finishers

James Ellis of Ful-On Tri was first over the line in a time of 17:00, his 2nd consecutive first finish.here. Alexander Vanstone of Fulham RC was second in 18:01, followed by Rory Smith of Clapham Chasers RC in third in a new PB of 18:07. Katherine Laidler was first lady in 22:18 (51st overall), followed by Sarah Goodwin in 22:51 (63rd overall) and Kerryn Moolenschot in 22:54 (65th overall).


Age Gradings

This week’s best Age Grading was recorded by 150 man Sandy Pfeifer with 84.07% for his time of 19:15.



Wimbledon Common parkrun started on 6th January 2007. Since then 26,014 participants have completed 203,645 parkruns covering a total distance of 1,018,225 km, including 30,566 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 – #708 – 2 October 2021


This week 403 people ran, jogged, walked the course, numbers were slightly down, we expect reflecting the petrol shortages that dominated the week and we may have lost a few to the London Marathon although we did bag ourselves a tiger. The week's rain also re-introduced us to the more slippery parts of our course and PB's will no doubt become even more hard earned as we go into winter.


We nonetheless had 33 established parkrunners running for their first time at Wimbledon Common, including first and second place. We hope they had enough fuel to get home. There were an amazing 43 new personal bests and 15 people running parkrun for the very first time. We hope to see the newcomers return next week.

Our photos this week also feature a number of canine competitors - winner of the best dressed below..


We have a number of great milestones to celebrate.

William Byatt, one of our juniors got his 6th PB on his 10th run. Richard Hughes and Christopher Greenwood both reached their 50 and Adrian Croft got his 100 while Sally Anne Jones finished her 300th run!

First Finishers

First over the line this week was James Ellis of Ful-On Tri with a time of 16.48. He was followed by John Borton also of Ful-On Tri who finished in 16.54; both running their first Wimbledon Parkrun. Third to finish was Harry Bowles with a time of 17.00 – a new PB.

With regards to the female placings, Jessica Creak was first lady with a time of 20.35 and a first Wimbledon Parkrun (29th overall). Lisa Margaret Thomas of Hercules Wimbledon AC was the second lady to finish at 21.19 (36th overall). The third female finisher was Lucy Woolhouse placing 37th overall with a time of 21.28.


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 volunteers who made this event happen:

Tamsin Abbey, Anna Agnarsson, Andrew Bailey, Alex Binley, Gemma Brennan, Philip Butler, Sarah Chapman, Simon Cheetham, Kylie Corso, David Crowther, Christian Fielder, Phoebe Lander, Margaret Lord, Bea Loteryman, Christine Lydon, Polly Martin, Nick McKay, Sophie McKay, Fiona McLaren, Ellie Moore, Liz Ostrowski, André Ramalhinho, Jeremy Rolls, John Sabourn, Matthew Salisbury, Carol Searle, Laura Solomon, Bronte Trainor, Mary-Ann Turnbull, Ella Waddingham, Stephen Willerton

Wimbledon parkrun always needs volunteers and it’s a great way to give something back. Please do get in touch if you want to help out!

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



Wimbledon Common Parkrun – Event no. 707 – 25th September 2021

A Day to Remember

Our Race Director for the day, Robert Beeby, brought the meeting to order. As had been announced in previous weeks, this week we were remembering 3 stalwarts of Wimbledon Common parkrun who unfortunately passed away in the last 18 months.

25 September 2021
Pete Mulholland                      Doug Laidler                     Nicola Whitford

I have reproduced below the comments made by the Run Director prior to the run.

Pete Mulholland. Pete devoted his life to athletics and particularly running. He was well known all over for his support both of Hercules Running Club and Surrey Athletics generally. In 2015 the Queen sent him a letter telling him that he had been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to athletics – unfortunately, it was many weeks before Pete opened it – he thought it was a tax demand! In fact, he was one of the original runners here at the very first Wimbledon Common parkrun and loved the event. His parkrun stats are amazing…..the inaugural run here at Wimbledon plus two previous runs at Bushy for a total of 3 runs and volunteering a staggering 492 times, 439 times as finish tokens often referred to as ‘Pete’s job’. Pete has a bench just to my left and will remembered for giving out the finish tokens with such wonderful humour. He was also known for giving out his Hercules business card to aspiring young runners as well! I often asked the top young guys here who they thought was the fastest runner today. They said, ‘Oh, it’s him’ or ‘Oh, it’s her’ …. I would say, ‘No … it was that old chap over there sitting by the finish. His 5k PB ….. 14 minutes 40 seconds!’ Pete was really a top athlete and a top man.

Nicola Whitford She epitomised everything about parkrun and particularly Wimbledon where she did all her 500 parkruns. She was friendly, generous, supportive, encouraging and would do anything to help. Her last run was really a slow walk – but she was determined and she made it round…assisted – it has to be said -by a pop up drinks station serving champagne in the woods. She loved every minute of her Saturday mornings… she even has a corner named after her on our course, where she was often heard ticking off runners who cut the corner… Nicola’s Corner is where her bench now stands. There are so many lovely stories about Nicola and parkrun…but the most amazing stat is that on her 400th run she achieved a personal best! WOW…a truly incredible achievement. There was also a parkrun romance with the amazing Nick Wright which led to their marriage shortly before she died. Nick Wright…an incredible human being! If you look at that bench on your way round you will see it says "Nicola Whitford – remember me and smile".

Doug Laidler Doug Laidler was really a rugby player from the North East but he loved sport in general. Like many people at parkrun he used to dislike running and then having once done parkrun he developed a passion for it. He ran 244 times here at Wimbledon often with his daughter Katherine and son-in-law Jim. The photo is of Doug in the Royal Box at Wimbledon All England Club…the proud father watching his daughter Katherine play on Centre Court. Of all the runners I have seen over the years, Doug was by far the most determined. I always told him that he went off too fast….by the first bend he was exhausted… But you know what, he always finished…completely exhausted but he finished. He left nothing in the tank! Doug loved parkrun here on the common, the parkrun event, and the parkrun community. Who can forget the toast mountain in the café that the Laidler family scoffed on Saturday mornings! Takings at the café must now be well down!

There was then a round of applause rather than a minute’s silence to celebrate the lives of all three who will be sadly missed because they were integral to Wimbledon Common Parkrun.

25 September 2021
Pete, Doug and Nicola would all have wanted to see happy, smiling faces.

We then set off to give our lungs an oxygen boost.

Here are a couple of photos that I particularly like which show parkrun as a family affair and an event which takes account of others.

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I wonder what he is thinking.

The results

It was good to see that there were so many Hercules AC runners in their club colours to honour Pete. It is also worth noting that the first over the line, Rhys Boorman, is a Hercules member. He completed the course in 16’ 04”. Second runner to cross the line was “Unknown” and the third was Will Taylor (Age group JM15-17) in 17’ 48”, a personal best for him.

As for the ladies, the first (33rd overall) was Alex Cross in 20’ 19”, a personal best. Lisa Thomas was second (56th overall) in 21’ 20” and third was Lucy Woolhouse (64th overall) in 21’ 50”.

There were 62 PB’s out of a field of 473 runners. The top three runners on an age graded basis were ladies and all were over 80%, Anna Garnier, 88.7%, Lucy Woolhouse, 86.41%, and Lisa Thomas, 84.84%. There were 20 first timers.


There were two milestones this week. Gemma Brennan completed her 250th run and Daniel Minifie completed his 50th with a personal best. Well done to both and particularly Daniel for completing two goals on the same day!


Unfortunately Covid-19 has necessitated us having more volunteers than in the past in order to carry out the barcode scanning more quickly to avoid queues forming. Therefore, I urge you if you have not done so already to sign up for volunteering. It only needs to be twice or three times a year.

We have to thank this week’s 33 volunteers:

Paul TIBBS • Colin HARRIS • Simon CHEETHAM • Robert BEEBY • Nick MCKAY • Deema MARZOUQ • Bernadette MAHER ALLAN • Sarah CHAPMAN • Sarah ROBBINS • Robert FORTES • Simon WOODINGTON • Gary FORDE • Kylie CORSO • Bob WALSH • Anthony James HARPUR • Andy ALLAN • Louise ROBINSON • Nick GEORGE • Liz OSTROWSKI • Bronte TRAINOR • Amelie MOREL • Guy HALLIFAX • Alethea TABOR • Alex BINLEY • Eliza SHUTE • Sophie LAVIN • Sally SCOON • Laura SOLOMON • Paul FONTES • May EDMONDSON • Elinor GOODHEAD • Tamsin ABBEY • Bea LOTERYMAN

This week 473 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 20 were first timers and 62 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 29 different clubs took part.

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 25,912 participants have completed 202,815 parkruns covering a total distance of 1,014,075 km, including 30,466 new Personal Bests. A total of 1,237 individuals have volunteered 11,466 times.

In the past few weeks many have rejoiced at the fact that we are able to meet and parkrun again. I share that enjoyment. It is also very pleasant to be able to express that fun and pleasure again in these reports. I hope you enjoy them.

Words: Robert Fortes. Photos: Louise Robinson Continue reading


Wimbledon Common parkrun, Event number 706 – 18th September 2021

Getting back in the saddle

It has been nothing short of fantastic to return to the Common and pick up where we left off on 14th March 2020. I am the penultimate writer on this rota - so not much more “gosh”, “wow”, “we’re back” to go! It does feel very strange picking up the digital pen again, my go-to blog editor feels slightly odd, the flickr password has changed, the was-then-still-newish summary results from HQ feels very alien etc. etc. But no matter, my job is to tell you what happened, so here goes.
Wimbledon Common parkrun 706-183
getting into it

Firstly, as Gilmar Wendt did his expert Run Director rounds, he uncovered no fewer than 66 first timers who have no knowledge of Wimbledon Common parkrun pre-COVID, or the not-parkrun pandemic gap. In terms of tourists he hit gold, as while suppressing his disappointment of a first offer of Bushy Park someone shouted out Washington DC, USA. Sadly, the previously reliable weekly Australian visitor may still be a little way off, but Washington DC is terrific progress!

Gilmar had just a couple of milestones this week, but nevertheless very special ones. Serial volunteer and comms guru James Spinks completed his 250 run, and former local Richard Hurrell returned to the Common from Norfolk to celebrate his 200th with us. I am sure he will come back for his 201st to return the cup!
Wimbledon Common parkrun 706-11
Richard - we know you have the cup!

The course felt immaculate to my feet; recent rains had dried up leaving a firm, mainly smooth, surface. No few than 74 people found it so perfect that they popped in a Personal Best. A very special mention to Simon Woodington (VM40-44, Hercules Wimbledon) who ran faster than ever with a time of 20:27 on no less than his 142nd outing on the Common - beating his previous record set on bonfire night 2016 by a handy 23 seconds. Well done Simon and well done all.
Wimbledon Common parkrun 706-81
conditions superb underfoot

204 not-out

parkrun is all about friends and stories and they don’t come better than this one. You might not remember what you were doing on Saturday 19th September 1970 (quite a few of you weren’t even there) but, in addition to being the day of the first ever Glastonbury Festival, it was also the day that Wimbledon Common parkrun legends Francesca and John Carter tied the knot and started their fifty-one year and counting married journey together. Sharing this nugget with friends before the start, they discovered that also parkrun legends Jenny and Malcolm Brookes were doing exactly the same thing on exactly the same day 51 years ago! How bizarre is that?! Massive congratulations to all four, and wishing you all many more happy years together.

More friends next week

Next week we will take time at the beginning of our run to remember three special people who epitomised parkrun: Pete Mulholland, Nicola Whitford and Doug Laidler. We lost all three in the last eighteen months, and all three made a huge contribution to our event. Much has been said and more will come on Saturday, but I think of Pete every time I pull my shoes on. As an occasional runner, I entered a 10k in 1992 as something to do as a newcomer to London on a wet Sunday morning, and later that week there was a short note along with the results (Stamped Addressed Envelope days!) - “Alastair, Congratulations on your run. I notice you are unattached. We run out of Lauriston Cottage every Wednesday evening at 7. You would be most welcome to join us. Best regards Pete Mulholland”. I did and I’ve been running ever since. Although I’ve never been quick Pete always asked after my latest performances, found me half a dozen marathon places, cheered me on in the darkest recesses of Surrey Quays, and always had the right word to say. Join us next week to hear much more about Pete, and fellow giants Nicola and Doug.

Results from this week

In the ladies event Abigail Grey (JW15-17, 16th overall) pipped (I am assuming sister!) Emily Grey (JW15-17, 25th overall) to the line with 19:53 to Emily’s 20:13. Both on their third parkrun, both setting PBs, both ones to watch! Julia Donovan (VW40-44, Wimbledon Windmilers, 34th overall) completed the podium in 20:35.

For the men it was the battle of the Ryans with newcomer Ryan Gresty (VM35-39) edging it at 17:34 to Ryan Keane (SM30-34, Thames Valley Harriers) by a single second. Richard Cohen (VM35-39, Wimbledon Windmilers) followed behind with 17:47. All three set new Personal Bests for the course, Ryan G on his first visit, Ryan K his second, but Richard after an impressive 55 Wimbledon Common events.

In unsurprising news, Lucy Woolhouse (VW55-59) posted the best age grade score on 88.58%. The only other athlete to go north of 80% was newcomer Patricia Ronksley (VW60-64, Stragglers) with 83.32%. Congratulations to all.

Full results can be found here.

Thank you

Event 706 was brought to you by Colin Harris, Simon Cheetham, Alastair Brown, Helen Beeby, Chris Rebbeck, Stephen Harland, Sue Glanville, Kylie Corso, Jennifer Brookes, Amelia Ashton-Jones, Bob Walsh, Sandy Pfeifer, Louise Robinson, James Spinks, Suzanne Robinson, Matthew Searle, Graham Trainor, Bronte Trainor, Jo Manley, Amelie Morel, Gilmar Wendt, Guy Hallifax, Jane Scoon, Eliza Shute, Jackie Mclaughlan, Laura Solomon, Paul Fontes, Claire Boynton, Phoebe Lander, Christine Fent, Tamsin Abbey, Bea Loteryman and Nis Arend.
Wimbledon Common parkrun 706-197
making it happen

It took 33 people to make this event happen, and we desperately need more help. A quick glance at the website reveals that the future roster is looking distinctly patchy, with the vast majority of roles filled usual suspects. If we shared the load equally, each parkrunner could volunteer two or three times a year, and we would be covered. Volunteering is great fun, and there are roles to suit everyone. It is dead easy to get started, the best way is to look at the rota above, read the getting involved pages, make your choice and email the super friendly volunteer team.
Wimbledon Common parkrun 706-196
super friendly volunteer team in action

Finally, in terms of being a good parkrun citizen, we have got back to the levels where I can once again nag you about the car park. With 428 runners, 33 volunteers and assorted supporters, the car park was full and queuing from 8:50am. You know the drill - if you have to drive please cram your car full of runners, better still park away from the Windmill and use the jog in as your warm up, and for the top prize get the number 93 bus!
Wimbledon Common parkrun 706-6
A good warm-up sir? About ten minutes that way...


Wimbledon Common parkrun started on 6th January 2007. Since then 25,850 participants have completed 202,342 parkruns covering a total distance of 1,011,710 km, including 30,404 new Personal Bests. The male record is held by Chris Parr who recorded a time of 15:04 on 23rd April 2011 (event number 224), and 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). These figures were made possible by 1,235 individuals who have volunteered a total of 11,432 times.

Words Alastair Brown, pictures Bob Walsh


Wimbledon Common parkrun event number 705, 11 September 2021

Hello again, hello!

Wimbledon Common parkrun 705-82

Dennis Dennis

As I write this, I am listening to my cat snoring, which is quite a strange sound. I'm guessing she's not interested in parkrun... The last time I compiled one of these reports was on 15 February 2020, so apologies if I seem a little rusty. Back then we’d just been buffeted by storm Dennis and several parkruns had been cancelled due to the bad weather. Also, the road 5km world record, had just been set by Joshua Cheptegei at 12 minutes 51 seconds, giving us all a bit of inspiration (incidentally, the parkun world record is 13 minutes and 48 seconds and was set by Andrew Baddeley down the road at Bushy).

Simply ace

Fast forward to now and Emma Raducanu has stunned us all with her US Open triumph, but we mustn’t forget Joe Salisbury, son of our own parkrun regular Matthew Salisbury. Joe actually won two titles at the US Open, the men’s doubles (beating Jamie Murray) and the mixed doubles, making him the first man since Bob Bryan 10 years ago to win both.

As with other sporting events, It’s been brilliant to have parkrun back these past few weeks. I think lots of us realised we had taken our reliable friend for granted until it wasn’t there every Saturday any more. So it’s great to know that this weekend, the amount of people running parkrun worldwide was 183,484 plus 25,754 volunteers.


Wimbledon Common parkrun 705-98

Dream team, including a rare sighting of  photographer Bob (left) and event director Sean (centre)

Here in SW19, our recent numbers have grown steadily to reach 479 for this event, no doubt helped by the calm weather, drier course (no mud, hooray) and the start of the new school term. Of that number, 79 were first timers and 70 recorded new personal bests. Representatives of 41 different clubs took part.

Haring along

The first runner over the line was Thomas Greenwood of Thames Hare and Hounds in 17:29, followed by Alexander Vanstone of Fulham RC in 17:56 and Peter Thompson of Cambridge and Coleridge AC in 18:32. Peter also achieved the highest age grading of the week at 88.85%.

Fery good indeed

Albane Fery of Hercules Wimbledon was first female in 19:08. She is in the JW 15-17 age group which makes it even more impressive. She was followed by Gina Galbraith, also of Hercules Wimbledon, in 19:13 and Chloe Baker of Thames Valley Harriers in 19:32.

When it comes to milestones, we saw Dewi Wyn Morgan reach 50 runs this week and congrats to Frances Baxter for hitting 100. Others are teetering on the brink so watch this space for more on Bruce Chessell (99 runs) James Spinks (249) and Helen Beeby (299).


Wimbledon Common parkrun 705-91

 Helen puts her hand up for her next milestone

We need you 

The event was made possible by 33 volunteers:

Colin HARRIS • Simon CHEETHAM • Nick MCKAY • Caroline HELDER • Isabel GWYTHER • Fiona BUNKER • Simon ADAMS • Kylie CORSO • Graham WHITE • Bob WALSH • Louise ROBINSON • Nick HUDSON • Luigi ATHERTON • Jenny BARKER • Dominic OSTROWSKI • Carol SEARLE • Bronte TRAINOR • Katherine JONES • Jo MANLEY • Mary-Ann TURNBULL • Alistair KINNEAR • Gabriel STERNE • Sally WINDLE • Carly LEIGHTON • Eliza SHUTE • Sean JONES • Richard CROWLEY • Gary KIPPING • Christian FIELDER • Joshua GOLDSTEIN • Ozair HASNAIN • Emanuele BENA • Nis AREND.

There are gaps on the volunteer roster for the end of September and throughout October, so please sign up if you can. As well as barcode scanning there are plenty of other roles to try, including pre-event set up, photography and car park marshalling. 


Wimbledon Common parkrun 705-8

Kylie is always up for enrolling new volunteers

Don't forget that the 25 September parkrun will be in part to celebrate the lives of Nicola WhitfordPete Mulholland and Doug Laidler, all sadly taken from us over the past 18 months, and for this reason the pre-event briefing may be a little longer than usual. 

The latest results and a complete event history can be found on the Wimbledon Common parkrun Results Page.

See you soon!

Wimbledon Common parkrun 705-90

Words: Caroline Helder. Photos: Bob Walsh (with help from Ben MacKay and Kazza). Headline: Neil Diamond (even though Sweet Caroline was really written for Marsha).


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