RIP Peter Mulholland, parkrun legend

PeteMulholland

Pete, red jacket, at his accustomed post back in the day

We’re very sad to advise that Peter Mulholland passed away on Wednesday 25th March 2020 aged 80. Pete had been in hospital after breaking his hip and contracted the coronavirus.

As many of you will know, Pete was a legendary figure in the local running community. In his prime he was an elite runner and in subsequent years he devoted a huge amount of time to running and athletics by volunteering through Hercules Wimbledon, Surrey Athletics and parkrun. His commitment was such that he was crowned the top athletics volunteer in London in 2014 and was awarded the Medal of Order of the British Empire by the Queen in 2015.

Pete ran the inaugural Wimbledon Common parkrun on 6th January 2007 but that was his one and only parkrun at Wimbledon. He decided instead to support the event by volunteering and became one of the core group, volunteering week in and week out, come rain or shine, over the next 10 years and more. Pete made the finish tokens job his own, such that it’s generally known as ‘Pete’s job’ and he was always a friendly individual, greeting runners in the funnel at the end of the run. He had a great sense of humour and would often have a witty comment as runners crossed the line, but was always encouraging to everyone. Quite a few Hercules Wimbledon runners were recruited at the parkrun finish line!

In the last couple of years, Pete’s health started to deteriorate such that the volunteering became difficult for him but he still got up to parkrun on a very regular basis to watch, support, chat and have a coffee afterwards.

A great man and a true gent. You will be missed Pete but never forgotten.

Charles Hampden-Smith

Athletics Weekly has paid tribute here

WC parkrun Towers adds: Strava and social media have been awash with tributes to Pete since the sad news became known, suggesting he touched a lot of lives in the running world both at parkrun and more generally. The thoughts of everyone at Wimbledon Common parkrun go out to his family and friends.

 

All parkruns suspended until at least the end of April

Update from parkrun Global Chief Operating Officer, Tom Williams

Today’s update is to notify you that all parkrun events will now continue to be suspended until at least the end of April. This is in order to keep all parkrun countries following the same timeline for the moment, although we do expect suspensions to go beyond April.

Since deciding to close our events we have been working incredibly hard to action that decision, understand the implications of making it, and provide immediate support to parkrun communities around the world. And, with all events suspended, we are now able to begin work developing our strategy for supporting our communities during this difficult time and, one day, re-launching.

Going forward we will be publishing a global parkrun update every Tuesday (UK time), here.

We will get through this, together.

 

Coronavirus and ‘unofficial’ parkruns: don’t!

Just a word to point out that official parkrun guidance is that people should not turn up in groups at parkrun courses at 9am on Saturdays (or any time) to run 'unofficial' parkruns. Those who can and want to should of course take exercise, and it would be wrong to suggest otherwise, but we all need to use our common sense in this extraordinary situation. Please practise social distancing and keep you and your loved ones safe.
Peter Collins
Event director

 

Wimbledon Common parkrun, event number 697, 14th March 2020

So It's Goodnight From Me And Goodnight From Him

 

First and foremost may I please draw your attention to the update that our great Wimbledon Common parkrun event director Peter Collins has provided in the previous post. His information is accurate and up to date and the sentiment that he expresses is very much in keeping with the spirit of our running community.

So, let's take a moment to step away from the "C" word and enjoy some of the superb photos captured by Clive Scammell of the parkrun cool kids doing what they love...

Special K duo Kylie and Keith

Event 697 - CS(112)Event 697 - CS(109)

Lean into the corner, and air walk Lucy and marvellous Mel

Event 697 - CS(17)Event 697 - CS(73)

Leader of The Gang, PAF Collins (in his new parkrun 500 shirt)

Event 697 - CS(3)

Laters alligators... thanks Chiara

Event 697 - CS(4)

 The Marvellous Milestones

Congratulations to Peter Metcalf on reaching 300 parkruns, great effort and well done.  Matthew McDadd and James Saville reached 200 parkruns, fab-u-lous. Katherine Paterson who reached 100 parkruns, peachy work. Ben Stanton and Lucy Marstrand reached the big Hawaii 5-O, splendid deeds indeed.

The Stats and heroes:

This week 296 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 24 were first timers and 19 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 17 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 25 volunteers:

Sophie RUSSELL • Peter Alasdair Fergus COLLINS • Chris ABELL • Annie TOSH • David HALL • Malcolm BROOKES • Sarah ROBBINS • Alexander HALL • Clive SCAMMELL • Danuta K GRABDA • Gary FORDE • Graham WHITE • Michelle MASON • Bob WALSH • Clare WOOD • Dominic OSTROWSKI • Graham TRAINOR • India TRAINOR • Bronte TRAINOR • Katrina OSBORNE • Jo MANLEY • Georgia RENNIE • Becca SHUTE • Tamsin ABBEY • Caroline LEE

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 25,268 participants have completed 198,884 parkruns covering a total distance of 994,420 km, including 29,903 new Personal Bests. A total of 1,213 individuals have volunteered 11,135 times.

Keep washing your hands, see you on the flip side.

Report Writer: Annie Tosh

Photographer: Clivey "Baby" Scammell

 

All UK parkruns cancelled until at least the end of March

Parkrun HQ has today said: “All parkrun events in the United Kingdom have been suspended with immediate effect due to the ongoing COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation. At this stage we have cancelled events up to the end of March. Please follow our communications channels for ongoing updates. parkrun’s global position is published and will be updated here.”

This was only to be expected. This does not mean, of course, that you cannot go running if you feel healthy enough, but please take care of yourselves and loved ones, and we look forward to seeing you back on the common once we get through these extraordinary times. We will keep you updated.

Peter Collins
Event director

 

Coronavirus update 23:12, 16 March

Fellow parkrunners, you will probably have seen the government ramping up its measures to battle the spread of the coronavirus. Although it has strongly recommended that people don't gather together in numbers for the foreseeable future, it has stopped short of banning large gatherings. Parkrun is taking its lead from government recommendations and is due to update us all on the situation by the end of play on Wednesday. Parkrun will either cancel all UK parkruns at once, or give all of them the green light to go ahead, on the basis that unilateral cancellations will simply lead to people attending the parkrun nearest to the one they usually go to.

If we do go ahead on Saturday, you are most welcome to attend. But common sense prevails, of course. If you are unwell, do not run and do not volunteer, even if you have already said you will: in the latter case, please let our volunteer coordinators know that you can't turn up. The most important thing is not how many parkruns you do, but your health and the health of others. Please think about that before you turn up.

As soon as we know what parkrun UK intends to do, we will update this news page.

Thanks, and keep yourselves and your loved ones well.

Peter Collins

Event director

 

Coronavirus and Wimbledon Common parkrun

 

Parkrun is taking the Covid-19 issue very seriously and, as you might have noticed, events have been cancelled wholesale in a number of countries. HQ has not yet done this for the UK, so, as of 10.15am on Friday 13 March, Wimbledon Common parkrun is going ahead tomorrow and for the foreseeable future. Parkrun is hesitant to let individual parkruns make decisions to close down while others remain open, for the simple reason that people from the postponed parkruns will decide to go to those that remain open. The situation remains fluid, of course, so please keep your eyes on the main parkrun site and on the news section of this site.

There are, of course common-sense precautions you can take.

Do not run if you feel unwell and/or have cold or flu-like symptoms.

Similarly, do not volunteer if you have those symptoms. If you have already volunteered but feel unwell, please let the volunteer coordinators know as soon as possible and do not attend.

Do neither if you have been in contact with someone who has coronavirus or has travelled to at-risk areas, even if you do not yourself feel unwell.

If you do come to the event, the same precautions you would take at work and at home should be observed.

If anything changes, we will get a news update onto this site as soon as we can.

Thank you

Peter Collins

Event director

 

Wimbledon Common Parkrun Event 696, 7 March 2020

Last week we urged our lady members to join us to celebrate International Women's Day. We lifted our proportion of women runners from a third to 46% - many of whom, along with the men, were decked out in purple to show their support. We also had 16 first time ever parkrunners and a remarkable 75% were ladies.

 
Wimbledon Common parkrun 696-193
 

In addition to the stats for the ladies our weekly numbers (397) were significantly up on last week (210) although the course remained just as waterlogged. Our shoe dryer has retained pride of place as a centerpiece in the kitchen for the second week in a row as a testament to our determination.

Milestones: Tola Pearce has now receive her junior 10 shirt while a well done to Alexandra Selemir, Anja Stenbakken and Juliet Morel for achieving their 50 and Stephen Lawton and Sophie Bennet their 100 – all T-shirted. After those milestones we need to leap 300 places to Matthew Salisbury for his fantastic 400, sorry no T-Shirt this time but there is an International Women's day themed picture instead!!

Wimbledon Common parkrun 696-203

This week we recorded 27 visitors from other Parkruns and we recorded 31 new Personal Bests which was remarkable given the slippery conditions. Representatives of 31 different clubs took part.

Our first lady finisher this week was Lucy Woolhouse in 21:31 followed by Katherine Downie a visitor from Gateshead Harriers and AC in 21:57. Third was Chiara Statuto a first timer in 22:29!!

Leading the men this week was Adam Harwood of Hercules Wimbledon AC with a time of 18:37. Adam was followed by Dmitry Selemir from 26.2 RRC who finished in 19:33 and third to finish was Greg Pratt in 19:40.

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: Charles LAWRIE, Colin HARRIS, Peter Alasdair, Fergus COLLINS, James HELLINGS, John SABOURIN, Hugh WOOLHOUSE, Simon BODLE, Stephen JOHNSON, Graham WHITE, Katie DRIVER, Liz OSTROWSKI, Graham TRAINOR, India TRAINOR, Fiona MCLAREN, Katrina OSBORNE, Jo MANLEY, Elizabeth CASSIDY, Nick HUDSON, Andrew OSBORNE, Jane SCOON, Georgia RENNIE, Sean JONES, Sophie JONES, Sarah JONES, Lily PRYTHERCH-ODLIN, David COBB, Tamsin ABBEY

Writer: Matthew Searle
Photographer: Bob Walsh

 

Wimbledon Common Parkrun Event 695

Congratulations to all the parkrunners who braved the wet and muddy course to participate in the first ever parkrun falling on 29 February.  It was a water based obstacle course. How deep does a puddle have to be to no longer qualify as a puddle?
20200229_105239_4204

The next opportunity to run at parkrun on 29 February takes place in 28 years - 2048.  My husband and I have booked in the date by which stage we will be octogenarians - nothing like forward planning.  Currently 16 octogenarians (13 men and 3 women)  have completed the Wimbledon course one of whom is my father.  A closer diary date is this coming Saturday when we are appealing to all female parkrunners to participate to commemorate International Women's day. 20200229_103746_4013

We learned from the run director that whilst there are more female parkrunners registered at Wimbledon Common parkrun, more men than women run on a weekly basis.  This week was no exception, of the 210 people who ran, jogged and walked the course there were 116 men and 82 women (12 unknowns).  Please girls do join in on 7 March to represent the demographic of the Wimbledon parkrun membership for International Women's day.   20200229_104027_4037

Taking a closer look at this week's results,  there were 31 first timers (great effort and well done and we hope they will not be put off by the mud) and 6 personal bests (another fantastic effort in extremely muddy and wet conditions).  There were 26 different clubs represented.  First over the line was Hector Revill of Hercules Wimbledon AC with an incredible speedy time of 17:58.  He was followed by Sam Todd from City of Norwich AC who finished in 18:18. Third to finish was Nick McKay of Wimbledon Windmilers who completed the course in 19:24.

With regards to female placings, Ellen Weir of Hercules Wimbledon AC finished first placing 5th overall with a time of 20:27.  Chloe Binley was the second woman to finish at  22:11 placing 19th  overall. The third female finisher was  Alex Binley of Hercules Wimbledon AC  placing 21st overall with a time of 22:24.

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,  Peter Alasdair Fergus Collins, Chris Rebbeck, Brian Golden, Tessa Kelly, Jaspal Dhalley, Gary Forde,   Stephen Johnson, Harsha Arunkumar Naik, Julia Donovan, James Spinks,  Graham Trainor, India Trainor, Jo Manley, Gilmar Wendt, Katie Holmes, Georgia Rennie, Cecilia Fent, Sally Windle, Lily Prytherch-Odlin, Christine Fent, Tamsin Abbey, Caroline Lee and Stuart Souter

Writer: Carol Searle

Photographer: James Spinks

 

WCparkrun #694, 22 February 2020

 

'It's free because it's yours'

 

The Diggers, the radical San Francisco community action group of the 1960s (who got their name from the Protestant radicals that emerged during the English Civil War of the 17th century), used, among other things, to run free stores, give out free food daily in Golden Gate Park and provide free medical care (in a country where this still doesn’t exist 50 years later). They were fond of saying, if asked, ‘it’s free because it’s yours’. (They were also responsible for the it-hasn't-aged-well saying 'Today is the first day of the rest of your life'.)

You get something of the atmosphere of the time from one of the founders, Emmett Grogan, in his sprawling, gob-smacking, often funny and probably very exaggerated memoir Ringolevio.

There’s something of this ethos behind parkrun. Of course, it is not a political organisation, does not promulgate a society free from buying, selling and private property, and is unlikely – I think – to stage free concerts involving groups such as the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane (but over to you, parkrun HQ). However, parkrun is, in its way, free because it’s yours – and you can contribute as much or as little as you like.

All this pseudo-intellectual verbosity comes after I completed my 500th parkrun. I’m not obsessed with such things – indeed, I’ve found reference to it rather embarrassing ('but, hey, you just mentioned it yourself', I hear you say. D'uh!) – but I think it’s allowed me to gain some insight to what makes parkrun tick along so well. One of the main principles laid down by the organisation is that its runs will always be free; nor will parkrun pay specifically for the right to run on a particular piece of land. These concepts are non-negotiable and have led in the past to the closure of at least one event because the local council wanted to be paid to host it.

Cutting its nose off to spite its face? I don’t think so. To my mind, parkrun is a public service, the idea being to get people outdoors, getting some exercise and enjoying some of the wonderful open spaces we have around the country, without worrying about cost. It is and should be open to everyone, whatever their ability, and it should be welcomed everywhere. Nor should it make a profit for someone, though it brings in money from sponsorship.

I know first-hand the benefits it has had for a number of people. Just the other weekend I was talking to a regular who said they’d come to parkrun as an overweight non-runner who rarely got exercise, but had progressed to completing an Ironman. Not everyone has to go that far, of course, but plenty of people who've decided to give parkrun a go have improved their health, joined running clubs, run other events longer than 5k, competed in related events such as duathlons and triathlons, and, last but not least, recognised the value of volunteering (and there are a few who give of their time in this way without ever running!).

Enough of the eulogy. Some well-earned milestones were passed this week. Dominic Casey ran his 100th parkrun, though it was just his 12th at Wimbledon: he seems to split his running between Oxford and Fulham Palace – there’s a story, right there. Dominic Goodliffe, almost a 70s sitcom, chose to run his 100th parkrun here, though he was a first-timer on our green pastures (Nonsuch is his natural home). David Ford, who IS a Wimbledon regular, posted his 200th run, though sadly the 200 Cup was unavaible, having also been awarded the previous week and yet to reappear.

IMG_3650

Love him or hate him, Mr Marmite is always there

Mr Marmite, Philip Butler, ran his 250th parkrun, as ever clad in his 'Marmite’ running top. And last, but nowhere near least, Windmiler and Wimbledon parkrun regular Jayne Hurrell finished her 400th parkrun in under 30 minutes the day before completing her 14th half marathon at Hampton Court in a brutal wind (I know, because I was there too). Well done to all.

IMG_3613

Jayne Hurrell puts on a brave face before her 400th

First-timer James Stocker of Herne Hill Harriers was the first runner to finish, in a time of 18:32. Not far behind was Adam Harwood of Hercules Wimbledon in 18:55, and an unknown runner was third.

Charlotte Davies of Bedford & County AC was the first woman over the line, in a time of 20:56. Wimbledon Windmiler Sophie McKay took the silver position in 23:11. The unaligned first-timer Erica Bewsey bronzed out in a time of 23:39.

Top age-grader this week was round-the-world cyclist Richard Evans, with 76.66% for a time of 20:34. Andrew Lenon scored 74.17% for his time of 22 minutes exactly. And Caroline Lee posted 72.34% for her 27:36, then ran a superb PB of 2:03:36 in the Hampton Court half the next day. Phew!

IMG_3616

Numbers were down this week to 379, which would have felt crowded just a few years ago but is now a couple of hundred below par. The very wet conditions and the seemingly never-ending wind will have been factors, not to mention the plethora of half marathons that took place this weekend. The car park breathed a sigh of relief.

Eleven people ran their first ever parkruns, which, given the conditions, surely deserves special-edition t-shirts all round.

And now the attention turns to a couple of special events: first, this coming Saturday will see the first parkruns ever organised for 29 February. I’m not sure when or if this will ever happen again, but I’m guessing it’ll be a fair few years before it does.

And the week after that, 7 March, is when parkrun as a whole has partnered with International Women’s Day (IWD is actually on the Sunday, but we do what we can) in a bid to get more women out of bed and down to their local parkruns to run or walk 5k. We’re pretty pleased with our gender balance here, but apparently, although 54 per cent of registered parkrunners are women, fewer woman than men actually get out to run. So if you know someone who is registered but hasn’t run, or just know someone who might want to do it but hasn’t yet plucked up the courage… bring them down.

Finally, thanks to our beloved volunteers. You know who your are. Deep respect. It’s free because it’s yours.

Peter Collins, event director

⇐ Newer Posts in Category