Winchester parkrun #249 – The Beast From The East

The one with all the snow...

Winchester was in a very select group of parkruns this week as 81% of all UK parkruns were cancelled due to snow, ice, and various other hazardous conditions, but Winchester was ON!


As the snow fell throughout Thursday and Friday the Winchester event core team took repeated trips down to the North Walls Recreation group at all hours to check out the course to see if there was a chance of running come Saturday morning - and the good news was, we did! If there were any doubts about being able to put on a safe event then we would have obviously cancelled - but with nice fresh, dry snow there was lots of grip and no icy patches to fall foul of.

Attendance was naturally down with only 138 runners joining us - with personal transport a problem for many (cars stuck in drives seemed to be a common problem!). We did, however, get what appeared to be the entire run directing team from Poole parkrun, who took the opportunity of unfortunately having had to cancel their run to do a bit of touristing of their own :)

As it happened, Poole regular Graham FILMER had the same idea, and completed his 250th parkrun with us in the snow - well done Graham!


We were especially indebted to all the volunteers this week, as we are of course every week, but in particular with many volunteers unable to make it due to transportation problems there were plenty of people willing to step up at the last minute and help to make the event happen.

We had so many comments from runners who said this was one of the best events that they had attended which was so nice to hear - it was really rewarding for everyone involved to be able to put on such a fun, engaging, but most of all safe event. We think the snow of the 3rd of March 2018 is likely to go down in history as one of the highlights of Winchester parkrun!


After all the excitement of the snow we are entering a period of festivities for Winchester parkrun, with the 250th event due to happen next time out (10th March 2018), and then our official 5th birthday celebrations on the 28th April 2018. As they don't award milestone T-shirts to the event itself we would love if you could all come in green (or a Winchester Apricot at a push) and we'll celebrate the milestone together on Saturday. We will save the full parkrun party until the birthday in April, when I'm sure there will be lots of cake - and hopefully some nice sunshine to go with it.

See you next time (in green!),


Winchester parkrun #238

Run report by James WHITE

So once again we find ourselves at the North Wall Rec at 9AM on a Saturday morning for another fabulously organized, tremendously fun parkrun!  I arrived around 0830 and David  had everything well under control, with a team of helpers already having finished setting up the course!

The conditions were good, with a small shower having cleared before the eager hoards started descending on the park.  The ground was fairly firm underfoot but with some sticky muddy patches in places.

This week was a pacers week, with Matt Grote having organized even numbered pacers from 20 minutes down to 38.  Pacing weeks offer amazing opportunities for people to push themselves to PBs, and today was no exception with a whopping 38 people running new PBs. Well done Matt and team and to everyone who ran so well.

There was some superb support on the way round as well and it was heartening to see how many people stayed to cheer on the runners yet to finish.  It's little things like that, which makes Winchester parkrun so special.

This week saw 12 runners joined the parkrun family.  Welcome! We hoped you enjoyed your first parkrun.  We also had 21 visitors from places such as York, Tetbury, Southsea and Alice Holt.

Huge congratulation to Rafferty SULLIVAN who joined the 10 club.

There were 20 unknown runners!  Don't forget your barcode everyone!!

This week's hi-viz heroes are:


Thank you to everyone who made today's run possible and to everyone who made it so enjoyable!

[Insert Stats here!]


Winhester parkrun #234 – 28/10/2017

I've recently been on my travels, visiting a number of different parkruns. This means that  today was only my 2nd visit to Winchester in 5 months! As Dorothy said in The Wizard of Oz "there's no place like home"!

Last week I was on the Isle of Wight and ran my parkrun in the rain and gale force winds that storm Brian brought. This week could not have been more different; sunny, nicely cool and not a breathe of wind. In short...perfect running conditions.

We arrived at the park slightly later than usual but in enough time to catch up with Sarah and Tom, RDs for the day, and Ann, fresh from her Great South Run last weekend. In fact, there were a large number of people sporting GSR tshirts. Well done everyone!!

Going back to Winchester reminded me why I love parkrun. I have made so many friends because of it and it was so nice to see them this morning.

As usual I was running with Elsie in the buggy and we were gunning for a buggy running PB. So we lined up near the front and went for it!

The course has benefitted from the last few days sunshine and it was firm under foot, which made the buggy running slightly easier. We started at a good pace and got into an excellent rhythm.

The marshals on course were superb, as ever, and gave everyone great encouragement.

Elsie enjoyed cheering people on as we ran round and at one point she even spotted a duck (very exciting when you are 18 months old)!

We were soon on the final straight and crossed the line knackered but happy with our run. We stayed and cheered everyone in; it was great to see how hard people were working and how much enjoyment everyone got from their morning.

Later in the day, when I got my text, I found that I had beaten my buggy PB by 2 seconds. There were 59 runners who got proper PBs today. Amazing running if you were one of them!

There were a number of milestone runs today. These were:

Jon Camfield - 100
Bart Huby - 50
Erin Sheffield - jnr10
Tom Talks - jnr10
Eva Munden - jnr10

Congratulations and I hope you get your shiny new t-shirts soon.

There were 12 first timers today! Welcome to the parkrun family! There were also 21 first time visitors to Winchester, including runners from Cape Town and New Jersey!

This week's run wouldn't have been possible without the following volunteers:

Peter ALDRIDGE, Julia BROOK, Su BROWNING, David CORNFORTH, Kate DEW, Luke DIXON, Drew K FORREST, Hayley GILES, Janice HARMER, Simon HOLMAN, Imi HORNSBY, David HOWELLS, Stu JAMES, Alan MAGEE, Nathalie NICHOLLS, Katherine PIKE, Sarah Anne REID, Jessica REID, Tom REID, Sallie RODERICK, Peter ROUND, Catherine SAUNDERS, Marion SHARPE, Robin SPEED, Ann STANHOPE, John SWEENEY, Jane THOMAS

Thank you!!

Here are this week's stats:

This week 315 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 34 were first timers and 58 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 16 different clubs took part.

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

The male record is held by Andy GREENLEAF who recorded a time of 15:40 on 31st May 2014 (event number 60).
The female record is held by Carmen SANCHEZ TORIBIO who recorded a time of 17:20 on 16th May 2015 (event number 112).
The Age Grade course record is held by Alan MURCHISON who recorded 88.01% (15:59) on 26th September 2015 (event number 129).

Winchester parkrun started on 27th April 2013. Since then 7,374 participants have completed 48,855 parkruns covering a total distance of 244,275 km, including 9,057 new Personal Bests.



Due to the chilli and cheese festival taking place over the weekend at River Park, tomorrow's parkrun is cancelled. Why not visit one of the 16 (sixteen!) other parkruns within 25 miles for a change of scene? Normal service will be resumed next week.


Winchester parkrun #217 report: “My 250th parkrun”

This week's report is by parkrun tourist Mike Harper.

This was my 4th visit to Winchester parkrun, it's been a few years as I like my tourism, and the course has changed a little. I think the new course is a slight improvement, still very flat, a bit more room at the start to getaway and no tight turns over the other bridge.

I chose Winchester partly as it is so accessible, so my friends from Vegan runners could travel easily from Exeter, Newbury, Staines, Brighton and Banbury by road as it's so close to the M3 and also some travelled by train as it's just a 10 minute walk.

It's also a nice flat route, and our last meet up was Q.E park, so one extreme to another!

The car park at the Leisure centre is a decent size, though with over 300 runners I understand it did fill around 8.45. We paided £2.10 for 3 hours, giving us plenty of time to park, run, chat and go to Rawberry cafe nearby, which I'd highly recommend.

The volunteers were very friendly, Paul Coverdale the R.D called us together about 8.55 and set us on our way at 9.00, a pretty well behaved bunch in Winchester, a lot less chatting during the briefing than you often get!

Conditions were pretty good, still some warmth so the breeze was quite welcome. Three quick guys got away and the rest of us settled into our more sedate pace, the lady in the far corner of the big field was super friendly, shouting 'Go vegans' on each lap.

It's a slightly smaller first lap, then two full ones, I run around 20 mins and caught a few runners in the last 5 mins but no issues with overtaking, unlike Southampton, there is plenty of room to get by here.

Generally a fast course, the only slow down is the 180 degree turn around the trees, there are a few tree roots to be careful of for a few hundred metres, otherwise very straightforward and well worth a visit.

Vegan runners had 17 official runners, plus a few who run under their first claim club, and some supporting and taking photos, we had chocolate cake and fruit and sweets for everyone at the end, which seemed to go really well. The local Clubs also had good numbers, Winchester A.C had 26 runners and Worthy Runners also had 17, so of the 21 Clubs running, the biggest three were the last three alphabetically!

Some stats that I could glean.

Firstly 22 lovely volunteers, 337 runners, so a good number despite the local Lordshill 10k the next day.

An impressive 79 p.b's, 59 first timers to Winchester, 24 unknown runners, leaving 175 of us to run here not recording a course p.b :(

One of those first timers was my very lovely friend Heidi from Vegan runners, who was running her first ever parkrun, and smiled her way around to finish 3rd lady!

Tim Smales and Humza Ahmed both ran sub 17 min p.b's to go 12th and 14th respectively on the fastest 500 list, which to aspire to you currently need to run 20 mins.

The only age group record I could see was from Sheila Sweeney in the VW70-74 cat running 31.02.


1st Tim Smales 16.51 VM35-39 W.D.A.C
2nd Humza Ahmed 16.56 SM18-19 W.D.A.C
3rd Martin West 17.30 VM35-39 W.D.A.C


1st Female Deborah Whiston 19.50 VW35-39 Un
2nd Female Sarah Sedden 20.11 VW40-44 W.D.A.C
3rd Female Heidi Loveridge 21.06 VW35-39 Vegan Runners



1st Age graded Mike Harper 79.97% VM55-59 19.23 Vegan Runners


2nd Age graded Tim Smales 79.23% VM35-39 16.51 W.D.A.C
3rd Age graded Humza Ahmed 77.85 SM18-19 16.56 W.D.A.C

Winchester parkrun #207 report: An award, a milestone, sunshine and cake!

By Paul Coverdale (Run Director)

There was a sense of anticipation this week as many among the Winchester regulars knew that Saturday was going to be a special milestone for one of our core team. Add in that it was the start of the Easter holidays for many and a beautiful, sunny, April morning and you had a perfect recipe for the best of parkrun. This was one I was looking forward to directing! Very nearly 300 people turned up with a spring in their step; an eclectic mix of the newbies and the seasoned parkrunner, the locals and the tourists (Woodley, Abingdon and one chap all the way from South Africa), the young, very young and not so young, the two legged and four, the fast and more leisurely, all supported by a bumper team of smiling volunteers. Before I came to the all important milestone news in the pre-run briefing, I had an admission to make. In my haste to get everyone underway the previous week I had completely forgotten to mention that our wonderful volunteer co-ordinator, Ann Stanhope, had recently won Volunteer of the Year for Hampshire. This was an award for volunteers who help organise all different sports so quite an honour. Many of the community know Ann, and it was nice to be able to recognise her efforts publicly. She is a big part of the reason why we manage to put on an event each week, and as a run director I'm grateful to her for the help she gives us. Another well known member of the core team, Glenna Greenslade, was running her 250th parkrun - a fantastic achievement and only the second time this has happened at Winchester. Having done a little homework on Glenna's runs, I could tell her she'd spent around 5 1/4 days of her life running at parkrun which is a long time to think about remembering your barcode! More impressive is the fact that she has also volunteered 100 times at various parkruns and junior parkruns alongside husband Dave, who is a Run Director at Winchester. I'm sure she won't mind me saying that now her grandchildren are old enough to get involved in parkrun it has become a family affair. To mark the occasion, as well as bringing a fantastic cake, their son Dan came along (for his 200th parkrun no less) as well as granddaughter Alice to cheer Glenna round. The buoyant mood - or was it the promise of cake? - seemed to spur everyone on as better than 1 in 4 runners recorded PBs. The usual statistics are below. Of note the top 3 age graded results were achieved by children under 10! Well done to Jasmine Jones who was also the first female finisher. Children do like cake I suppose.... Finally, in more cake news, if you have any milestones coming up then do let us know. It's also our 4th parkrun birthday on 22nd April, another excuse. And I have it on very good authority that it could well be a certain Run Director's 100th parkrun this coming Saturday.... I'll see you there!

Now for the numbers

This week 299 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 34 were first timers and 82 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 21 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 23 volunteers.

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

Male placings: Humza AHMED (SM18-19) of Winchester and District AC, was first over the line in 18:09 - 8th time in 21 appearances. Chris SETTERS (VM40-44) of Winchester and District AC, was second over the line in 18:30. Matthew ROBINSON (VM35-39) (Unattached) was third over the line in 18:35.

Female placings: Jasmine JONES (JW10) of Winchester and District AC, was first (65th overall) over the line in 22:26 - first time in 2 appearances. Difei WANG (SW30-34) (Unattached) was second (78th overall) over the line in 22:52. Jenny GROTE (VW40-44) (Unattached) was third (81st overall) over the line in 22:57.

The three highest age grades were recorded by: Michael SHINGLETON-SMITH (JM10) – 81.92% for the time 19:16 (12th overall). Leo WILLIAMSON (JM10) – 76.77% for the time 22:10 (59th overall). Jasmine JONES (JW10) – 76.08% for the time 22:26 (65th overall).

The female record is held by Carmen SANCHEZ TORIBIO who recorded a time of 00:17:20 on 16th May 2015 (event number 112). The male record is held by Andy GREENLEAF who recorded a time of 00:15:40 on 31st May 2014 (event number 60). The Age Grade course record is held by Alan MURCHISON who recorded 88.01% (15:59) on 26th September 2015 (event number 129).

Winchester parkrun started on 27th April 2013. Since then 6,194 participants have completed 39,798 parkruns covering a total distance of 198,990 km, including 7,408 new Personal Bests.



Winchester parkrun #206: Spring, tourism and a takeover

By Lucinda Robb (tourist)

Coming down to stay in Winchester for the weekend to catch up with my oldest friend, I was super happy to find Winchester parkrun was 10 minutes walk away! Having persuaded my friend that I couldn't get through the weekend without my weekly parkrun fix I snuck out into the bright spring sunshine for the Saturday morning ritual. The park was bathed in sunshine with the blossom and trees showing spring is finally in full bloom.

277 runners came to run, jog and walk around the park including 32 first timers of which 19 were taking part in their first parkrun, congratulations and we hope to see you back again. Visitors came from a variety of parkruns including Guernsey, Newbury, Harcourt Hill, Harrow, Kettering, Riddlestown, Cheltenham and my local Frimley Lodge.

There were no new members of the 50, 100 or other notable clubs, but Sarah Reid reached an unofficial milestone of 150, congratulations!

A huge 20% of runners achieved a PB! Congratulations to everyone of you, and a few to note: Rory Penrose on his 4th PB in a row, Adam Keane on 7 PBs in 10 runs, Mike Bell on 6 PBs in 11 runs, Dominic Exworthy, Stephen Baker and Connor Dutton on 3 PBs in 4 runs, James Lanham on 6 PBs in 7 runs, Robert Cox who has knocked 7 minutes off his PB in 6 runs, Sophie Gay who has knocked 8 minutes off her PB in 3 runs and Helen Bonnor who has knocked 6 minutes off her PB in 5 runs!

parkrun would not exist without the volunteers and this week local running club Worthy Runners took over volunteering duties. If you haven't had a go at volunteering I can thoroughly recommend it, giving something back to parkrun is as satisfying as running. Thank you to all this week's volunteers!

When I arrived shortly before 0900, the run director told me that Winchester wasn't the most picturesque parkrun. parkrun doesn't have to be picturesque, it's about encouraging people to come out and get fit, make friends and join a fabulous community. As I ran around the park, admiring the trees and plants coming into bloom, the river sparkling in the bright morning light and the sun shining on the park, I couldn't think of a more picturesque place I would rather be on a Saturday morning. Thanks for having me as a visitor this weekend.


Winchester parkrun #201

by James WHITE

It was another gloomy overcast morning, but apart from a little wind it was good conditions for running. The ground has really firmed up over the past few weeks which is really pleasing for us buggy runners!

It was pleasing to see such a large crowd gathered around the first timers briefing...really great to see so many new faces embracing parkrun.

For us this week it was another family run with all of my girls joining me for a run around the park.  Olivia had been struggling with a bit of a sore heel but had wanted to give it a try.  Unfortunately part the way round the first lap it really started hurting her so she dropped out when we reached the finish line. Fortunately the wonderful Dave Greenslade kept an eye on her whilst Elsie and I completed our final lap.  It really wasn't our morning though as Sarah picked up a hip injury so she soon joined Olivia on the sidelines!

One of the great things about Winchester parkrun is how supportive everyone is, and I was overwhelmed by the support that Olivia and Sarah got whilst they were struggling.  Thank you Winchester!

Here is Olivia's (aged 6) take on the day's parkrun.


It reads:

"I loved parkrun this week but unfortunately my heel was bad.  I had a go though.  Dave said that I could stand with him.  Then Sarah came and stranded with me.  Then after that Sarah, Daddy, me and Elsie we had lots of FUN!"

There were 244 runners which included:

16 first timers – welcome to the parkrun family!

18 tourists – Thank you for visiting Winchester!

16 unknown runners – DFYB people!

We would also like to congratulate Sarah Witt on joining the 100 club!  Look forward to seeing you in black soon!!

This week's hi-viz heroes were:


Please consider volunteering if you haven't already done so!  It is extremely rewarding and will make you feel warm and fuzzy all day!



Winchester parkrun #200

By James WHITE

This Saturday saw Winchester parkrun reach 200 events.  Unfortunately the parkrun weather fairies seem to have forgotten as it was a grey, overcast, cold morning.


I had been looking forward to this run for a while. I had convinced my whole family to come up and run at Winchester.  With Elsie in the buggy there were 8 of us running and 3 supporting from the side lines. It was my Niece's 10th parkrun and my  mums birthday so they had brought cake with them to celebrate.  We set that up at the finish, hopeful that we would get round in time to actually have some!

We took a load of family snaps before the start ahead of listening to Tom delivering the excellent run briefing.  After a short pause we gathered on the start line with the other runners (287 in total) before setting off.

My nephew, the skinny quick one of the family, hared off into the distance and the rest of us set off at a gentle pace around the park.  The recent dry weather meant it was firmer under foot than it had been recently and that made it easier going with the buggy too.  After the first loop of the cricket pitch the crowds thinned out and I was able to pick my way through to join my brother, sister and younger nephew for a chat and bit of sibling banter.

It was lovely running with the family and it made the time pass really quickly,.  Before we knew it we were coming into the final kilometre and it was then that the a little bit of competitiveness came in.  My brother edged ahead.  I dropped back but had him in my sights.  Had he gone too soon?  Did he have anything left for a sprint?  I bided my time and rounded the tree for the last time.  I was 5m or so back when I put on a last burst of energy and came up onto his shoulder at the final turn to the finish.  Shoulder to shoulder I managed to put in one last push and pip him on the line.  Bragging rights secured for the short while we laughed and chatted about our run, whilst cheering in the remaining runners and enjoying some cake.

IMG_9007It was a great morning and we topped it off with a family breakfast in town. What a day!!

This week saw 17 first timers run at Winchester.  Welcome to the parkrun family!  There were also 22 visitors from Poole, the Cotswolds and Manchester (as well as other locations).    There were also a whopping 37 PBs...well done to everyone who achieved one!

Congratulations to junior runner Chloe Hawkins from Poole on running her 10th parkrun and earning her white 10 t-shirt.  Also congratulations to Sonja Bailey, Chloe's nan, whose birthday it was on parkrunday and who came to cheer her on.  Thank you to both of them for bringing the lovely cakes that we all enjoyed at the end!

Strange Occurrences: George Belfield was running his 5th parkrun and came in 5th position and Tom Owen was running his 24th parkrun and came in 24th position.

Collectors award to Victoria Duxbury for finishing in 22:22.

There were 17 unknown runners! #DFYB people!

Winchester runners on tour!  Andy Taylor and Laura Cowen ran at Richmond Olympic parkrun in Canada and both wore their apricot Winchester tops!  Great work guys!

A huge thank you to the hi-viz heroes who made this week's run possible:


Please consider volunteering.  Without volunteers parkrun cannot go ahead.  Please visit the volunteer page on the parkrun website more information!


Winchester parkrun #199

By Vicky BURKE

Calling all the heroes

As you know, parkrun can only take place on a weekly basis due to the time and dedication of our volunteers. Essentially, it is the volunteers that make parkrun happen. This week, we are excited to announce that Winchester parkrun’s Volunteer Coordinator, Ann Stanhope, won the ‘Senior Volunteer’ award at last week’s Winchester District Sport and Physical Activity annual awards. Ann has volunteered in the role each consecutive week for the past 18 months. Thank you so much Ann and many congratulations on this well deserved award.

Tim said “We’re all extremely grateful for all the hard work Ann puts in behind the scenes at Winchester parkrun and this is a lovely piece of very well deserved recognition”.

As runners gathered at the start line on Saturday, on a very chilly morning, Run Director Andy mentioned in his pre-run briefing that we had only just managed to gather enough volunteers to enable us to host a safe run. So... this is where we really need your help.

We’re looking for new volunteers to come and help us on a Saturday morning!

What are the volunteer roles?

Here are the key roles that we need filled on a weekly basis:

  • Timekeeper: presses the timer at the start, and then every time someone crosses the finish line.
  • Finish tokens: hands a plastic finish position token to each person crossing the line in the correct sequence.
  • Barcode scanning: scans the personal barcode plus the finish position barcode for each finisher.
  • Marshall: guides and encourages people around the course.
  • Tail runner: runs right at the back of the field and is the final runner to cross the finish line - ensuring that everyone is accounted for.

For a full list of volunteer roles, see the website.

Never volunteered before?

If you’ve never volunteered before, don’t worry. You don’t have to have any experience of parkrun to volunteer. You don’t even have to be a runner. We’ll give you a full briefing on what you need to do.

And if you’re new to parkrun and don’t know anyone, please don’t worry. The Winchester parkrun community is a very friendly one and volunteering is a great opportunity to meet and chat to people.

When you volunteer, you’ll need to arrive about 20-30 mins before the start of the run and stay until your fellow park runners have finished. In total it’s likely to take less than 2 hours of your time, and there are a few volunteer roles that you can do after you’ve run.

How to volunteer

 If you'd like to volunteer this week or ona future date please e-mail You can also look out for our volunteer co-ordinator at Parkrun itself - they’re easy to spot with a clipboard. They collect the names of willing volunteers for future runs.

Thank you this week’s volunteer co-ordinator Nikki and to Tony Cummings and Paul Goodenough who have kindly volunteered for next week.

[I do like a musical reference: Calling all the Heroes by It Bites, reached No. 6 in the singles charts in August 1986]