Behind the scenes at Southampton parkrun

23 September 2017

In our house it wouldn’t be Saturday if it didn’t start with a trip to Southampton Common for parkrun. Southampton is the busiest parkrun on the South Coast  with between seven hundred to a thousand or more runners each week. As September parkruns were part of the Spitfire Championship and October sees the thirteenth anniversary of the very first parkrun, I thought I’d take a look behind the scenes to see what goes on to make this fabulous free event happen every Saturday morning.  Continue reading Behind the scenes at Southampton parkrun

Keeper of names

16 September 2017

For most of the summer Southampton parkrun has been using the winter course starting and ending near the Cowherds, due to a huge project to upgrade the paddling pool area. For me this has meant no time for wandering in the Old Cemetery while everyone’s running. Today it was back to the more usual start and finish near the Hawthorns, so, as soon as the runners set off, I marched across the grass towards the Old Cemetery gates.  Continue reading Keeper of names

Beyond Graffiti

19 August 2017

With all the decorating going on there have been no proper walks lately. Life has been one long round of cleaning, sanding, painting and organising things like new blinds for the windows and furniture renovations. Although all this has given me plenty of exercise I’ve missed being out with my camera walking so, today, while Commando was running round parkrun, I took a short wander on The Common.  Continue reading Beyond Graffiti

Happy 5th Birthday Southampton parkrun

8 July 2017

This morning it was quite bizarre to rock up at parkrun and find the Run Directors were actually the 118 twins complete with moustaches. Ok, so Rob has usually got some kind of facial hair going on but I’ve never seen Kim with a moustache before. Oddly, it kind of suited her. The reason for all this frivolity was a birthday. Southampton parkrun turned five years old this morning and everyone was in the mood to celebrate. The theme was heroes, obviously. Continue reading Happy 5th Birthday Southampton parkrun

More parkrun tourism and a Bigfoot sighting at Moors Valley

1 July 2017

This Saturday the Pretty Muddy Race For Life 5k was taking place on The Common so, once again, parkrun was cancelled.  This time we decided to go to Moors Valley Country Park to check out the parkrun there. When the boys were young we used to take them there to enjoy all the colourful sculptures and climbing frames built from trees felled by the great storm of October 1987. When he first began running, Commando ran a 5k race there too. All in all I was pretty sure I’d find plenty to amuse me while he ran today.  Continue reading More parkrun tourism and a Bigfoot sighting at Moors Valley

Parkrun tourism Fareham

17 June 2017

Typically, just as Commando is getting back to parkrunning, Southampton parkrun is cancelled. Luckily it’s only for one week while an event called Gung Ho is being held.  As far as I can tell, it involves lots of giant inflatable obstacles. While I’m pretty sure running round the Common and climbing over glorified bouncy castles is great fun, the serious runners have all been looking at other local parkruns. Southampton, with  between seven hundred and one thousand runners most weeks, is one of the largest parkruns in the country.  Obviously, if everyone turned up at the next nearest venue, Netley or Eastleigh, who both average less than two hundred runners, there would be mayhem.  Continue reading Parkrun tourism Fareham

The graveyard shift – comedy, tragedy and shipwrecks

1 April 2017

On Saturday mornings you can usually find me at parkrun. If I feel like a brisk walk I march round the 5k course, rarely coming last unless I’m actually walking with the tail runner to keep her company. Two laps of the Common is a touch boring, so I often just go for a wander and come back to cheer once people begin to finish. Occasionally I wander down to London Road or to Highfield campus to grab a coffee, sometimes I poke about on the Common. Today I decided to visit the Old Cemetery, looking for signs of spring and interesting stories.  Continue reading The graveyard shift – comedy, tragedy and shipwrecks

Mud, swans, photo bombing coots and funnel duckers

4 February 2017

Parkrun was brought to us this week by damp, mud, steaming runners and a photo bombing coot or two. It was also freezing cold but I’m getting used to that now. The talk of the day was breaking records. The parkruns at Lymington, Winchester and Eastleigh were cancelled and, from the outset, it was clear there were a lot more people on Southampton Common than normal. It looked as if the record attendance of nine hundred and forty two might well be broken.  Continue reading Mud, swans, photo bombing coots and funnel duckers

A little parkrun tourism

21 January 2017

We keep saying we’re going to be parkrun tourists more often but we never quite get round to it. Not that there’s anything wrong with Southampton Common of course, it’s one of the biggest and best parkruns in the country after all. It’s nice to have a change once in a while though and to see other parks, even if it does mean getting up extra early on a Saturday morning and possibly getting lost. Anyhow, this week we did go to a different park, although not an entirely unfamiliar one.

Continue reading A little parkrun tourism

The five parkruns of Christmas, almost

December 2016

The Christmas period seemed to be one long whirl of parkruns, one after the other. The first was on Christmas Eve. England felt incredibly warm after Iceland, even though everyone else was shivering and complaining about the cold. It seemed odd to be getting up at the crack of dawn and actually seeing pink skies instead of darkness too.  Continue reading The five parkruns of Christmas, almost