Marshaling at Fareham Parkrun

I woke up this morning to the wind blowing an absolute Hooley! I put on my warm, waterproof clothes and made my way to Fareham Parkrun to don the high viz as a run marshal. Tomorrow I have local race (The Purbrook 5), and as I have just returned from injury, I thought I would give my legs a break today. It’s also Volunteer Week! 🙂

Fareham is my home parkrun and there are a lot of familiar faces, I usually run this course but it’s important that we all do our bit – did you know that if you volunteered at your local Parkrun, just once a year, Parkrun would never need to request for marshals. Parkrun can’t take place without the volunteers so it’s an important job, it’s also really rewarding..

Arriving at 8.30am, I was given a large high viz, emergency contact information and a ‘KEEP LEFT’ sign (which was fun taking to the check point in the storm!).  My spot today was at the 2KM point whereby there is absolutely no protection from the wind, so I took the full force of its fierceness. The views were amazing though!


Today was a little bit muddy with some puddles.  Neil Driscoll (from the Fareham Crusaders) couldn’t resist showing everyone how it’s done.  The Fareham course is quite flat but there is an incline at the end, it feels a lot worse than it is – especially if you’ve gone out hard in the first two miles or so.


My job today was to make sure that everyone kept left and that everyone was safe.  There was one fall today and the runner was directed to Kirsten at the next check point for some plasters from the trusty first aid kit.

I really enjoyed encouraging the runners, having a little chat with some of them and pumping out my 90’s dance music! It certainly made the runners smile! Vengaboys anyone?!

I love how friendly the runners are, and it made me recognise just how important it is to acknowledge and thank the supporters – which I do always try to do when I can breathe adequately!


It’s so easy to volunteer, simply opt in to the volunteer emails on the Parkrun homepages to find out when your local run is in need of support. If you would like to volunteer on an Ad Hoc basis, you can email your local Parkrun and they can tell you the spots they need.

Happy Parkrun! Oh and don’t forget your barcode! 😊

May your miles be long and your injuries few

Kezza x

Fareham Parkrun Race Report

I was meant to be doing a bit of Parkrun Tourism this morning but I somehow managed to sleep through my alarm so decided on my local Fareham Parkrun. The weather man promised rain, but it was not to be, and it remained hot and muggy.  When I arrived, the air was already filled with excitement and I had a little catch up with my running club members (the Fareham Crusaders) before I knew it the runners briefing was already taking place.

Today there were 216 runners, walkers and joggers. One person was celebrating their 50th Parkrun.  Congratulations to Alexandra Brannigan!  We also welcomed the tourists and gave a huge thanks to the high viz heroes, for without them, this event would not be possible.

Before we knew it, the Director was counting down 3,2, 1… GOOOOOO! And we were off! It didn’t feel as busy this morning, it could have been due to people taking their holidays. I said goodbye to all my fellow Crusaders and promised a cup of tea in Cams pub at the end.  There’s always a bit of chatter at the beginning of this race, the narrow path means that all paces are thrown together, and you can hear conversations about antics from the night before, to weekend plans!

The first mile flew by and before I knew it, we were all spread out along the course. By mile two, the speedier runners are lapping and chasing for that first position.  I am proud to say that a fellow Crusader, Jon Isherwood came second overall in today’s Parkrun. What a massive achievement! Not many runners are fans of the ‘lapping’ but I think it’s a chance to see your team mates and friends again and urge them on!  Another ‘thank you’ to the two high viz heroes on the turn point and I was halfway there.


The last mile hurt, a lot. I had really pushed myself on this Parkrun and it hadn’t gone amiss that there was a slight incline at mile 3. I looked out to the creek and thought, let’s get this done, so I can get in for a paddle later.  Neil Driscoll from the Fareham Crusaders caught me up and spurred me on with me shouting ‘when does this hill end?!’.  Finally, a high five from one of the high viz heroes and I somehow managed to remain focused on the home straight and kept my eyes on the cones and high viz jackets and I had finished.

I don’t remember taking a token… but I did. I do remember ringing the PB bell! Ding Ding!


Fareham Parkrun welcomes all runners, walkers and joggers. What makes it great is that everyone is running for their own reasons. This is what makes Parkrun inclusive to everyone!

First home this week was Tom Needham (Bingley Harriers and AC) with a time of 18.20. First lady was Maisie Grice (City of Portsmouth AC) with a time of 18.55. There were 21 PB’s today!

Until next week!

Lakeside Portsmouth Parkrun

Massive congratulations to the 168 runners (47 first timers) and hardcore volunteers who braved the bitterly cold temperature for yesterday’s Lakeside Parkrun.

Yesterday was my first time at Lakeside and it certainly won’t be my last – whilst writing this report, I was surprised to learn that this is the 31st week at Lakeside. As a Fareham Crusader, a few of us met there to celebrate Allie Hodgson’s 50th Parkrun. Upon arrival I was delighted to be able to find the ‘start’ location without any delay due to its luminous sign. I sat in my car with my heated seats on for as long as I could get away with!

Soon it was time to leave the warm comfort of the car and join the debrief for first timers at Lakeside. Having just returned from injury with a strained hip flexor, I was slightly nervous, I need not have worried, everyone at Parkrun is so friendly and there is such a mixture of age group and abilities – everyone is so welcoming. The only competition is with yourself.


Our wonderful Volunteers – without them – Parkrun couldn’t happen!


Soon we were directed to the start line and we were off. It was a rather steady start for me and my usual 9mm pace had dropped to 10.45mm. I think this was a mixture of the cold and my hip taking its time to warm up. It was nice to not run competitively and just enjoy the atmosphere, and chat to other runners. It was also lovely to see a mixture of other club runners there including Stubby’s and Gosport runners – despite being in different clubs- we are all very supportive of each other.

The first mile led us towards the under path and back on ourselves towards the path (which seemed to last forever). I seemed to have warmed up after the first mile and gave Jessica Masey (a fellow Crusader) a tap on the bottom as I passed her. We ran all the way to the waiting photographer, gave a big thumbs up, and looped again… more high fives to fellow Crusaders. I saw a couple of runners who I usually run with, running their home stretch to the finish line. It made me feel a bit sad – but then I thought -how lucky I am to be able to run at all.


A very cold but beautiful setting


I loved the Lakeside Parkrun, the settings are beautiful and you seem to be shielded from the wind which is a bonus! It’s also nice and flat which means that there is massive PB potential for the more competitive runner!

I knew that a PB was not in sight for me today, but I still managed to get my signature sprint in at the end… albeit, I did get overtaken by an 8 year old and thanked my lucky stars a photographer wasn’t there to capture the magic moment.

There were a massive 45 PB’s this week which is just incredible. Perhaps everyone was running harder to keep warm?!

I thanked the volunteers at the end and ate some of Allie’s biscuits, I then made my way to Starbucks for a signature hot choccy! Until next week Parkrun!


My running family – The Fareham Crusaders


Have you ran Lakeside?

What’s your favourite Parkrun course and why?

PARKRUN – Lee on the Solent (run report)

This week I decided to run Lee on Solent Parkrun having ran Havant and Southsea the previous weeks.  Southsea is my actual homerun but my favourite is Lee on Solent.  Both are close to the beach and windy as hell –but my PB has always been with Lee – so that’s always stuck in my mind.  To be fair, I love all the parkrun locations as – like it says on the tin ‘it’s not a race, it’s a run!’.  Today was a rather exciting day for me as I had planned to meet up with fellow March covergirl for women’s running, Karen Andrews from Hedge End Running club.  Each week, myself and some of the Crusaders have been doing a mini ‘Parkrun tourist trail’ around Hampshire, but this week most of the guys were either ill or had childcare responsibilities. So this week, I made my way on my own.  My fear of arriving solo soon vanished when I saw two of the Crusaders running towards the venue from Fareham Town Centre.  
 Upon arrival, I looked up at the sky and saw a the blackest blanket of cloud heading our way and prayed that the rain would hold off, I wasn’t wearing waterproofs, I also was wearing my new Mizuno trainers! nooooo! For this particular Parkrun, I always like to get here early to admire the sea, again this morning it didn’t disappoint, it was as flat and as beautiful as ever – albeit too cold for a swim!
I arrived so early that I accidently joined the marshals having their pre-chat about the race. It was so cold and I ended up jogging on the spot just to keep warm – ‘You’re going to be tired before you start!’ Gary (Lee Parkrun organiser pointed out!). Good point! After the pre run chat with Gary, I met with some of the Crusader boys – high fives all round. Mike Gilmour is unforgivably happy at this time of the morning…. see his selfie…

I then had the pleasure of meeting Karen, who was also was lucky enough to be on the cover of Women’s running mag for March 2015.  After exchanging cover girl stories, I casually asked what speed Karen was running at – ‘oh only about 7 min miles’. Just. let. that. sink. in….
I looked to my right and realised that there were a whole new bunch of lady runners who were doing lots of stretches which made me really guilty about not warming up – maybe next week…Not sure where the ladies were from but they had the hugest smiles ever and brightened up the dullest morning. Thankfully it was time to take to the start of the run as it felt like we were in well below freezing figures and I was thankful that I had brought my gloves….
This week I actually remembered my garmin having forgotten it last week, including forgetting my ear phones and gloves! I’m really not good at this time in the mornings. The great thing about forgetting headphones at the Lee run, is that runners are quite tight together at the start and so you hear lots of different conversations from stories of shenanigans from the night before, lots of gossip and discussions about what PB’s people were aiming for.  
On the take off, you couldn’t miss the friendliest photographer perched on top of the hill and everyone slowed to give him a little wave. The first mile went so quickly but I had the unfortunate experience of not looking where I was going and running straight into dog poo…. fabulous. This is good luck though right?! 
During the first mile, the runners start lapping, this can be a bit soul destroying if you haven’t run this parkrun before, I’ve learnt to deal with this by smiling and high fiving my team mates! During the approach of the ‘slope’ I was running behind two runners called ‘the lazy gits’ (or something like this!), I had a little giggle to myself and thought this is what running should be about- having fun and not taking it all too seriously!
My approach to the first slope is small but quick steps and then just let my feet carry me down on the descent. Next were the pebbles, probably my least favourite part of the race… but a necessary evil to enable us to have this lovely location…. My gamin beeped at me to tell me I was already at 2 miles…. cue waves and whoops to fellow runners lapping… The first boy in was extremely fast…A fellow Crusader (Mike) mentioned to me that he had thought to himself – ‘that guy has taken off too quickly’ – Unfortunately for Mike, the first guy in was still running at the same speed 2.5 miles in!
Randomly there was a roller-skater who joined us today equipped with a remote control toy doll on a bike. he seemed to be enjoying the crowds and the attention his mini motorcyclist was getting!
A high five to the lovely Marshall ‘Amanda’ who shouted words of encouragement to me as i was on my last  stretch, I gathered my energy for the two small slopes and tried to encourage another runner who had given up half way.  ‘Come on’! I screamed to him and myself as I was well on the way for a PB. by now I could see the lovely marshall’s encouraging everyone home…. time to bring out my little signature sprint at the end which I like to save in my reserve…. and I was home.  I was delighted with my PB of 28.10 – the dog poo theory is definitely true…. not a bad effort having spent two months out injured the month before….
I caught up with some fellow runners and cheered a couple of guys in and it was already time to go.  Only 7 more sleeps for the next one :0)
Kezza x