Southsea parkrun attendance record is smashed - and Oliver Smith takes top honours on his first visit to the course

There was a new milestone set at the Southsea parkrun this past weekend.

Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 10:04 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 3:36 pm
Runners were out in force for the Southsea parkrun. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

The 657 finishers that completed the event played their part in making it the largest field that has ever taken on the course in a single event.

It continues the trend of increased participation in parkruns in the Portsmouth area since the turn of the year.

Along with Southsea setting a new attendance record in the latest event, Whiteley (460) and Lee-on-the-Solent (987) have seen biggest ever numbers take on their courses in 2020.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Oliver Smith (right) was first home in the Southsea parkrun, next to second-placed Duncan Seums. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

And to mark what was a milestone day, Oliver Smith was the man to break the tape on his first visit to Southsea.

The 25-29 age group category came home in a time of 16:06, that was 15 seconds faster than second-placed Duncan Selmes.

Dan Slayford is continuing to clock up the parkruns and moved a step closer to another personal milestone on his was to finishing third.

The Flyers Southend member racked up an impressive total of 249 events completed – and recorded a Southsea personal best time of 16:25.

Southsea parkrun director Grant Day. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

The achievements kept coming at the latest seaside parkrun event.

Fourth-placed finisher Jon Fairs recorded a new pb of 16:23, while his Haslemere Borders Athletics Club team-mate David Jarrett – in fifth – also set a new pb (16:47).

Another Southsea first time, Mike Robbins, completed the top six, coming home in 16:59.

Gemma Bigg was the first female to finish, setting a new pb of 18:37.

Southsea parkrun volunteers and run director Grant Day (white bib). Picture: Duncan Shepherd

n Alfie Moth was pipped to a first-placed finish in the Havant parkrun by Joseph Palmer.

Taking on the course for the first time, the 18-19 age group category competitor broke the tape in a time of 18:41.

Home runner Moth followed Palmer home (19:06).

He has racked up six first place finishes in the Havant parkrun but has had to settle for a runners-up spot in two of his previous three visits.

A record turnout took on the latest Southsea parkrun. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

Matthew Russell came close to pipping Moth to second place, coming home just two seconds after the Havant Athletics Club runner.

Bracknell Athletics Club’s Hannah Barnard, who finished ninth overall, was the first female home on her maiden visit to the course (21:00).

n Mindaugas Sasnauskas moved to within 10 events of completing a parkrun century by breaking the tape at Portsmouth Lakeside.

He has now completed 90 parkruns and came home first in a time of 18:15.