The only way is up – Tring park run #175 and #176


Date   |  Sunrise  |  Hours of sunlight
9/12   | 0758       |  7:53
16/12 | 0804       |  7:46
23/12 | 0809       |  7:45
25/12 | 0809       |  7:45
30/12 | 0810       |  7:49
1/1     | 0810       |  7:51
6/1     | 0809       |  7:58
13/1   | 0805       |  8:12
20/1   | 0758       |  8:30

They say Monday was Blue Monday – the most depressing day of the year. After Christmas. A long way from payday. Even further from a holiday. And the middle of winter.


That may be the case. There’s no doubting it’s been cold, windy and wet out there. But look at this chart. We are on the up. Tomorrow there will be more daylight in Tring than there has been since 18 November. It’s still muddy on our glorious course – it will be for several months hence – but can you feel that Vitamin D coursing through your veins? It’s the beginning of the end of Winter.




Beautiful vale


And so to runs 175 and 176 (sorry for the delayed report)… For us who pull the runs together every week, the abiding impression has been a panic about parking because of this…

car park

Thankfully, everyone’s been amazing and very co-operative with the parking on Hastoe Lane. Parking neatly and tidily on the right so there’s plenty of room for people to pass. And many more people walking up from the High Street.
We’ve also been helped by some amazing volunteers. The Patterson family were helping with barcode scanning (while Ken and the two Andy’s were parking marshals down on Hastoe Lane).


And Jo, Olivia and Judi were our finish line dream team.


And the assistant run director had accumulated a very power stick.


We were also helped by some incredible compliant and docile cows.


It was a run for milestones. Tom Arnold got his white shirt for his tenth junior run; Alan Nettledon and Peter Le Blond got their 50th and Nicola Kaenzig journey all the way from faraway Aylesbury to bring up the ton.

The Tring parkrun supercomputer had made a new year’s resolution to find some new stats. And it delivered on its resolution:
The name Sarah reached 300 appearances at Tring, with 200 for Adam and 100 for Joanne and Hannah and 50 for Barry
Tring parkrun #175 was also the first time we have seen 10 Richards and 4 Stephens. In fact in the last 3 parkruns we have seen an ascending sequence of 8-9-10 Richards – would it be 11 next time?? Richard becomes just the 2nd name to reach double digits in a run at a Tring parkrun, joining the name Paul.

All of these big names. But it was the first time we had seen the names Kristian, Belinda, Marianne, Lago and Loretta
From those we’ve not seen before, to the people who can’t stop coming. Dom Evans becomes the 19th person to run 100 times at Tring; Paul Bayley finished 10th on his 10th and Nicki Kaenzig finished 100th on her 100th.

On to #176… and there were still more milestones. Andrew “the power” Powell got his 50 and, Good ‘Evans, he’s got his 50 at last, it’s Gary Evans! Well done both. But Evans Above, he’s the Alastair Cook of Tring parkrun, well done Andy Evans on your double century



Andrew, Gary and Andy were our celebrities for the week. But we also had someone who’s got a blue tick on twitter (which, for the non-millenials out there, like me, is some kind of mark fame!). Welcome George Rainsford of Casualty and Call the Midwife fame. Great to have you.

What’s in a name? It was the 600th time we have seen the name Richard and 200th time for Kevin and 100th for Blazej. It was also the 50th time we have seen the surname Le Blond and 100th for Ziembaczewski… can you work it out? That means Blazej becomes the 20th person to run 100 times at Tring! Well done Blazej.


Only new club was London Heathside. A very fine club that trains around the very fine North London streets of Finsbury Park (here is why I take RD’s privilege to give a beloved mention to our chums at Finsbury parkrun where I started parkrunning back in 2012).

And now its late. You may even be reading this after Tring parkrun #177. Sorry for it’s late arrival. But, as ever, Tring parkrun is a great way to start the weekend and we couldn’t do it without you.

Remember: Spring will come, Winter will be beaten so keep putting on those trainers.

See you in the morning.

Wes Ball
Run Director.


#174 – 1st Jan – it’s parkrun double time

The New Year's parkrun with the possibility of a double with neighbouring runs, is always a great event and this one certainly didn’t disappoint. With the opportunity of a double, plus new resolutions, it always has the potential for a bumper crowd and so it turned out to be with 353 joining us for a run in Tring Park, our 2nd highest number ever.

So a bumper crowd deserves a bumper report and so we have

-          Lots of stats

-          Some photos

-          A guest run report from Kevin Lynch

-          Links to 2 magazine articles

-          The combined times for our double runners


With so many runners I was hoping to start with a year related time but Peter Mackerall was 2 years too late with his time of 20:16 and Mark Herbert a year too early with his 20:19 however instead we will start with our congratulations to various milestone runners including juniors, Aidan Roberts and Emily Scott running their 10th parkruns and Louise Brookes, Richard Alcock and Lisa Sammons running their 100th parkruns (with all 3 having run their 99ths at either Aylesbury or Gadebridge just 90 minutes earlier). And keeping it in the family, well done to Louise's brother and Tring/Aylesbury regular Howard Lambert who ran his 50th at Aylesbury on the same day - so well done to all of you!

Lynda Hembury was our fastest female and recorded the highest age category % for the 55th time at Tring after also having been the fastest lady at Aylesbury. It’s the 3rd year in a row that our fastest female had already been the fastest female at Aylesbury, and each year has been a different female.

David Hudson was our fastest finisher as well as being the fastest finisher at Aylesbury

The Christmas period has certainly wittled down the Tring Year 4 100% club, “the club you can leave but never rejoin”. We are down to just 4 runners who have run all the runs since our birthday at the beginning of November, so Lorraine Hurford, Ron Yaxley, Kevin Lynch and James Foskett will be keeping an eye on each other’s appearances over the next few weeks who can be the final member of the club

As ever - thanks to the volunteers

In other stats news

-          We saw 63 30-somethings  - a new record for that age group

-          Anna Scarth visiting from NZ recorded her second PB in 2 Tring parkruns

-          With the big turnouts, many Christian Names set new records so it was the first time we had seen 9 Richards, 7 Nicks, 5 Annas, 5 Emmas, 3 Janes, 2 Aidans and 2 Frans

-          It was also the first time ever we have seen the names Jean-Paul, Danik, Carina, Elisabeth, Larraine, Stella, Annalisa, Corinne, Debi, Emile, Shona and Uday

-          With 12 finishers “minute 39” broke its own attendance record as did “minute 42” with 11 runners

-          With great accuracy Nick Mayo finished 102nd on his 102nd parkrun whilst Dave Kittle managed to finish 107th on his 107th

-          We saw  the 100th appearance of the surname Reeve and 50th of the name Clare

-          We saw the following clubs for the 1st time; Bicester Tri Club, Bedford & County AC, Dubai Road Runners and WEIR Runners

-          Thomas Woodage became the 1,400 junior to run at Tring

-          The following clubs beat their own attendance records: Vale of Aylesbury AC, Bearbrook Running Club, On the Run Aylesbury, Durham University Orienteering Club, Royston Runners, Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Oxford City Ac, Hughenden Ladies Running Club and the Datchet Dashers

-          Of those who have run 5+ times at Tring only 4 managed PBs including Emma Nash (2:49), David Adam (0:52), Ben O’Keefe (0:44) and Kevin Lynch (0:37)  - well done all

-          And finally, on our stats round-up - The table for the longest gap between 2 Tring parkruns has been completely rewritten this week with 7 new entrants in our top 10 including Sara Darling (171 Tring parkrun gap), Tony Barrows (170), Vaughan Ramsey, Paul Grimsdale, Mark Herbert, David Jessop and Alison Jessopp (all 163)

The 1st appearance of the Bicester TriClub

It’s always great when we have someone sharing run report duties by sending in some words – it could be about your 1st run, a guest visit, a PB or just you fancy giving us a hand with that week’s report. Even just a sentence or two can be a great help – so thanks to these words from Kevin Lynch:



I'm Kevin Lynch and I've been parkrunning since September. I wanted to share my excitement with you and the community because today I achieved a PB of 44:05 on my 18th run.


I had decided to do two parkruns today, because if you are going to do it why wouldn't you do double parkrun if you can. I'll be honest I was conflicted because there is something magical about parkrun in Tring Park - until today it's been the only parkrun I've run. I turned up at Gadebridge this morning at 08:45 for the briefing and caught a few sniggers in the briefing, when they asked for tourists, and I proudly shouted out "Tring." 


Unlike Tring which is a single lap the two laps at Gadebridge meant that after running for about 16 minutes I was being lapped by the front runners at 2km.


I realised that because the course was relatively flat I had a possibility of a good time so I asked the tailwalker Andy Mitchell who had caught up with me on the last 1k to pace me in. He gave his bag of run markers and signs to a marshal and helped me run in. It was fantastic coming in the last 100m going full tilt and I had nothing left as I crossed the line. A good time for me of 44:44, 2 seconds slower than my PB. In Chinese culture the number 4 is considered unlucky and has the same sound as death so I'm thinking it's a good thing I'm not superstitious or I'd have asked for a slower time. On looking at the results later I was not surprised that almost 95% of the runners had completed in under 37 minutes.


My wife, and chauffeur for the morning, sped me along the A41 to Tring and I was on the line for the 10:30 start. The run director warned it's going to be slow as it's very muddy as you cross the treeline. I thought YES, because I ran a good time on Saturday in the mud. It slows the main pack down so much that I was able to pass some of the slower people and it's a rare pleasure for me to run in a group of people - normally I'm 2 minutes behind everyone else.


There were a couple of women who were going at a good pace along the top, and when they faded, I caught up with a really good runner who was not going too well because he had a knee injury. He left me with 1500m to go. My neighbour, parkrun liftshare buddy and running guru Jo Edwards had finished in 32 minutes. She encouraged me to keep going and with her advice on technique I was up heartbreak hill and pushing myself all the way and crossed the finish line. Again I thought I'd done well at Tring but I was sure I could not have beaten the earlier Gadebridge 44:44.  I'm delighted that the time I did today at Tring was 44:05 a 37 second improvement on my previous PB


One thing I've learned about running from talking to runners, non-runners, and former runners. There are always a million reasons NOT to run. Me, I've got low Haemoglobin, low vitamin D. Friends say they have worn out their knees, their hips and can't run. What I've learned is that you just have to run, if you are not well, just do it. You don't need to log an amazing time, you just need to run and keep running and one day when the stars align you hit a new PB.


Finally - if you are going to parkrun - Don't forget your barcode 36 people missed out on their result at Tring today 

And here is the moment Kevin records his PB

Thanks for that great write-up Kevin and yes the 36 no barcodes was a record in itself!

We’ve recently had 2 great magazine writeups – if you missed them, you can follow the 2 links here...

Trail Running Link

So now it’s time to look at the DOUBLE stats

As well as seeing a big increase in those just doing Tring and those forgetting their barcodes, the Aylesbury double almost reached 100 and the Gadebridge double saw a big increase and we also had our 1st doubles with Linford Wood and Cassiobury


So we start with congratulating Rowena Beedell who simultaneously becomes the first and the fastest to have run a double with Cassiobury


Next up we have Jason Carvalho and Matt Marsh finishing together at Tring. Jason can claim to be the fastest to have done the Linford Wood double, but by 1 second it’s Matt who can claim to be the 1st person to have completed this double


The Gadebridge double jumped to 46 runners with Mark Herbert and Deirdre Heydecker having the lowest male and female combined times. 4 runners ran faster at Tring but generally for these 46 it was an average of 29:33 at Gadebridge followed by a second 5k at Tring in an average of 32:23

NY Flickr
Like any family, our parkrun family have a family photo album and it's great to see how our juniors are growing! Phil and Noah are the only people to have run at all 3 Gadebridge-Tring doubles. Spotted the inset picture from the report 2 years ago. Longer legs have helped improve the combined time from 65 mins to 53 mins - well done both


The Aylesbury double saw 95 runners running both events, with some runners also running between the 2 events. Average times of 26:41 at Aylesbury were followed by averages of 30:53 at Tring

Ayles 1

Ayles 2

If you’ve made it all the way through this week’s report – well done!
See you on Saturday


Tring parkrun #173 -Chrimbo Limbo or the Turkey Burner

Saturday 30th December dawned dank and cold after a very wet snowy and windy week. This meant that the now famous/infamous Tring parkrun course would be even more of a challenge than usual. However that didn’t stop 231 enthusiasts from making the effort to drag themselves from their slumber to break up the ‘Chrimbo Limbo’ with a wet, muddy and very sticky 5km run around Tring Park.

173-2 mud mud
Mud, mud glorious mud!

Perhaps it was the need to burn off some Turkey, get some fresh air or to kick start the new years health campaigns but we had 37 first timers and tourists attending. We hope you enjoyed the run and look forward to welcoming you back to get a Tring PB.

173-4 Turkey
Burn Turkey Burn!

173-3 a tail walkers view
A tail walker view of the first gate.

On the subject of PB’s we believe had a new Tring parkrun record with only one PB being recorded. Not sure if this was due to the condition of the course or the general over indulgence over the holiday period but congratulations to Anna Scarth visiting from New Zealand who achieved the only PB of the day.

A massive thank you to all the volunteers who helped out with the usual enthusiasm and encouragement. This weeks volunteers were; Matt BEATTY, Lucy CLUTTON, Ann-Marie EVANS, Andy EVANS, James FOSKETT, Matthew FOSKETT, Michael FRYER, Graham HOLLANDS, Angela HOLLANDS, Clare MURPHY, Richard MURPHY, Hilary NEEDLEMAN, Chris NICHOLLS, Heather PAINTER, Ben PATTERSON, Maura PATTERSON, Helen PORTER, Janet REEVE, Matty SINFIELD, Naomi WAGER-LEIGH.

173-5 Finish line
Jan and Michael with their troublesome stop watches and a very slippery finish line!

An extra special thank you to todays’ timers, Jan Reeve and Michael Fryer, who had to deal with some serious technical problems with the stop watches. We had to pull together and quickly come up with a plan B to ensure all the results were correctly captured. Many thanks for all the help!

Also a special mention to Matty (Cow Whisperer) Sinfield, our volunteer of the year, who donned his new headwear!

173-1 Matty and Cows
Matty and his new hat/disguise!

First across the line this week for the Ladies was Claire Hallisey in 23.02 followed by Anna Scarth in 26:11 and a new PB and Anna Lambert with 26:51.

For the men Richard Francis was fastest with a time of 21:34 with Dom Evans second in 21:35 and James Edwards in 21:56.

Well done to all those that ran this week, for a full list of all this weeks’ results please go to

For news , photos, videos and updates don’t forget to visit our Facebook page at and you can now follow us on Twitter at

If you would like to volunteer please email with a preferred role or any offer of assistance and we will add you to future rosters.

Thank you, see you on Saturday and a happy and prosperous new year.

Richard Murphy
Run Director


Tring parkrun # 172 – Christmas day!!

Well, what a start to Christmas Day, 287 very well dressed and colourful runners arrived in Tring Park bright and early for the Christmas Day parkrun, this included a massive 51 first time parkrunners and tourists! There was also an international feel with visitors from South Korea, New Zealand and many other countries and other parts of the UK who were visiting friends and family.

A very busy new runners briefing.

172-7 some great outfits
Some great outfits!

A quick thank you for your patience at the start, we hadn’t anticipated the numbers arriving and the parking issues that they would cause so the run start was delayed by a few minutes to let the stragglers get to the start line.

172-3 start line
Patiently waiting for the off!

172-5 start line santas
A great view of the Avenue with 287 well dressed runners.Check out the Santas, elves, reindeers etc etc etc

Despite the wet and muddy conditions we also had a staggering 20 PB’s. Well done to everyone who got a PB.

172-2 tailrunners
The tail walking team.

A massive thank you to all the volunteers who put off present opening to help out on the morning, there was an amazing atmosphere amongst all those helping out and I really do think we made a lot of peoples Christmas Day that little bit more special. So a huge thanks to Robin ATTFIELD, Steve BLADEN, Clive COHEN, Andy COLLINGS, Elizabeth DANIEL, Adam DANIEL, Philip DAVIES, Philip DAVIES, Sam EVANS, Graham HOLLANDS, Richard MURPHY, Clare MURPHY, Chris NICHOLLS, Carol NICHOLLS, Tom NORTH, Lesley O'KEEFFE, Matty SINFIELD, Mike WILKINSON, Hannah WOOD.

First across the line this week for the Ladies was Claire Hallisey in 21:25 followed by Natalie Ruffell in 21.44 with Sarah Grover with a time of 22.24 and a new PB.

For the men first timer Fabian Downs was fastest with a time of 18:01 with Alex McVey next in 19.27 followed by Alan Scott in 19:28.

Thank you all again for taking part in the Christmas day parkrun, it really was an amazing occasion and a pleasure to be part of.

172-6 finish line
Post run view of the finish line.

Well done to all those that ran this week, for a full list of all this weeks’ results please go to
For news , photos, videos and updates don’t forget to visit our Facebook page at and you can now follow us on Twitter at .

If you would like to volunteer please email with a preferred role or any offer of assistance and we will add you to future rosters.

Thank you and see you on Saturday.

Richard Murphy
Run Director


parkrun 170 – The Weather Strikes Back


The Weather Strikes Back

I’m just a simple Run Director trying to find his way in the universe but in a week gripped by Star Wars fever I've witnessed our own epic battle between the forces of light and dark.

Only a few days ago Tring Park was blanketed in snow and ice - a bleak inhospitable landscape. I was told that the odds of successfully navigating our parkrun route were 3,720 to 1. I didn't want to hear that, "never tell me the odds" I shot back. However the dreaded "cancellation" word formed on the lips of many. "I find your lack of faith disturbing" I blustered, but with parkruns cancelling both near and far, far away I had a bad feeling about this!!

The changed course
For the first time ever we ran a slightly different course, because Gate 1 was too icy.


A new day, a new beginning

Saturday morning dawned clear and icy bright and at 8am a motley crew of valiant volunteers surveyed the glowing landscape. "It looks OK!" I enthused optimistically. "Your eyes can deceive you. Don't trust them" advised the sagely Chris Millar. And so a small party of intrepid adventurers set off for Gate 1 with a "do or do not" determination to test the footing.

It wasn't looking good. "If you're saying that coming here was a bad idea, I'm starting to agree with you" feared Chris. Then came the moment of reckoning. "Richard, you're breaking my heart! And you're going down a path I cannot follow" Liz exclaimed dramatically. And she was right. For a distance of 12 parsecs (or was it meters?) our way was barred.

And then, a new hope! In ancient times (well 3 years ago) we'd scoped out an alternative path. A new way was found, our parkrun would go ahead - the circle is complete!!

The Gate 1 team and Tail Walkers
Just a few of the our valliant volunteers who turned up early, with a smile on their face, and made this week's run happen.


Return of the Judi

More than is normally the case our volunteers were super stars this week. FANTASTIC team work. It felt great to be part of it.

So huge thanks to them all: Richard Alcock, Joanna Angell, Wes Ball, Chris Bill, El Bill, Alison Bill, Melanie Brookman, Andy Collings, Elizabeth Daniel, Moira Douglas, Ken Douglas, William Drath, Andy Evans, Thomas Gray, Katie Haines, Alison Caroline Harding, Kevin Harding, Paul Hembury, Judi Hopcroft, Chris Millar, Tom North, Stuart Page, Carole Page, Heather Painter, Claudia Selina, Matty Sinfield.

And not only was it lovely to see Judi Hopcroft back after many eons roaming the distant universe - but she gave us the best Star Wars pun of the day!!

Also Judi brought an order to the finish line that was especially welcome yesterday. “Oh my Dear friend. How I have missed you” I smiled when I saw her. She cut to the chase... “You may dispense with the pleasantries, Run Director” she said “I am here to put you back on schedule”, fearing that a nine o’clock start was in jeopardy. When I checked back later I was informed calmly that “everything is proceeding as I have foreseen”. “You don’t have to do this to impress me, Judi” I said. She shrugged “No problem, it's all too easy”!

The Force is Strong in our volunteers: Darth Judi (Timekeeper) and Will Skywalker (Pre-Event Setup)


Tring parkrun awakens

And so 175 parkrunners assembled and were "treated" to a briefing laced with Star Wars references! (Although it has to be noted that those not familiar with the franchise were a tad surprised to hear the back of the Akeman described - jokingly - as a "wretched hive of scum and villainy!").

We welcomed visitors Andrew Haynes, Kimberley Sharp, Gavin Ferguson, Sheila Squire, Danielle Stevens, Tim Field, Elizabeth Lowson, Drew Sheffield, Nick Mayor, Parveen Haynes, Claire Shelley and Stephen, Ruth and Joseph Robson, from distant corners of the galaxy, including York and Liverpool. Great to see you all (and thank you for the nice Facebook comments and emails)

We were also joined by 4 "parkrun padawan" Matthew George, Calvin Woolman, Aniya Moorcroft and Paul Collins completing their first ever parkrun. We hope to see you all again soon.

Our most experienced parkrunner was Matthew Wright - 352 parkruns completed he has, with 5 at Tring.

Fully operational barcode scanner
"Now witness the firepower of this FULLY armed and OPERATIONAL Barcode Scanner!"


The force is strong

Yet again we witnessed heroic efforts by everyone, troopers all of them.

I confidently predicted "no PBs". I was wrong! In fact we saw four PBs!

  • Harriett (Claire) Harman has run at Tring five times, the last over a year ago, and has had four PBs in a row. This time by one second!
  • Daniel Toms is following a similar pattern with 4 runs and 3 PB. This one by 2 seconds!!
  • Steve Kuht achieved his first PB (improving by 37 seconds) in 4 runs with a very respectable 23:12
  • Tom Patterson, running with his family gaining a very symmetrical PB of 29:29, improving by 9 seconds over his last. "Great kid. Don't get cocky!"

Well done to all of them.

Up front the following were our first finishers

  • Lynda Hembury 24:01
  • Claire Shelley 25:44
  • Julie Parry 26:51


  • Christopher Booth 19:40
  • Michael Fryer 20:06
  • Tim Adams 21:14

But taking age adjustments into account we get

  • Lynda Hembury 80.78% (this is hugely impressive!)
  • Julie Parry 64.00%
  • Katie Van De Linde 60.39%


  • Michael Fryer 67.91%
  • Christopher Booth 67.80%
  • Christopher Cavanagh 66.48%


The Millennium Falcon
Chris Millar heroically brought his very own terrestrial Millennium Falcon in case we needed 4x4 horsepower.
"You came in that thing?? You're braver than I thought" he was told.
"Hey, this thing made the Kessell run on just half a can of Irn Bru" retorted our bold hero.


These aren't the cakes you're looking for.

Sadly my Jedi mind tricks were not strong enough to keep everyone away from the cakes! They were so good I quite fancied another one, or two. I tried the "move along" line without success!!
Congratulations to both Jim Patterson and Dan Storr on completing their 100th parkruns...a fantastic milestone.

Jim has ran 98 of those at Tring and 2 at Worsley Woods, as well as 2 Junior parkruns at Aylesbury.
Dan has ran 94 of his at Tring with the others all over the Uk and even in Denmark.

And thank you too for the lovely homemade munchies.

Great to see Dan and Jim uphold the tradition of bringing cakes to celebrate major milestones. They were delicious,


Power unlimited Power

The Tring parkrun computer is legendary for dimming street lights as far as Wendover and Tatooine when it fires up. The crazy thing is it's true. The Stats. The Computer...all if it!

However this week it's busy. Possibly calculating the ludicrous number of dollars taken at Star Wars Last Jedi box offices, or working out the optimum Reindeer trajectory required in 8 days, or something like that. But you can be assured it will be back online soon.

Instead I consulted the backup computer. Among other very, very interesting facts (such our average run time being 30 minutes 12 seconds and that 5037 different people have now completed Tring parkrun) it said that the average number of runners at Tring is 158.4. The "point 4" bit perturbs me!!

Tring parkrunners
Sun on the finish line


In my experience there is no such thing as luck

parkruns don't "just happen", they take runners, walkers, volunteers and other supporters coming together as a community. We saw that big-time yesterday.

Thanks again to everyone for making Tring parkrun a special place on Saturday mornings.

Ewok timekeepers
Last word to our very own dancing Ewoks:
"Allay loo ta nuv, Coatee-cha tu yub nub!" (Google it!!!)


See you next week.


Remember that we have an extra parkrun on Christmas day at 9am

We also have a special parkrun starting at 10:30 on New Year's Day.

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