Tring parkrun – Week 193 – Phew!

Well that all seemed to go pretty well! Aside from one or two teething problems we hope to have ironed out over the next few weeks it seems like the move to our new route has worked out alright!

Before we get on to the rest of the report I want to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers who helped out on the day. Essentially if everything goes well I don’t really have to do anything as Run Director, and on a day when we had a new herd of cows, a new route plus our fifth highest attendance ever it’s a testament to how great our volunteers are that I was able to wander around and chat to runners whilst everything seemed to tick over nicely. So, THANK YOU!

I also want to single out our fantastic team of Run Directors who helped set out the new course (or designed it in the case of Andy Evans), marshalled and stepped in to record those pesky barcodes that didn’t scan. On that note we have a new scanner on order which should hopefully cut down the queue – at least it wasn’t raining!

Stepping up to volunteer this week were: Andy Evans • Angela Hollands • Anna Lambert • Ben Patterson • Charlotte Severs • Clive Cohen • Frances Leff • Gary Evans • Graham Hollands • Helen Tullie • James Maple • Jim Patterson • Jonathan Sartin • Karen Hennel • Katie Haines • Keith Stonestreet • Ken Douglas • Maura Patterson • Patrick McLoughlin • Richard Murphy • Ross Lambert • Thomas Patterson • Victoria Wilson

Finishline crew in action

We are always on the lookout for new volunteers, so if you think you could help with any of our roles on a Saturday morning, just drop us an e-mail at

As expected we’ll be making a few tweaks and adjustments ahead of the run this Saturday, but nothing major. One thing we would ask is that you are mindful of how you leave the park after finishing the run, trying not to walk across the ‘racing’ line as other runners are finishing. We’ll do our best to keep the scanning queue to a minimum but if it does build up please keep to one side and cheer the other runners in whilst you’re waiting.

Thank you to everyone for sticking to the guidance on under-11s – just like the ‘no barcode, no result’ rule this is one that we have to enforce. We don’t mind a sprint finish where your little one can leave you for dust but during the rest of the run they should be within arm’s reach. Likewise all dogs need to be kept on a short lead and with the narrower start you may want to start to one side or at the back, making your way through as the field thins out.

Emerging from the valley

A slightly different shape in the far distance as runners exit the valley and climb the hill

As for the new course the general consensus seems to be that it was either:
a) A bit harder
b) Much harder
c) A bit easier

It certainly looked a bit harder and I know from buggy running through the valley that it’s not flat! We’re glad you seemed to enjoy it though and welcome any other feedback you have.

Competitive finishline action

And some more

Whilst we’ve publicly explained that the course change is due to a request from the ‘Ancient Tree Forum’ to avoid root damage around the old start/finish, I can actually reveal that it was due to possible damage to the Tring supercomputer which is stored directly beneath the original start line – as we grow ever popular the added footfall was simply causing havoc with our algorithms.

Thankfully, with catastrophic stats failure avoided I can reveal that last Saturday:
• Nobody reached any of the main parkrun milestones – the last time this happened was in early October last year.
• Chris Nicholls has recorded 7 PBs in the last 7 parkruns, Tia Kerr-Miller has recorded 4 in 4 and Kelly Lane, Iain Middleton, Alice Fisher, Adrienne Garner, Anna Taylor, Simon Cowie, Rob Billings, Colin Hamnett, David Taylor, Gavin Morden and Callum Hunter-Whitehouse have all had 2 PBs in the last 2.
• In addition, Nathan Cook has recorded 5 PBs in his last 5 appearances, Chris Fielden and Simon Cowie 4 in 4 and Tim Shepherd-Smith, Michael Hart, Fergus Green and Luke Parker all 3 in 3.
• Of the runners who have run at least 5 times, the biggest PB improvements were Rob Billings (3:53), David Taylor (2:43), Ella Kingston (2:00), Chris Fielden (1:59), Robyn Neill (1:46), Thomas Fielden (1:44), Evan Billings (1:39), Holly Williams (1:36), Sara Jones (1:36) and Mark Ashley (1:35)
• Simon Beedell recorded the 2nd fastest ever time in the VM35-39 with his 18:11, Jenny Morgan ran the 3rd fastest ever VW60-64 in 26:11. Simon’s time was also the fastest we have seen in 2018.
• Adrienne Garner chipped off some more time off her own 2nd best at VW70-74 and Betty Stracey recorded our 2nd best ever VW75-79.
• We welcomed back Maria Russell - 182 Tring parkruns since her last Tring parkrun – the 2nd highest ever gap.
• Of the surnames that we have seen before, the following set their own personal attendance records with 5 Greens, 5 Parkers, 4 Kents and 3 Hudghtons. In fact with 5, Green & Parker were the most numerous surnames.

60% of our 5 Greens of the day

• We saw the surname Foskett for the 200th time and Brookmann reached 50. Good to see Weller reach 50 too after a bit of a gap.
• With 8, Chris was this week’s most numerous name. We saw David for the 500th time and Luke for the 100th. Surprisingly we saw the name Siobhan for the 1st time.
• Matthew Riggs finished 6th on his 6th parkrun

If that doesn’t get your heart racing then nothing will!

Colin Hamnett’s new PB of 22:21 was just a second too fast to claim this week’s “Aesthetically pleasing time of the week” award and likewise Peter Young’s second run in a time of 44:42 showed a complete disregard for symmetry. Gregg Leff you must try harder next time as 33:34 just doesn’t cut it! I’ll be honest, this week’s set of times weren’t really that aesthetically pleasing but after a quick look through I think Lee Robinson’s time of 31:31 will do! “Well done” everyone!

Now apparently there’s some big event happening next Saturday and all the media have been going on about it, the streets will be thronged with people, the bunting will be out and there will be cucumber sandwiches for all*. Ah yes, it’s Tring parkrun #194! See you there!


* Cucumber sandwiches and bunting not guaranteed.

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