It's that time of the year
Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday (who makes these names up by the way??) was wonderful Tring parkrun number 221. No need for enticing discounts of 50% or more - the best things in life are free, and we even throw in the odd T-shirt now and again too! Maybe the best gift to give this holiday/Christmas season is an invitation to someone who hasn't yet discovered parkrun?
The other thing about this time of year is that the weather is starting to turn. It may have been a grey morning but it was was illuminated brightly by the warm glow of 227 shiny participants and 23 hi-viz volunteers. The rain stayed away but we were prepared in any case as you can see in the pic below.
Sitting alongside our trusty blue tarp is yet another trusty blue tarp and if it rains our volunteers spring into action and use it to cover up everyone's stuff. Genius!
Why do just 5km when you can do 6?
We welcomed 18 "first timers" to Tring this weekend, 4 of whom (Charlie Coutts-Wood, David Andrews, Caroline Lunt, and Alan Walker) tackled their very first parkrun and we hope to see them all back again soon.
A special mention needs to go to Ron Trotman, who we really enjoyed meeting. Ron has bagged a few parkruns in his time, including every single parkrun in greater London (53 of them) which earned him the coveted status of "Regionaire". He's also completed the "Stayin' Alive" and Compass Club" challenges and has the "Pirates" challenge in his sights. Ron was to be especially challenged by Tring however, starting with unexpected travel problems that caused him to arrive just over 16 minutes late.
Undeterred, he heroically set off to catch up. Unfortunately....he wasn't quite late enough to meet the Gate 1 marshal at Hearthbreak Hill and so (understandably) followed the "last lap" arrow up it! He was well on his way down the Lime Tree Avenue when the Cow Marshals pointed him back up! Now (of course!!!) the Gate 1 Marshal had moved to Heartbreak Hill and so missed Ron again and the Tail Walkers had picked up all of the other markers! Things quickly went from bad to worse for poor Ron as you can see in his GPS track! I shouldn't laugh. In the end he (miraculously) found his way back on track at the Rond Point and, in total, covered 6km. Come back and see us again Ron - we'll run as a team!
It was really great to meet the heroic Ron Trotwood. He almost literally "went the extra mile" to complete Tring parkrun.
Milestones and PBs
We celebrated three milestone runs this week. Well done to William Brookman who completed his 50th, 33 of which have been at Tring. Juniors Jack Ambrose and Jack Hardcastle both reached their 10th parkruns and qualify for a free 10-Club T-shirt. Not only that but they both marked the occasion by running Personal Best times. For jack A that was his second in a row at Tring for for Jack H his sixth in a row at Tring. I'm impressed!
I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting quite so many PBs this week as it's starting to get muddy. I was way wrong and, in fact, 35 earned the right to ring the famous PB Bell.
In addition to the two Jacks other notable speedsters included:
- Paul Collins - 5th PB in 5 runs,
- Emma Young made it 4 in 4,
- Andrew Lee 3 in 3 (which has the added bonus of rhyming!),
- And 2 in 2 for James Applebee, Megan Francis and Joe Rizzo-Naudi,
- Hortense Seed, on her 90th parkrun, moved up to 4th best ever time for the JW11-14 group with a time of 22:09,
- Of the runners who have run at least 5 times, the biggest improvers were Duncan Melsome (2:03), Noah Wild (1:16), Aidan Roberts (1:01), Kate Burn (1:00) and James Herbert (0:56)
Event Director, Andy Evans, set his best parkrun time for four and half years last week at parkrun's home in Bushy. This week he set a a Tring parkrun PB too. Congratulations.
This week's parkrun was made possible by 23 very fine volunteers. Thank you to Keith Stonestreet, Claire Hallissey, Tom North, Edward Hopper, Anna Fryer, Samuel Fryer, Annemarie De Boom, Patrick McLoughlin, Helen Page, Angela Hollands, Chris Nicholls, Dennis Raffety, Oliver West, Sarah Foskett, James Foskett, Thomas Page, Nika Jackson-Moore, Isobel Monks, Eloise Clark, Keith Hendersen, Andrew Booth, and Howie Beck.
I especially appreciate that several were able to change from the roles they were expecting to meet the needs of the morning (e.g an extra cow marshal, as they tried to outflank Keith; change in the Finish Funnel to let some get away early etc.).
And a special thank you to Ed Hopper and Claire Hallissey who both reached the milestone of volunteering 25 times. The famous purple T-shirts will be on their way soon. Claire will be taking a wee break from parkrun to bring little baby Hallissey into the world and we wish her all the best with that and look forward to seeing a new buggy pusher next year!
A rough rule of thumb is to volunteer once every 9-10 runs. Let us know when you're able to help by emailing email@example.com.
You can see the roster of future volunteering opportunities at: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/tring/futureroster/
Brilliant Finish Line team this week...just a few of the 23 volunteers who helped out this week. Thank you.
Many other things made us happy this weekend.
- Ben Miller set a new record gap between 2 Tring parkruns of 217 weeks – welcome back Ben,
- After 4 weeks we have 37 (including 5 juniors) members of our Year 5 100% club left – the club lost 20 members this week,
- 50th time we have seen the surname Hart and the name Jasmine,
- Andrew was the most seen name (with 9) and Helen, Ros and Sarah, the most seen females (with 3 each),
- 1st time we have seen 9 Andrews, 3 Ros's, 2 Garrys and 2 Rons,
- Minute 26 was the most popular with 20 finishers,
- We saw 4 new clubs this week including Maltby RC, Running Dads OZ, Tickhill Running & AC and the Chew Valley Snails,
Happiness is Tring parkrun!
One thing that is making me especially happy is that there are not many sleeps until next week's "Kilted parkrun". Tring parkrun's very own celebration of St Andrews Day. Anyone not wearing a kilt or something tartan or anything else Scottish at Tring parkrun on Dec 1st will automatically be given a time of 59 minutes, 59 seconds and made to do the whole parkrun twice!! [Ed: Ken....you can't do that!!! :-)]
Och - bring out your inner Jock (or Morag!). You know that you want to.
Did someone say Christmas?
We'll let you know as soon as we can whether we'll have a parkrun on Christmas Day. We need to resolve potential car parking issues first. It's also our intention to hold a run on New Year's Day, again we have a bit more work to do and will confirm details (e..g whether 9am start or later) as soon as we can.
In the meantime I will look forward to seeing everyone in their Scottish kit next Saturday.