Predictable, Unpredictable and Charity Running. Event #265 – 07/12/2019

The Banbury parkrun run report has been provided this week by Dale ELLIS - written and dispatched for publishing almost as quick as his parkruns (he has a Banbury PB of 19:28)!  Dale has completed 166 parkruns of which 152 have been around Spiceball park:

Hi, for those of you who don't know me, I'm Dale, easily recognised as a parkrun regular by being a tall awkward looking older Man whom runs like a robotic matchstick!

Running is a funny old thing, I only started as I wanted to complete a Sprint Distance Triathlon, and subsequently needed to be able to run 5k. Things have kind of escalated since then....

The predictable, is simply we all love running despite it being a demanding and sometimes tough pastime, whatever the distance, speed or terrain, the rewards though, are that wonderful feeling of glowing fulfilment.  One tip I can pass on which may help on those tougher runs, or big hills, is simple... SMILE when the going gets tough, the endorphins are released and you may, (unfortunately no cast iron guarantees proffered) feel better and push on through the tough bit. You may well see me running up the steep section of Dukes Meadow Drive, sporting a strange hybrid, smile/grimace/gurning, which quickly translates into i'm loving it... Which is why its wonderfully predictable we'll be back at parkrun week after week enjoying the running and community feeling.

Unpredictable...The Weather, last week was freezing and slippy, the week before, we were entrenched in the monsoon season. This week was pretty perfect running conditions, if a little boggy and wet under foot in the usual places.  Also Unpredictable is our Politics, but don't worry I wont go near the "B" word... I would like to discuss the "C" word, Charity.  Having had a good chat with Martin West after today's run, and having donated to his chosen charity Helen and Douglas house, whilst sampling the great home made mince pies. Martin told me he is running next years London Marathon for Helen and Douglas House, which is fantastic, I ran Brighton Marathon last year for Cancer Research, I immediately said to Martin that I will run Manchester next year for Helen and Douglas. Running for charity gives you that extra impetus and motivation, distance or size of event is irrelevant, the feeling is the same. So I urge anyone in our parkrunning community who hasn't run for Charity to give it a go, you wont regret it.

Rambles over, this weeks stats-:
Tourists welcomed from Totton, Worcester, and a super speedy female from Keighly, Yorkshire, whom took 1st female finisher. A total of four First timers, well done and welcome.  Diane Glancey completed her 50th, well done Diane, roll on 100...
208 runners, including 23 fantastic PB's.

A final thank you to the core team, and Hi Vis heroes whom turn out in all weathers, and donate valuable time for our enjoyment.
Dale

And now for a few more stats...

Representatives of 18 different clubs took part this week, and the event was made possible by 19 volunteers:

Glenys LOGAN • Nick ATKINSON • Stuart MACLACHLAN • Sera RELTON • Dale ELLIS • Sam COLLIER • Lee NEWMAN • Clare CURNOW • Cheri HADEN • Stuart HADEN • Andrew EATON • Jon POULTON • Wendy CARTER • Maddie CARTER • Nick MACEY • Charlie MORLEY • Sara CARTER • Joanna WEST • Kate R

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Banbury parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Ian KIMPTON who recorded a time of 16:30 on 4th April 2015 (event number 27).
The female record is held by Amelia PETTITT who recorded a time of 18:07 on 20th June 2015 (event number 38).
The Age Grade course record is held by Lilian CARPENTER who recorded 87.73% (28:40) on 29th June 2019 (event number 243).

Banbury parkrun started on 27th September 2014. Since then 7,009 participants have completed 52,600 parkruns covering a total distance of 263,000 km, including 9,063 new Personal Bests. A total of 726 individuals have volunteered 5,576 times.

 

How to Be Happy Every Day – Event #264 – 30/11/2019

This week's run report comes from Sara CROSS who has taken part in 137 parkruns of which 126 have been at Banbury:

How to Be Happy Every Day is a 15 minute Tedx talk. It reminded me of how much happiness parkrun brings. After all 3 million people wouldn’t do it every week if it made them miserable! If you read the weekly email ‘parkrun News’, or listen to the podcast http://www.freeweeklytimed.com/ , you will be familiar with the many inspirational stories of how parkrun has helped many people be happier. Until you try it, it is hard to understand that parkrun is not just about the running. Here is my personal snapshot of the happiness at Banbury parkrun on Saturday 30th November.

8am – the alarm goes off, husband has a heavy cold and says he isn’t coming – he is not happy. I jump out of bed before brain power and any doubts kick in – I see the running gear laid out the night before and start getting ready. A peak through the bedroom curtains reveals a hard frost – what if it’s cancelled as it’s too slippy? Quickly check Facebook and see Theo’s cheeky grin – he’s happy -well wrapped up but it’s definitely on.

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8.30am – a brisk walk across town to Spiceball for a pit stop at the loo – meeting familiar faces of a similar age!

8.45am – chat to friends, many of which I have made through parkrun and getting to know them over the last 3 and a half years has brought me much more happiness than the intermittent PB’s along the way. We listen to the briefing and clap and cheer the first timers, tourists and milestones. Celebrating releases endorphins- happy hormones and we all smile. A lady from Derby wins the furthest travelled, and a scan of the results tells me Janice Rowen was doing her 50th, and Tony Cronin his 250th. Forgive me if I have missed anyone – but at this point I was sinking into the mud and had to move away from the bench before I got marooned. I spot an amazing homemade parkrun shirt with the Banbury course mapped including muddy puddles. The Summer course is on the back – really made me happy!

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9am – 10am

I run, I splash straight through all the muddy puddles – channelling the happiness of a toddler in wellies. Second lap, I slip, I face plant on the icy bridge. I am not happy – but the concern and help of strangers warms my heart and I carry on. I finish. The runners’ high of endorphins kicks in, relieved smiles and happiness all round. I chat some more as we cheer others over the line – more happy hormones released. Then it’s home for the best breakfast of the week.

But it’s not all about me is it – this run I enjoy so much is not possible without the volunteers. The Tedx talk is all about giving back. Giving is better than receiving. Why? Giving also releases endorphins creating the ‘helpers high’. Oxytocin (the love hormone) is also released after helping each other – great news – this is also an anti-ageing hormone. Another reason to volunteer – as you help others Cortisol levels drop – reducing anxiety and stress.

So I’m not saying those wonderful high viz heroes are miserable until they don the yellow jacket – but ask yourself – do I want to be happy and less stressed, and carry that feeling through the week? Then sign up to volunteer at parkrun. You too can have a waggy tail! Many thanks to all of those that volunteered this week – particularly to Theo for organising us all with a little help from Sam!

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And now for the stats...

This week 198 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 14 were first timers and 16 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 17 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 25 volunteers:

James MCLAUGHLIN • Sam YOUNG • Mery- José WOLKE • Claire UPTON • Heather FINNIGAN • Sera RELTON • Sara CROSS • Becca MCNEILLIE • Kathy WILCOCK • Andrew EATON • Stan MORGAN • Richard TEW • Natalie ANN • Paul WILCOCK • Rob CROSS • Nick MACEY • Ellen MORGAN • Sara CARTER • Claire WACKRILL • Kate R • Arran CRITCHLEY • Frances EDWARDS • Theo YOUNG • Peter ELLIOTT • Jeanie ELLIOTT

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Banbury parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Ian KIMPTON who recorded a time of 16:30 on 4th April 2015 (event number 27).
The female record is held by Amelia PETTITT who recorded a time of 18:07 on 20th June 2015 (event number 38).
The Age Grade course record is held by Lilian CARPENTER who recorded 87.73% (28:40) on 29th June 2019 (event number 243).

Banbury parkrun started on 27th September 2014. Since then 6,995 participants have completed 52,392 parkruns covering a total distance of 261,960 km, including 9,040 new Personal Bests. A total of 726 individuals have volunteered 5,557 times.

 

Banbury parkrun #263: Lost without you

This week's run report has been kindly written by Nick ATKINSON, who has completed 113 parkrun's at Banbury and 196 in total across 7 different countries!!

Of course, this Saturday should have been Banbury parkrun #264… but from all reports of those who inspected the course, last week would more likely have had to be Banbury Triathlon #1 such was the absence of grass and the propensity of water. The build-up to the previous Saturday involved a lot of fretting as to whether Spiceball would be open and normal Saturday morning activities could occur. By the time the intrepid parkrun team had inspected proceedings, including the burst banks of the River Cherwell, it became inevitable that parkrun would need to be postponed.

So what does one do with this large apricot shaped void appearing on Saturday morning. From what research I have undertaken (and I admit now it is not very much) it appears to break down into three main categories:

1) Mope about at home, consider early Christmas shopping (yes – November is still very early) and then continue slightly unfulfilled throughout Saturday, finding it hard to justify the post-parkrun breakfast without having first done the exercise. At one-point last week I even went online and bought my wife a personalised parkrun Water bottle for Christmas. Her love of parkrun is still in the balance so not entirely sure how well that gift will go down.

2) Desperately scan social media for other parkruns and try to make your way over to do one of those. In this circumstance we can be incredibly grateful that the 5km can be run/walked/struggled through but feel throughout a lack of familiarity and as Judy Garland once said “there’s no place like home”

3) Turn up at Spiceball for 08:55 as usual ……This one was not me on Saturday, but I have been there before. A mixture of people who just assume that parkrun can be put on whatever the whether and have forgotten to check and others who know full well it is not on but a sense of routine and feeling slightly lost leads them to turn up anyway. Some walk around looking a little confused. Others try to run the course despite the obvious pitfalls and water hazards.

All things said and done it was therefore with a great sense of relief that normal service could resume this Saturday. There was definitely an extra buzz in the air from the Wet Wet Wet tribute messages on Facebook encouraging everyone to attend through to the sense of anticipation that we could get out on our favourite course again. Sera had done an amazing job to get enough volunteers but it had been harder than usual this week and not because she had been celebrating her birthday. Please please help out when you can!

I was drafted to do the First Timers Briefing this week and had a strange experience of having no one come to see me for the first few minutes. However, a few tourists were in, including a very quick one from Wycombe and some people who had only ever run the summer course and were suspiciously studying the map to see the differences. Then it was time for Jo, our intrepid and wet footed run director to wade her way to the Run Director’s Bench and welcome us all back. The runners did not gather too close on account of the lake that surrounded the bench. We were close enough though to hear that it was Megan’s 18th birthday and she was decked in balloons and gamely doing tail walking to bring the last of us home.

The run/slip/squelch felt brilliant for having had a week off, enjoyed as much by Danny Bachelor (our most experienced parkrunner with 211 to his name) as the five people who ran their first recorded parkruns. At Mud-bath corner (the first turn out of the centre patch) the runners were beautifully led out by possibly Banbury’s tallest and smallest runners, a great symbol of the all comers welcome spirit that Banbury parkrun exudes. Some twenty minutes later, as so many times previously, Martin West led 170 others home. Thanks so much to the organisers for giving me back my favourite time of the week and all the incredible efforts of all the volunteers for making it all happen so easily for the rest of us.

And congratulations to 12 parkrunners who defied the conditions and achieved PBs and a special mention to Gary Friday for making Saturday his 100th parkrun.

And now for this week's stats:

This week 170 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 14 were first timers and 12 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 11 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 26 volunteers:

Helen BURTON • Jeffrey TRYBUS • Graeme HACKLAND • Gyles HORNER • Nick ATKINSON • Sera RELTON • Becky ROGERS • Martyn BANHAM • Sam COLLIER • Jo WOODBRIDGE • Daniel WOODBRIDGE • Natalie KYTE • Tim KYTE • Megan KYTE • Cheri HADEN • Wendy KYTE • Richard MCMAHON • David BENNETT • Jack EATON • Rebecca FOSTER • Charlie MORLEY • Sara CARTER • Kate R • Richard SAVORY • Rachel SLADE • Gareth WILLIAMS

Saturday's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Banbury parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Ian KIMPTON who recorded a time of 16:30 on 4th April 2015 (event number 27).
The female record is held by Amelia PETTITT who recorded a time of 18:07 on 20th June 2015 (event number 38).
The Age Grade course record is held by Lilian CARPENTER who recorded 87.73% (28:40) on 29th June 2019 (event number 243).

Banbury parkrun started on 27th September 2014. Since then 6,981 participants have completed 52,194 parkruns covering a total distance of 260,970 km, including 9,024 new Personal Bests. A total of 725 individuals have volunteered 5,532 times.

 

Christmas & New Year’s Day @ Banbury parkrun

The core team are thrilled to announce we are holding two special events to celebrate the festive season.

A Christmas event on 25th December at 9am - festive fancy dress absolutely encouraged! A chance to burn a few calories before indulging in all that Christmas means to you and your families.

A New Year's Day event at 10:30am. Having a later start time will hopefully allow you to do the now famous parkun NYD double. Check out the compendium for our nearest parkruns starting at 9am.

If you'd like to volunteer at one, both, either of our festive specials, drop an email to banbury@parkrun.com

Ho! Ho! Ho!

 

Banbury parkrun Event #262 – A buggy running experience!

Unfortunately, no-one volunteered to write this week’s run report, so as it is my responsibility as part of the core team to upload the run reports each week, I thought I would pen a few thoughts instead.

Most people at Banbury parkrun will recognise me, as on most runs in the past 4 years I have completed them with my son Theo, in our faithful (but very dirty) running buggy. In fact, I think on those rare occasions I run without Theo, I think some people don’t recognise me, and from those who do, I always get a few friendly comments to the tune of “Aren’t you missing something”.

first buggy parkrun

Buggy/Pram/Stroller/Pushchair – call it what you will, either way it is worth getting a buggy designed for running with big wheels and the front one fixed forward, so you don’t have to ‘steer’ the whole time. When I first started running with Theo, shortly before his first birthday, we set off round the autumnal course on Halloween, (chased by a naked costumed runner!) in our standard day to day buggy, it had a mind of its own and if it wasn’t tripping someone up it was getting stuck in a puddle –Michael Dobson noticed us struggling and kindly offered us his running buggy and at only £20 I jumped at the chance. That was it! Theo came on every dry parkrun day from then on.

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Running with a buggy adds an extra challenge to parkrun (and about 2 minutes to my time), not least the ever-increasing weight you push round each week. Other stroller enthusiasts will inform you of the surprising loss of power runners experience when you can’t use both arms, and I have had discussions into the best technique to push –

  1. two handed (good for muddy situations when you need the support and going around corners),
  2. one handed (good on the flat so you can gain power from an arm)
  3. the ‘push and chase’ (not recommend on downhill sections)

There are risks with buggy driving too – Don’t be tempted to high 5 people on the bridge, on more than one occasion I have come close to catapulting poor Theo into the Cherwell after a failed flap at oncoming raised hand.

This week after I struggled to get the now rather tired buggy (splattered with 4 years of Spiceball mud, with ripped undercarriage and flat tyre that if I pump just before we set off will hold up until the end) out of the car and dragged it over the canal bridge, I thought “I’ll be glad when I don’t have to do this anymore”.

As Theo gets older (he is now five) he is beginning to be motivated to run further, starting with gusto but as yet has not quite managed the full 5km, and climbing in the buggy when his legs get tired. But before too much longer I am sure he will get there and the days of shoehorning him into our trusted three wheeled friend will be over and it’ll either gather rust in my shed or hopefully be passed on to another keen running mum or dad.

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So, as I puffed my way through the muddy puddles this week (there is no opportunity to go around them when pushing), I felt a little remorse at the fact that my parkruns with Theo will shortly be changing. I shall miss the constant encouragement of “come on dad overtake – go faster” and the joy of making machine gun noises while my co-pilot makes his arms into wings to sweep around the hairpin bends.

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This week Banbury parkrun did not lend itself well to the buggy runner, we started at the front to try and get clear of most runners (and Theo didn’t fancy running in all that mud), but it was so slippy on the first corner we struggled to get clear, the field then strung out and we ploughed through the muddy back straight – an extra dose of muddy spray covering my legs from the wheels. Over the bridge and I looked like Bambi on ice, only staying on my feet due to being able to hang on to Theo and the buggy, but then I almost fell again, when we veered slightly off course and hit deep mud causing a pile up of runners as we came to an almost immediate stop. My lack of running in October really started to take effect on the third lap and I was very grateful to two fellow parkrunners who helped push us up the incline off the bridge. Finally, to the finish and into what now resembled a brown swimming pool to get our barcode scanned – a quick check of the watch and we are 3 minutes off the buggy pb!

Thanks to all the volunteers this week without whom parkrun could not exist. And congratulations to 19 parkrunners who achieved PBs.  Finally a special mention to the 4 who achieved Milestone runs: Jon Poulton (100), Nick De Pennington (50), Emmanuel Heraud (150) and Verity West (50).

If you would like to try your hand at writing a run report or doing any of the other volunteering roles please contact our friendly volunteer coordinator Sera on banburyhelpers@parkrun.com
Thanks

Sam

And now for the stats:

This week 244 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 15 were first timers and 19 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 18 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 24 volunteers:

Dave MULLIGAN • Helen ROBERTS • Gordon HAMBIDGE • Sera RELTON • Andrew HAMILTON • Dale ELLIS • Martyn BANHAM • Jo WOODBRIDGE • Sally ANDREWS-DUKE • Daniel WOODBRIDGE • Clare CURNOW • Michael ROGERS • Stuart HADEN • David GLOVER • Kim HOPKINSON • Jack EATON • Louise HODGE • Chris JONES • Nick MACEY • Charlie MORLEY • Janice ROWAN • Jill SAVORY • Richard SAVORY • Brian NOBLE

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Banbury parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Ian KIMPTON who recorded a time of 16:30 on 4th April 2015 (event number 27).
The female record is held by Amelia PETTITT who recorded a time of 18:07 on 20th June 2015 (event number 38).
The Age Grade course record is held by Lilian CARPENTER who recorded 87.73% (28:40) on 29th June 2019 (event number 243).

Banbury parkrun started on 27th September 2014. Since then 6,967 participants have completed 52,024 parkruns covering a total distance of 260,120 km, including 9,012 new Personal Bests. A total of 724 individuals have volunteered 5,506 times.

 

 

A wet, windy and muddy 100th parkrun!

This week's run report is written by our latest Banbury parkrunner to reach their 100th parkrun milestone (and their 80th at Banbury) - Congratulations and thanks to Helen KUHN:

Weather report for Saturday 2nd November 2019 was as follows; Light rain showers and a moderate breeze. I feel that the definition of light needs to be addressed as what we ran in today did not feel like light rain to me. I woke up ecstatic as it wasn’t raining. However, this didn’t last long… As I left the house the heavens opened and that was that for the rest of the morning. Luckily Dad had an umbrella so we took a slow wander to the middle of the field to meet the team. 8:35am and there were no runners in sight, a parkrun first! I was hoping that the rugby final and the rain hadn’t put all the runners off their Saturday morning routine, especially as I was tail walking and it was my 100th! Some runners began to congregate and have a chat under their umbrellas. Becky did a great job with her first and very soggy parkrun as run director, even when the microphone decided to make some rather strange noises! Becky did the run brief before everyone lined up and then 3,2,1 we were off. It was like Bambi on mud before we had even got to the path. There were lots of muddy puddles on the way around and lots of mud. It was a shame we didn’t have the ‘normal’ parkrun atmosphere today, I am blaming the weather and the rugby but it was so nice catching up with people. Another parkrun first (I think) was seeing Martin West run in hat, trousers and a long top!!

What does parkrun mean to me?

I only got into the parkrun family when my fiancée was training for a wolf run. When she had done that, she stopped going, I continued and roped dad into it. I haven’t looked back and when I don’t run on a Saturday, it doesn’t feel right! I have met some lovely friends through the parkrun and now class them as my parkrun family. I have been a tourist at many different parkruns, my furthest being Lyme Park where I roped the soon to be father in law to go round with me. Lyme Park was a killer and one people must do if they get a chance. It really isn’t a Saturday without a parkrun!!

And now for the stats:
This week 100 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 8 were first timers and 11 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 14 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 25 volunteers:

Claire UPTON • Sara LONG • Emmanuel HERAUD • Heather FINNIGAN • Sera RELTON • Becky ROGERS • Sadie JONES • Martin KUHN • Helen KUHN • Caz STOKES • Fabienne GORDON-CUMMING • Stuart HADEN • Barbara BARDECKA • Kim HOPKINSON • Kathy WILCOCK • Jack EATON • Stan MORGAN • Jon POULTON • Paul WILCOCK • Tan BEDWARD • Ellen MORGAN • Kate R • Poppy MCVAIL • Faith PADBURY • Emilia GREENWAY

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Banbury parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Ian KIMPTON who recorded a time of 16:30 on 4th April 2015 (event number 27).
The female record is held by Amelia PETTITT who recorded a time of 18:07 on 20th June 2015 (event number 38).
The Age Grade course record is held by Lilian CARPENTER who recorded 87.73% (28:40) on 29th June 2019 (event number 243).

Banbury parkrun started on 27th September 2014. Since then 6,952 participants have completed 51,780 parkruns covering a total distance of 258,900 km, including 8,993 new Personal Bests. A total of 722 individuals have volunteered 5,482 times.

 

Event 260 – Halloween, rain and three generations of Run Directors!

Run report #260 comes from this week's guest Run Director Nick YOUNG who was visiting from Roosevelt Island parkrun, DC, USA. Nick has run 44 parkruns including twice at Banbury and has volunteered on an amazing 93 separate occasions:

I was so pleased to join my son Sam and grandson Theo to form a three-generational Run Director (RD) team for Banbury’s #260 parkrun. Sam introduced me to parkrun in 2013, and it has proved to be a lasting relationship, and some might say obsession. It looks like Sam has passed on his parkrun love to Theo, who sings joyfully every Saturday “parkrun, parkrun, we love parkrun” no matter what the weather. Theo played his part on Saturday by welcoming all to Banbury parkrun and starting with "Ready, Steady, Go"!

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Whichever parkrun you attend, it’s the same welcoming atmosphere. It was great to meet the Banbury core team, depleted as one of their co-Event Directors suffered a broken collarbone as a result of a bike accident. Thanks for your hospitality.

While my home run, Roosevelt Island Washington DC, can get rain, somehow, we seem to avoid it every Saturday morning. However, in Banbury, it rained the previous day, overnight, and continued through Saturday morning, although the parkrun gods seemed to spare us during the critical hour following 9:00 am.

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All RDs will recognise the routine. Before setting off, all equipment must be charged, finish tokens checked, and missing tokens replaced and in order. Banbury RDs retrieve the signs, gazebo, and other equipment from the reservoir-based store and trundle them into Spiceball Park for course and finish area setup. While the course was being setup, the start/finish area was being prepared. Sadly, the rain was accompanied by wind and one gust toppled and fatally damaged the gazebo, exposing the scanners to the wind and rain. Despite the rain, the volunteers turned up, were allocated their lanyards indicating marshalling or other duties, and headed off to assume responsibilities. Timers and scanners use the virtual volunteer app and all volunteers were quickly brought up to speed and performed without serious error, even though fingers were cold and wet.

But miserable weather was not the only factor influencing the character of the day. It was Halloween and costumes were the order of the day for the costume-philes among us. Spiceball Park saw witches, dinosaurs, supermen/women, and various animals emerge into the early morning gloom. Also, significantly it was Rugby World Cup semi-final day with England facing the New Zealand All-Blacks at precisely the parkrun start time. Judging by the attendance, many regulars sought to stay in the warm and dry to watch the match and witness the magnificent English performance. Overall, the weather and rugby limited the attendance to 136 runners, way below the average Banbury parkrun attendance, and only 3 runners achieved personal bests, Karolina Szulc, Mollie Davis, and Vince Archers.

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There were many impressive costumes. The dinosaur put up an impressive time, although at the finish line, the costume resembled an exhausted wet blob!

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We welcomed one 100 run milestone, Eve Sullivan 100 runs overall, of which 99 have been run at Spiceball Park.

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Thanks to the 27 volunteers who braved the weather. They were:
Martyn Banham, David Coles, Ken Craigie, Nigel Deakin, Alexy Dury, Lilyjane Dury, Fabienne Gordon-Cumming, Stuart Haden, Cheri Haden, Erica Helmetag, Simon Hook, Chris Jones, Nicola Kilby, Nick Macey, Kate R, Sera Relton, Nadine Sambrook, Richard Savory, Jonathan Staley, Maximilian Taylor, Suzanne Taylor, Claire Upton, Stephanie Wheeler, Mery-José Wolke, Theo Young, Nick Young, Sam Young

Banbury parkrun has had some difficulties identifying a convenient post-coffee location recently as its regular haunt changed hands. The most recent venue was the Waitrose café. It worked fine, providing a venue to exchange parkrun experiences with core team.

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Sam asked how Banbury parkrun differed from my Roosevelt Island home run. In truth, I could not identify any difference at all (apart from the weather). Happily, parkruns everywhere offer the same friendly challenge and creates the same community atmosphere wherever they take place.

The first finishers were:

Male:
Philip MACGREGOR,19:05
Louis BUSHBY, 19:50
Martyn BANHAM, 20:17

Female:
Claire TRUE, 21:39
Rachel PIPER, 22:16
Maelane HERAUD, 22:37 (JW11-14)

10 unknowns

And now for the other stats...
This week 136 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 13 were first timers. Representatives of 12 different clubs took part.

This week's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Banbury parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Ian KIMPTON who recorded a time of 16:30 on 4th April 2015 (event number 27).
The female record is held by Amelia PETTITT who recorded a time of 18:07 on 20th June 2015 (event number 38).
The Age Grade course record is held by Lilian CARPENTER who recorded 87.73% (28:40) on 29th June 2019 (event number 243).

Banbury parkrun started on 27th September 2014. Since then 6,944 participants have completed 51,680 parkruns covering a total distance of 258,400 km, including 8,982 new Personal Bests. A total of 718 individuals have volunteered 5,457 times.

 

Event 259 – The winter (course) is coming…

This week's stat-tastic run report comes thanks to Daniel ROWAN who ran his 90th parkrun and 85th at Banbury:

On a lovely autumnal Saturday morning I joined 254 other runners for another parkrun; it’s always a great feeling to start the weekend with an achievement (sadly for me, that’s usually as productive as it gets). Welcome to the 19 first timers, and 18 tourists, who joined us; we hope you decide to see you again soon!

As always, a massive thank you to the volunteers, who give up their time to make this event possible.

And now for the stats…

Wait! Hang on a second, don’t the stats usually come at the end of the report?! Well yes, normally… Apologies in advance, it has always been an intention of mine to spend a couple of hours exploring the vast amount of data held on the parkrun servers, and this week’s weather-induced switch to the winter course seemed to give me the perfect premise for a report, and it was also something I found myself wondering recently as I try to chase that all important PB…

Question: Is the winter course faster or slower than the summer course?
From my casual asking around, this is certainly something that people have differing opinions on, and for a variety of reasons. Some are of the belief that the winter course should be objectively faster, because more of the run is on a harder surface, which surely helps with pace. Others, like my partner Iwona, believe that it is slower, reasoning that as well as the weather usually being worse running an additional lap is that bit more repetitive, making the winter course a more daunting prospect.

I’ve found that a useful rule for life is that the plural of anecdote isn’t evidence, so I turned to the data held on Banbury parkrun servers to help answer this question.
Some caveats to bear in mind before going any further:

  • To provide a healthy amount of data on which to base my unsophisticated analysis, all data in this report comes from Banbury parkrun, from the dates 20 October 2018 until 19 October 2019.
  • I thought about going back further with the data (after all, Banbury parkrun has been running since September 2014) however as the parkrun grows, the profile of parkrunners changes with it, and in the interests of data quality and consistency I decided only to use the past years’ worth of data to try and limit some of the variation.
  • For the past year, the winter course was used by Banbury parkrun during the following dates - between 13 Nov 2018 – 20 April 2019 and of course this week - 19 October 2019.
  • For ease of calculation, I’ve used decimal time. To get back to hours: minutes, take the digits to the right of the decimal point, and multiply it by 60. E.g. a time of just the digits to the right of the decimal point, and multiply it by 60 (minutes in an hour). For example, a time of 28.45 becomes 28:27 (.045*60)

So… Back to the task of trying to measure which is the quicker Banbury course. My first thought was that perhaps the proportion of runners achieving a PB (that’s Personal Best to the uninitiated) each week would be a good indicator of course speed (the hypothesis being that on a fast course, more people are likely to get PBs, right?)

Figure_1

Table_1
As you can see from Figure 1, this statistic seems to suffer from quite volatile levels of variation at a weekly level; this inconsistency may suggest it more exposed to day-specific conditions such as weather, field size, and other external events (you don’t have to look far for a good example of this - take last week (12th Oct), which had one of the slowest average times recorded this year – two possible explanations being that runners stayed at home to watch Eliud Kipchoge’s epic sub-2 hour marathon finish, or perhaps many were preparing for the Oxford or Birmingham Half Marathon the following day?)

Although Table 1 suggests that people are more likely to reach a PB during the winter course, the fact that the percentage point difference is relatively small combined with the lower number of total finishes suggests to me that this is far from conclusive evidence. It may be worth a quick look to see if there is any other data which may offer more robust insight.

Fun with averages

Perhaps it’s as simple as looking at the average times for each course then?

Table_2
Table 2 suggests, much like our findings from Figure 1, that the Winter course holds a slightly faster time, and a lower mean and median time (just as a side note, the median is often a useful average when measuring times because it is more resistant to the effects of outliers, e.g. tail walking marshalling. I’ve always wondered why parkrun UK use the mean average instead…) There is also a smaller standard deviation – a measure of variance – which can be interpreted as majority of the times falling within 6.9 and 6.5 minutes of the mean for each respective course.

Well, it looks like the Winter course has the edge on these numbers, but is the difference enough to make it significant? If only there was a formal statistical test for comparing the two distributions…

Table_3
Thankfully, there is! I’ve decided to use an un-paired two sample t-test as quick and dirty method for comparing two samples from the same population. As much as I would love to get into the details, I’m aware I’ve probably lost a good many readers already so I will just summarise to say that a p-value (a probability score) of less than 95% (p-value < 0.05) in this test is commonly interpreted as significant evidence enough to reject a null hypothesis that there is no difference. Therefore the results of the two-sample test in Table 3 (p-value = 0.048) suggests that it is enough to meet the test for significance – indicating evidence that the winter course is faster (though it’s extremely close!)

For those more interested in the nature of the distribution, there are a couple of bonus graphs below. The graphs further illustrate the nature of the distribution (if nothing else, they’re pretty to look at).:

Figure_2

Figure_3
This ‘s’ shape distribution crops up a lot in statistics and is known as a sigmoid curve. Because much of the comparative increase in variation of green dots comes from the larger sample size of summer course runs, it isn’t particularly insightful here, however look closely and you can see some cool patterns in the data. For instance, the arm of green dots stretching out like a tentacle near the top – it looks like all these results came from an event on May 4th (Star Wars day!). I wonder why?

Summary

So it’s simple then, the winter course is definitely faster?

Not so fast – in fact I would hesitate to draw any conclusions from the data I’ve looked at today. Not that I’m suggesting this exercise was entirely a waste of our time; certainly a case can be made that the winter course will not affect your PB chances. However it’s likely (of course) that there are other things that will have much more of an impact, such as training, or what you had for breakfast. All things being equal, I don’t really believe that there will be too much difference. It’s important also to refer back to our caveats: this data is vulnerable to things that are difficult to measure, such as human behaviour. I imagine you see far fewer walkers and ramblers on cold winter days, which will inevitably affect the average for the field.

If I was going to explore this further (don’t worry, I won’t!), I would probably look for people who run regularly, and run tests on how either course affects their times (though, this too, wouldn’t be perfect, as most of the regular runners I know are improving all the time, and this is another compounding factor you would have to control for).

Well, that’s all for this week. I hope you found it interesting, please let me know if you have any thoughts, or perhaps avenues for future exploration and hopefully I’ll see you at parkrun soon!

Daniel Rowan

PS: If you’re a fan of data driven parkrun insights then worth checking out this report from event 183, authored by our very own RD Sam Young. Among many insights it contains what must be one of my favourite statistics: someone at Banbury parkrun has finished in position no. 186 a grand total of six times!

PPS: Shout out to Pug-man, thanks for the eggs.

And now for the stats (no really this time)...

This week 255 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 36 were first timers and 37 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 23 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 25 volunteers:

Jeffrey TRYBUS • Warren HARRISON • Graeme HACKLAND • Alice PALMER • Gyles HORNER • Helen ROBERTS • Claire UPTON • Danny BATCHELOR • Sera RELTON • Becky ROGERS • Martyn BANHAM • Alan UPSTONE • Jocelyn ATKINSON • Sally ANDREWS-DUKE • Fabienne GORDON-CUMMING • Tim KYTE • Stuart TAYLOR • Stuart HADEN • Neil SIMMONDS • Cat MILLER • Joe MILLER • Daniel ROWAN • Richard TEW • Kathleen BEGGIN • Nick MACEY

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Banbury parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Ian KIMPTON who recorded a time of 16:30 on 4th April 2015 (event number 27).
The female record is held by Amelia PETTITT who recorded a time of 18:07 on 20th June 2015 (event number 38).
The Age Grade course record is held by Lilian CARPENTER who recorded 87.73% (28:40) on 29th June 2019 (event number 243).

Banbury parkrun started on 27th September 2014. Since then 6,931 participants have completed 51,544 parkruns covering a total distance of 257,720 km, including 8,979 new Personal Bests. A total of 714 individuals have volunteered 5,430 times.

 

Banbury parkrun – Event 258, 12th October 2019

This week's run report comes from Fran Marrow who ran her 69th parkrun (65th at Banbury):

parkrun day (formerly known as Saturday) came around quickly this week and there was no doubt that Autumn had arrived. The event started with the run director’s briefing delivered from the vantage point of a park bench at the edge of the field. I was glad to see this approach, which debuted last week, being repeated. It’s so much easier to hear the briefing and on colder mornings those few extra minutes in the comfort of your warm outerwear before the start are very welcome!

There was a lovely tribute to Sera Relton whose sterling work as volunteer co-ordinator was acknowledged and I was interested to find out who amongst the crowd of runners she was! I have corresponded with Sera regarding volunteering opportunities and am always impressed by her efficiency, patience, sense of humour and prompt responses to my queries. Anyone out there feeling a little uncertain about volunteering – please give it a go. I can promise you won’t regret it.

So, briefing over, we made our way to the start and without any messing we were off. Before long I found some space and settled in to the now familiar run. I love to see the youngsters out running and started to reflect on my own childhood when running was just something that was quicker than walking! Growing up in the 60’s me and my four siblings would be turfed out of the house after breakfast and told to ‘go and play’ until lunchtime. Other than ‘don’t talk to strangers’ I don’t remember any other rules and we were lucky to be able to roam the countryside, climbing trees, making dens, etc. All very Famous Five!

Times have changed and children today have so much ‘stuff’ but far less freedom. In this digital era I realise how valuable the parkrun experience is for our young. Many of the kids running are very talented and will no doubt go on to excel in their chosen sports in the future. But parkrun is about a much bigger picture than the world of elite athletes.

Where else would a nine year old take part in a public event on an equal footing with other older children and often hundreds of adults of all ages, abilities, gender and race? There are no concessions – every single participant puts one foot in front of the other for all of those 5000 metres and it must seem a very long way for some of the smaller children. Yet here they are, learning that effort and perseverance brings rewards; that sometimes it isn’t much fun but you do it anyway, that other people are just like you... and when you belong to a community you are not alone when things get tough.

So a big shout out to all the parents and older siblings who don’t take the easy option of shoving the kids in front of a screen while they grab a bit of a lie-in on Saturday morning; who come out week after week, sacrificing their own run to keep pace or volunteer with their kids.

Thank you and keep up the good work!

And now for the stats:
This week 261 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 29 were first timers and 24 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 15 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 27 volunteers:

Chris MORRIS • Alexy DURY • Adam LAWRENCE • Sera RELTON • Caroline RICHARDS • Becky ROGERS • Lee DAVIES • Martin KUHN • Alan UPSTONE • Martin WOODS • Jo WOODBRIDGE • Tracy LAWRENCE • Warwick NASH • Cheri HADEN • Stuart HADEN • Richard MCMAHON • Kay ANDREWS-KUHN • Fran MORROW • Daniel ROWAN • Iwona WOJCIK • Rob CROSS • Paul ROWAN • Nick MACEY • Lilyjane DURY • Janice ROWAN • Richard SAVORY • Chris GRIMSLEY

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Banbury parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Ian KIMPTON who recorded a time of 16:30 on 4th April 2015 (event number 27).
The female record is held by Amelia PETTITT who recorded a time of 18:07 on 20th June 2015 (event number 38).
The Age Grade course record is held by Lilian CARPENTER who recorded 87.73% (28:40) on 29th June 2019 (event number 243).

Banbury parkrun started on 27th September 2014. Since then 6,895 participants have completed 51,289 parkruns covering a total distance of 256,445 km, including 8,942 new Personal Bests. A total of 711 individuals have volunteered 5,405 times.

 

Event 257

This week's run report comes from Cheri HADEN who ran her 79th parkrun and her 74th at Banbury (she has also volunteered for 83 different volunteer roles!):

I turned up to parkrun today at 8:45am and the field was already awash with all different colours of run wear. I love walking through the buzz of the runners, catching up with each other after a busy week!

Something a little different today as the run director [Stuart HADEN] delivered the pre run brief before everyone got to the start line. Feedback from the crowd thought this worked well! It was great to hear the announcement that the council had granted permission for a Christmas and New Year run! Obviously it goes without saying, that both events will only be able to go ahead if we can get the volunteers. So if you can help, be sure to contact the volunteer coordinator Sera Relton [banburyhelpers@parkrun.com].

d7e033b5-3b6e-465b-b3d4-14366efb763f

And so we lined up and the count down was issued, we’re off! People of all ages, fitness levels and individual reasons running around the park! This week I struggled with my run, so I managed to talk to a few people, which is always good! I met a lady who normally canoed on the boating lake behind Spiceball, but had decided to try Banbury parkrun for the first time instead today. It was slightly muddy and slippy on the island portion of the course today and I nearly lost my footing, but it all adds to the excitement of the run. With only half a lap to go, I came alongside a lady who I see at parkrun a lot, Tracey, but haven’t really had the chance to speak to her, so we had a little chat and she stayed with me, keeping me company until we rounded the corner in to the field to finish. I told to her to go ahead as I never had a sprint finish and she grabbed my hand and said ‘come on, you do’ and pulled me along to the finish! That to me sums up parkrun! parkrun is a community, it brings people together and has help built so many friendships. With friendship in mind, some special friendships I personally have made at parkrun are with Martin & Verity West, whom most Banbury parkrunners know. With their permission, I would like to say, it was extremely sad to hear of the passing of their beautiful baby girl, Marianne, last Saturday. I think I speak for everyone who knows Martin & Verity, to say all our love is with them both! It was nice to see Martin at parkrun this morning and hopefully Verity will be back amongst her parkrun family soon too xx Keep running people, I look forward to seeing you all again next week, same time, same place!

And now for the stats:
This week 287 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 29 were first timers and 39 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 20 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 25 volunteers:

Graeme HACKLAND • Claire UPTON • Steven HEARN • Heather FINNIGAN • Sera RELTON • Rachel PALMER-HEARN • Alan UPSTONE • Tracy LAWRENCE • Stuart TAYLOR • Gary FRIDAY • Cheri HADEN • Stuart HADEN • Jeremy GRIMSHAW • Vivien MOORE • Roger MOORE • Iwona WOJCIK • Chris JONES • Maddie CARTER • Gwyneth ROGERS • Sara CARTER • Claire WACKRILL • Abigail SMITH • James KENNARD • Brian NOBLE • Jo TRINDER

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Banbury parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Ian KIMPTON who recorded a time of 16:30 on 4th April 2015 (event number 27).
The female record is held by Amelia PETTITT who recorded a time of 18:07 on 20th June 2015 (event number 38).
The Age Grade course record is held by Lilian CARPENTER who recorded 87.73% (28:40) on 29th June 2019 (event number 243).

Banbury parkrun started on 27th September 2014. Since then 6,866 participants have completed 51,028 parkruns covering a total distance of 255,140 km, including 8,918 new Personal Bests. A total of 709 individuals have volunteered 5,378 times.

Gary FRIDAY was our photographer this week, but at the time of publishing this report, no photos had yet been uploaded, please check this link for them (copy and paste): https://photos.app.goo.gl/VJuEMov4wfNYehkFA

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