This week's Q&A is with Keith Stonestreet. Keith has now completed 173 parkruns in total, 127 of which have been at Tring. Keith has been running regularly at Tring since June 2015. Of those 46 runs that weren't at Tring, Keith has run at 25 different parkruns.
Following his inaugural run at Tring, Keith notched up a PB in each of his next 8 runs, reducing his PB from 34:02 to 27:22 in the space of just nine weeks. Keith's current PB is 24:19, which he set on 25 June 2016.
So let's hear from Keith...….
When did you move to the Tring area, and where did you move from?
We moved to Cheddington about 6 years ago from Northolt. I had always lived in and around Harrow so it was quite a change moving to the countryside. Love it here.
Other than parkrun, do you take part in any other organised running events?
I do some races but not many. Cliveden XC, Marsworth 10k, Aldbury 5, amongst others. I am also a member of Tring Running Club so do the club runs.
Given current restrictions, what are you doing to keep active?
I am furloughed so have time on my hands. I am running more and trying to up my distance as I am entered for the Humanity Direct Chiltern Challenge 50k in July which will easily be the farthest I have run. It hasn't been cancelled yet so the training for that is keeping me busy. I am also doing some YouTube Exercise just to do something different from running.
What does Tring parkrun mean to you?
It is a fantastic friendly event. I have met so many people through it and it is the reason I joined Tring Running Club as I was encouraged by a few people there to check it out. Without Tring parkrun I would definitely not be running as much as I am now and be a lot less fit and would not have met so many new friends.
Why did you start parkrun? How did you hear about Tring parkrun? Did you come along with others?
I started parkrun back in 2007 at Bushy parkrun. I had tried running and it seemed like a good introduction to running with others. I am not sure how I heard about it? I must have read about it somewhere? It was not that local to where I was living and I only did about 5 on and off (Ed - Actually Keith it was 6). I then stopped running altogether. I then moved to Cheddington and noticed the amount of people running here so I decided to take up running again to get fitter and lose some weight. Once I completed Couch to 5k I remembered parkrun and looked for a local one. The obvious one was Tring. I came down by myself and was instantly welcomed. The rest is history really.
Obviously Tring parkrun is your favourite parkrun, but what is your second favourite and why?
I think it's Bushy parkrun. It was the first one I did and the original. When a few of us went there a while ago it was fantastic. It's just another level. The shear amount of people is amazing. It's very well organised and I would recommend anyone who hasn't been to go just to experience it. You may even bump into PSH as we did (although he has been to Tring twice).
Taking any of our courses, what is your favourite bit of the Tring parkrun course and why?
The run along King Charles' Drive is fantastic. The views are amazing pretty much any time, whatever the weather. It's also pretty flat and you can just relax a little and chat to anyone around you. Also you can see the faster runners returning and when you return you can see the slower runners on their way out. I was a little unsure when the course changed to an out and back but I love it now. You get to see everyone and cheer them on and say hello etc.
What’s your favourite volunteer role?
Probably Marshall and Pacer. As a Marshall you get to cheer everyone on and as a pacer you still get to run and the runners with you really appreciate it.
Keith pictured here in November 2019, preparing for a spot of Marshalling at the turnaround point. Keith is a regular volunteer at Tring, having volunteered on 36 occasions, filling just about every volunteer role going. Just pre-event set-up needed for a full house, Keith!
Favourite / funniest parkrun memory?
I think it has to be turning up to see Blazej dressed as a Frog on the recent Leap Year run and hopping over the line.
What parkrun would you like to do in the future and why?
I would like to do a foreign one. Not really too fussed as to where though. It would just be great to experience parkrun in another country.
What’s your pre parkrun breakfast?
I don't really eat before, just an espresso or 2.
Have you ever done any of our fancy dress parkruns, and if so, what did you come dressed as?
I have worn a Scream mask on Halloween but not really apart from that that I can remember.
Although none of us admit it, we all target someone or something we want to beat. Who or what is your target?
I honestly don't have a target, it tends to change each week depending on how well I am running that week. I may see someone ahead and aim for them but I am not usually looking until the return along King Charles' Drive.
Do you think you’ll ever get another PB at Tring?
I don't think so, I don't really know how I did the one I have. I have not been within about 2 minutes of it for years. You never know though.