parkrun 199 #thisgirlcan

Tring parkrun is world famous. Whenever you see a photo from parkrun HQ of parkrunners on a grassy hill, the odds are it's Tring. That's what ensured it's place on our parkrun bucket list, and when a friend moved to the area last year we finally had the perfect excuse to make the journey. The trouble is, it was December and covered in snow and ice which made it a somewhat slippery affair.

Fast forward a few months and we were lucky enough to have another opportunity, and this time the weather could not have been more different. The photos don't do it justice; glorious meadows, beautiful trees, and a perfect blue sky greeted us.


This weeks RD Katie giving the runners their briefing

Whilst I was volunteering this time, my wife and nine year old son ran. Tring couldn't be more different from our home parkrun of York, which is all on smooth tarmac and is one of the flattest courses anywhere in the world. They both agree that the first and last kilometres at Tring are the hardest due to the hills so took plenty of walking breaks to catch their breath and enjoy the views. The best bit for them was running downhill through the woods towards the monument, and the marshals ringing cowbells (we absolutely adore that Tring has cow marshals). It was a hot one this week, particularly the last stretch on the bumpy grass, so their time was a bit slower than December, but no matter.

I was on finish token duty and had a great time. The other volunteers were a super friendly bunch who were so enthusiastic about all things parkrun and they made me feel right at home.

I also got to witness some excellent sprint finishes, and a tremendous number of runners in fancy dress for This Girl Can.


Redbourn Runners getting into the #thisgirlcan spirit

I also really liked that there were special bibs for parkrunners to wear on their milestone runs. Timothy Fryer, Keith Henderson and Colin Baker all did their 50th runs, and Evan Billings and Hattie Corntwaite both joined the exclusive juniors 10 club.




Keith, Colin and Timothy completing their 50th parkrun

Equally as great is the fact that 29 people were doing Tring parkrun for the first time, and for 9 of those it was their first parkrun anywhere ever. Welcome to the group, I hope you get as much out of parkrun as everyone else does.

Undoubtedly we'll be back to Tring at some point, possibly for another icy one in December. We can't wait!

Many thanks to everyone!

Ruth and Ste Robson,
York parkrun


#198 – A look forward to “This Girl Can” and stats from 197/198

Welcome to run report #198

A few of us are parkrunning in Jersey this weekend so this is a quick writeup before heading off to the airport. Did you know that Jersey is the only UK parkrun starting with “J” so if you want to collect your alphabet of parkruns, then it’s a good reason for a weekend trip to the Channel Islands.

In today’s report we have…..
- In anticipation of this week’s themed “This Girl Can” parkrun , some lovely words from Tring parkrun regular Philippa
- A look back at the stats from #198
- A look back at the stats from #197

So we start off with some words from Philippa….

This girl didn’t think she could...
...even get to the finish line when I had to be dragged, crying, up Heartbreak Hill on my first ever parkrun.
...ever go sub-30 minutes.
…ever truly, hand on heart, say she enjoyed the first kilometre.
…ever get to 100 parkruns.
…ever be made to feel so welcomed and encouraged by such a great bunch of people.
But this girl, just an ordinary girl, can!

There is no denying that Tring parkrun is daunting, it is a challenge and, as many have commented, it doesn’t seem to get any easier, but because of that, it is also wonderful. Many a time, I have reflected on the fact that the run seems to mirror the ups and downs of my job as a teacher in a concentrated 30 minute (or so) window. Sometimes I find it difficult to get into my stride at the start. Then there is the relentless effort to get to the top of the hill, where you first get a chance to get your breath back and have a little window of opportunity to reflect on your achievements so far. If you take the time to notice, you also get the reward of a stunning view back over Tring and beyond, akin to the feeling of one of those ‘lightbulb moments’, when a child makes new connections in their learning, us teachers have the privilege to experience. Then comes the relative flat of King Charles Drive with its little ups and downs, just there to keep you focused and on your toes. The downhill yomp reminds me of the feeling of Christmas in a school, a small window where you can relax and be a bit more free from rigours of the curriculum. You should mindfully appreciate this treat, because you know there are tough times ahead. From thereon in the uphills get a little more challenging and the downhills not so obviously rewarding. You pray for no headwind along the valley, fingers crossed for no ‘school inspection’ when you are really starting to feel the tiredness in your legs. What can I say about Heartbreak Hill, that is simply about gritted teeth and sheer bloody-mindedness, but after the final effort comes the reward, when all your hard work pays off and you can bound downhill to the glory of the finish line, safe in the knowledge that you will make it, you will finish, you have survived! (well at least that was the case until the finish line was moved – now you have to have a little bit of faith that the funnel will come, even if you can’t quite see it, but I guess that is a bit like teaching too!)
Philippa Storr

Philippa after one of her recent PBs

Thanks Philippa and well done on your 6 min improvement since starting at Tring.

Now lets have a look back at this #197 stats - our NHS run

Some great costumes at #197

Emily Wooton, Cara Kerr-Miller and Tia Kerr-Miller all achieved their junior 10th parkruns – well done
Stephen Brookman recorded his 3rd PB in 3 weeks. It was 2 in 2 weeks for Darren Hogg, Tom Patterson, Lucie Repova, Robert Norris, Robert Williams, Karen Scott, Sally Dent, Denis Steventon and Samantha Hollier. That’s the 6th PB this year for Robert and Samantha – the joint 3rd highest total.
In addition, Michael Hart has recorded a PB at each of his last 5 appearances and Darcy Hudghton 3 from 3.
Steven Boyd ran under 20 mins for the 1st time and set the fastest ever VM50-54 with a time of 19:42
We saw the surnames O’Keefe and Davies for the 100th time and Golding for the 50th time
Page and Lindars were the most seen surname with 4 of each
We saw the names Andy for the 300th time and Graham and Isobel for the 200th, Emily for the 100th and Geoff for the 50th
Holly and Samantha were the most seen female names (3 of each) and Ben and James (7 of each) the most seen males. Indeed it was a record number of Bens this week.
We saw the names Ricky and Izzi for the 1st time
Minutes 26 and 27 were the most popular with 24 runners in each
We saw Gade Valley Harriers for the 250th time and Dunstable RRC for the 50th.
1st time we have seen both the Sittingbourne Striders and the Meads Runners
Of the runners who have run at least 5 times, the biggest improvers were Olivia Hurford (2:19), Stephen Brookman (1:32), Barry Brett (0:52), Samantha Hollier (0:50), Ben Hallett (0:48) and Thomas Patterson (0:48)

A great PB run from Olivia

Some more great costumes

And more - Great costumes and Charlotte is also in the middle of a sequence of 3 PBs

And if you’ve manage to crunch your way through that lot – maybe you get a mention in the week #198 stats……

Peter Lilley ran his junior 10th parkrun – well done Peter
Charlotte Crane, Lucy Clutton and Tim Rial ran their 50th parkruns – well done all
Jennifer Gribben, Andy Spry and Karen Hennel ran their 100ths – and well done again
3 PBs in 3 weeks for Lucie Repova and 2 in 2 for Darcey Hughton, Tony Hart, Eleanor Beswick, Iain Middleton and Stephen Barnsdale – These are the in form runners you need to be following
In addition, 3 PBs in their last 3 appearances for Tom Moreton, Ian Shenton and Rachael Macrae, 2 in 2 for Euan Hudghton, Simon Nicholson and Kevin Lynch – well done all
Sheila Turner recorded the 3rd fastest VW55-59 and went under 25 mins with her 24:52 – well done Shiela
OK, so her husband may have picked up a well earned PB but it was Sarah Foskett who was claiming the family stats glory as she became the 68th person to run 68 times at Tring
1st time for 45 weeks that there were no Bens – last week we had a record 7 of them – where did they go?
1st time we have seen the names Neill, Zara, Annika, luliia, Meggie and Saengchan
Hanson and Turner were the most seen surname with 4 of each
Exactly as last week, Holly and Samantha were the most seen female names (3 of each) but this time with Paul (with 9) the most seen male name.
Minutes 29 was the most popular with 21 runners finishing in that minute
We saw Lalor Running Club for the 1st time. For those of you who didn’t know, they meet 4 times a week in Lalor and the surrounding suburbs of Melbourne!
Of the runners who have run at least 5 times, the biggest improvers were Matthew Gorman (9:56), Rob Billings (4:44), Darcey Hudghton (3:03), Catherine Turner 2:43) and Adam Woodhams (2:03)

Have a great run wherever you are at parkrunning tomorrow and if you are at Tring enjoy #199

Andy E


Tring parkrun 196 – It’s a mystery


It's a mystery

I've been a Run Director (RD) at Tring parkrun a fair a few times now and it's a mystery to me quite how I get away with it! So it was especially rewarding to see so many smiling faces yesterday, so many personal achievements, so many family memories being created (and so many celebratory cakes being consumed!) despite a storyline worthy of a kids cartoon developing rapidly behind the scenes.

Not got a scooby
Sometimes being an RD is a bewildering experience! :-)


The first mystery was "where are the cows?". They were nowhere to be found. With the benefit of hindsight, sending the Cow Marshals off with the vague instruction of "I'm sure you'll find them" wasn't very helpful. Not surprisingly they returned later reporting that "we couldn't find them either". At this point I had slightly less vague visions of them hiding behind the trees, cartoon style, and ambushing the Tail Walkers at a critical moment. More on the cows later.

The next mystery is why I failed miserably to post a marshal at Gate 1. Seriously! I did think it was strange to be left with one too many marshals at the start line. My solution was to ignore this obvious anomaly and send the spare marshal off to look for the cow marshals. The Gate being closed must have come as something of a surprise to the fastest runners and I appreciate Tom North coming to the rescue and opening it before most others arrived. Where is Jim Maple when you need him?

Don't even get me started on the "parking" on Hastoe Lane!!! This will be the topic of a stern, "go and stand in the naughty corner" message later in the week.


So, how many took part this week?

On the face of it this is a reasonable question that should be easy to answer.

The first hill
And they're off - charging down the first hill (still novel!) and into the valley

I should start by saying that with such a busy finish line, with lots going on, our timer/token numbers seldom match exactly at the first go. Our heroic Timekeeprs and Finish Token volunteers have to contend with "double crossers” (people who cross the line more than once), "funnel duckers” (who duck out of the funnel without collecting a token), ”token magpies”, and various random non-participants who get in the mix somehow. These we can normally sort easily.

Yesterday, however, we had a few ludicrous discrepancies that defied all known human logic and common sense. I was absolutely baffled and after much head-scratching in the Akeman had to admit defeat. Another mystery. It took the combined brain power of Andy Evans (who can calculate Pi to 5 million decimal places in his head) and Ross Lambert (who thinks of differential calculus as a recreational sport) to solve the mystery. Thanks guys.

Officially we had 301 participants cross the line.

The comedy continued when I confidently asserted this was our 2nd highest turnout. It wasn't. It was the fourth highest (still very impressive) and the highest on the new course. Whoop!
Of the 301 finishers 43 were very welcome "first timers" at Tring, of which 15 completed their first ever parkrun. Well done.


parkrunning stars

At the other end of the scale our very own Andy Evans was the most experienced parkrunner, completing his 214th. And visitor KC Lloyd was our most experienced first timer on 180 parkruns.

Congratulations Will
Congratulations to Will on becoming the youngest parkrunner to join that 50-club at Tring.
In the pictures above you can see his 1st parkrun and his 50th.

We also had several special milestones to celebrate. First of all we had an amazing five people join the junior 10 club - congratulations to Nicole Giraldo, Thomas Lipscombe, Matthew Kuht, Ruby Dack and Connor Farquarson. Matthew marked the occasion with a new PB, and Ruby was running her first parkrun at Tring. Great to see.

And very well-done to David Severs, Samantha Lindars and Will Drath who all joined the 50-club, with Will being the youngest to achieve this at Tring (he's only 7, bless his little running shoes).

46 runners achieved a Personal Best - really great on such a humid morning. Of these we saw 2 PBs in 2 weeks for Amy Billington, Karen Morton-Smit, Ian Shenton, Chris Nicholls, Charlotte Owttrim and Stephen Brookman. We also saw 6 PBs in last 6 appearances for Nathan Cook, 4 in 4 for Jo Glass and Callum Hunter-Whitehouse, 3 in 3 for Dan Butler and Emily Ford. Epic stuff!

We also witnessed other notable times: Betty Huggan set the 3rd fastest ever VW70-74 time and Tilly Green improved her own 3rd fastest ever JW15-17 time by 1 second.

Of the runners who have run at leat 5 times, 5 improved by over a minute - David Taylor (2:43), Callum Hunter-Whitehouse (1:33), Jo Glass (1:14), Nathan Cook (1:14), and Lucie Repova (1:07)



Volunteer stars

As usual we had a really great volunteer team. Without them there would be no Tring parkrun.

A big thank you to Chris Bill, Alison Bill, Melanie Brookman, Chris Dalton, Grace Fensome, James Foskett, Claire Hallissey, Keith Henderson, Sidney Hudson, Frances Leff, Richard Long, Sam McCormack, Paul McCormack, Richard Murphy, Chris Nicholls, Heather Painter, Andrew Powell, Dennis Raffety, Phil Roger, Charlotte Severs, Christina Stevens, Philippa Storr, Charlie Summerson, Adrian Summerson, Jake Summerson, Dominic Veal and Emma Weller.

A special mention goes to Alison Bill who volunteered for the 25th time and qualifies for a lovely, free, parkrun volunteer's T-shirt (on the subject of which...the new ones are really great!!!)

Alison Bill will get one of the new design volunteer T-shirts as a thank you

Several of our volunteers have never ran a parkrun nor intend to do so. It's a great way to get out and be part of a growing community. If you know anyone that might be interested, connect us by emailing

Crochet on a huge scale
Volunteering makes you more attractive to the opposite sex and increases your mental and physical dexterity. It's a bit like the Crystal Maze sometimes on the Finish Line. You are also much more likely to win the lottery after having volunteered, or to discover that the old vase your auntie Maud gave you is actually priceless. But, most importantly, it's easy and it's fun. Email us at to find out more.

One of the things I really like is the way so many of our spectators throw themselves into the fun. Cheering, applauding, hi-fiving, cow bell ringing all helps create the friendly, encouraging atmosphere parkrun is famous for. This week we had an exceptional team of informal volunteers and helpers making the morning just the bit more special for everyone. Thank you.

High Fives Ahead
Super effort by team Cooper on the finish line. Thank you.


Video stars

We didn't have an official photographer this week but we did have a couple of videos, one of the brilliant finish line support and the other of the entire new Tring parkrun course by international running vlogger Baze187 (Richard Bazeley)

Video of Mind the Cow Pat
"Mind the Cow Pat"
Enthusiastic (and very helpful) Finish Line support.
Click on the image above to go to the video on Facebook


New Course Video
"New Tring Course"
A video tour of the whole new course by Baze187
Click on the picture to go to the video on YouTube


Special facts bonus

We know you love this stuff.....

Not content with 2 weeks ago become the 66th person to run 66 times at Tring (and helping sort out our results processing!), Ross Lambert becomes the 67th to run 67!

28 people finished in minute 30 - the 2nd busiest minute we have ever seen. The busiest being when 29 finished in minute 31 at parkrun #144

1st time we have seen 4 Clares, 3 Victorias, 3 Darrens, 2 Caroles, 2 Waynes and 2 Lucies

1st time we have seen the names Magnus, Bryn, Loui, Leighton and Carissa

The 100th time we have seen On the Run, Aylesbury

1st time we have seen the London City Athletics club who, if you didn’t know, are based in the heart of London at Southwark Athletics Centre


So, what happened to the cows?

We're still not very sure!!!

They were reported up in the trees above the grass (see pic) and then they were reported across the road in the new land acquired by the Woodland Trust.
It remains a very real mystery. If there are any super-sleuths out there, let us know.

Our missing cows
These are supposed to be our missing cows.
I'm not yet convinced!


Something to look forward to

We have a lot going on at Tring parkrun over the next few weeks, starting with next Saturday the 9th of June. The NHS is celebrating its 70th anniversary and have teamed with parkrun to celebrate. Getting out and enjoying a healthier lifestyle is what parkrun is about.

nhs70 at tring
Help us mark NHS70.
Please wear blue and white (NHS colours) or appropriate fancy dress.

Later in the month, on the 23rd, we're helping support the "This Girl Can" campaign. We want to encourage females of all ages to join us - volunteering, supporting or running/walking. Watch out for more info on that soon.

That's it for another week.




Foiled again
The dastardly plans of the nefarious Mr I M Grumpy were foiled yet again...
...even he was smiling after Tring parkrun 196
(although he'd forgotten his barcode)

Older Posts this Month ⇒
⇐ Newer Posts this Month