What’s the story (Tring parkrun 215 glory)?

It was National Album day on Saturday when we also celebrated Tring parkrun 215. I knew it was going to be a good day. On Friday the weatherman had promised it would shine too. The evening before parkrun day is always filled with hopes and fears for a run director. But as I finished packing the Dookie and charging the radios for the morning, my night thoughts turned to leisure and I poured myself a glass of red red wine: pure hedonism. In the flat above, upstairs at Eric’s, I could hear him play a record - Best of the Beatles, I think – his favourite album.

Saturday morning began with a drive through the home counties. Radio 4 on the car radio was saying that Modern Life is Rubbish. But I have to say, I think that is one step beyond - complete madness. As I walked into the park with the pre-run set up crowd and my daughter, there was no other place I’d want to be. I wanted to be here now. This was my parklife.

The crowd filled up. Full of boys and girls. Dog. Man. Stars – all of them. Wives and Husbands in his n hers running gear. We had tourists from London, conversations from Welwyn Garden City.

And then it started to rain. And at the same time the cows started to move as if they had given to the wild. And in my head I sang an urban hymn to take me to the safety of a covered, indoor track. But there were no parachutes. We had to get on with the run. 3…2…1… go! (no revolver to start the race, just a megaphone)

Those that ran to the top of the hill through the wild wood saw the woodface and entrance to the natural park. If the altitude didn’t give you the bends the views of the big iron world below certainly could have done. Don’t forget that the thing about Tring parkrun is that this is hardcore

But if it sounds like this week’s run was all about me - that I had the masterplan - that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Being a run director is about standing on the shoulders’ of giants. Those giants were the high vis heroes, the volunteers, the people who stood out in the rain. And this week they did it with rampaging cows, faulty stopwatches and terrible weather. They had gallons of good humour and were a different class.

Thank you, all of them: Luke ATKINS, Violet ATKINS, Wes BALL, Howie BECK, Steve BLADEN, Clive COHEN, Annemarie DE BOOM, Rosa DRATH, Andy EVANS, Claire HALLISSEY, Edward HOPPER, Nika JACKSON-MOORE, Frances LEFF, Chris NICHOLLS, Helen PAGE, Thomas PAGE, Dennis RAFFETY, Amanda RUSSELL, Claudia SELINA, Dan STORR, Philippa STORR, Len VAN DE LINDE, Ella VAN DE LINDE, Kaja ZIEMBACZEWSKA, Blazej ZIEMBACZEWSKI

I know what you’re thinking though. “Is this it?” And I shout back: Definitely, Maybe, a little more. What about the records? We’re not going to whitewash achievement, here – no bleach in my run report. On that Yellow Brick Road to glory and a milestone t-shirt this week were:
Tom Patterson – our youngest “100” so far, what a kid a?
Garry Brown and Isobel Roberts who both ran their 50th parkrun
Emma Young and Finlay Searle who both ran their 10th parkrun as a junior.
The future is yours!

And finally… and finally. The Tring Supercomputer – New Gold Dream, as we’ve lately christened him – has come up with a few more stats for you:

  • It was the first time the attendance dipped under 200 since April – perhaps the weather or start of XC season
  • 2 PBs in 2 weeks for Eddy Guinness, Tony Hart, Neil Gould and Richard Pennant-Jones
  • In addition, Richard Pennant-Jones has recorded 6 PBs in his last 6 appearances and 3 in 3 for Tom Harris, Emily Harris and Toby Wastling
  • David Severs finished 63rd on his 63rd parkrun
  • Alex Bousfield set the 4th fastest ever JW15-17 time
  • We saw the surname Roger for the 300th time and Lea for the 100th
  • Mark and Tom were the most seen names (with 5 each) and Isobel the most seen female name (with 3)
  • We saw the name Peter for the 300th time, Tim for the 100th and Carole for the 50th
  • Minute 31 was the most popular, with 24 finishers
  • Nobody finished in minute 36 – the last time that happened was March 2016
  • The name “Brian” beat its attendance records with 3 runners.
  • We welcomed the names Fred and Lana for the 1st time
  • We saw the clubs Mablethorpe RC, Northampton Road Runners and Deestriders RC all for the first time - welcome all
  • Of those who have run 5+ times at Tring, the biggest PB improvements belonged to Enid Fleetwood (2:49), Peter Young (1:27), Beatrice Herbert (0:50), Darren Hogg (0:38) and Richard Pennant-Jones (0:30)

Signing off for now. But if you want to listen the Tring parkrun National Album Day playlist, you can listen to all 47 albums, 799 songs and 54 hours here.  And if you want a different, more intelligible, run report next week you can always volunteer by emailing tringhelpers@parkrun.com

See you on Saturday.

Wes Ball
Run Director