Tring #234, Mud Pie in the middle and an actual Polar Bear



This week's run write-up was kindly written by Pippa WHITE, visiting Tring for the first time with her daughter Harriet. Pippa completed her 163rd parkrun at Tring, her 48th different parkrun venue, and has written run reports now an impressive 69 times. This is an extra special report, with a hidden recipe for Sarah's celebratory munchies many enjoyed on Saturday morning!

Pippa with this week's great RD Wes Ball


Mud Pie in the middle and an actual Polar Bear

Arriving at Tring parkrun nice and early, I was set a challenge to get to the level of your regular reports. That’s a bit of an 0820 ask for a 69th run report! Here goes.

We left south London at some early time in the morning. Sometimes things go wrong for parkrun tourists who then discreetly reroute, but as Harriet WHITE was voluntouring, she had to be on time and at the correct location. Her breakfast was the 225g digestive biscuits that I’d packed for her, and she ate them slowly, broken into small pieces. My breakfast of preference, is glacé cherries but I have to wash them to get rid of the sticky coating and chop them into small pieces so I’m safe to eat and drive. I could eat a lot, but 65g seemed like a good compromise.

Tring parkrun is pretty easy to find – we plugged the postcode in and arrived in good time. I’d vaguely heard of the Natural History museum and the parking is in their carpark. We arrived at the bridge where the volunteers first meet to carry the kit, returned to the carpark to park, back to the steps and the volunteers had vanished. We walked up the steps and through the park, paralleling the A41 (the busy road) and suddenly there was welcome high viz.

It was a raw morning with a lazy wind, the sort that’s too idle to go around a shivering parkrunner: I was so pleased to have lots of layers on and to see the groundsheet for kit.

Many thanks to all of our volunteers this week, including our wonderful Pacers

The funnel was completely staffed by under 18 volunteers, which was very exciting and a very first experience for Harriet. Every time I see young people having fun volunteering and helping putting parkrun on in 2019, I feel proud to be part of this movement/activity/event. Standing for a moment on my soapbox, under 18 volunteers who have a good time as parkrun volunteers will volunteer for other groups, or even parkrun, in the future. Thank you for nurturing them.

The current course (rather than the 115g mixed dried fruit course!) is an out and back. I gave up my coat reluctantly but by the time I’d achieved that first hill I was melting… in fact melting like 175g of butter in a saucepan. By the time I’d achieved the turn around point and a big high five to Chris MILLAR, I was properly warm... though still thinking of a hot chocolate made with 2-3tbsp of drinking chocolate, added to the melted butter. Turning around, the trip down the hill was very pleasant and I remembered to look at the view. I wasn’t going to catch Michael PEMBERTON in arbitrary position (115g of caster sugar mixed into the pan). (Mix all the listed ingredients in the saucepan and put into a lined pan, 20-23 cm diameter).

Mixing it up today at Tring were pacers for times of 24 mins to 40 mins. I was impressed at the attempts to pace on a hilly course – though in the first kilometre or so there were pacer tops together and I wasn’t quite sure in which order 36,38 and 40 were. Even though it was chill, and the very early course inspectors had arrived early, there were few who spent more than 2 hours in the cold; indeed, the tail walker came in under the hour. The mud is starting to settle in and the needed trail shoes were covered.

Once finished we had cake. A welcome and wonderful array of cakes from the 3 people achieving 100 today. Kevin DANCE, Katie VAN DE LINDE and Sarah FOSKETT.

An especially impressive stash of cake and other yummies this week. We loved them. Follow the clues in the write-up to make one of them! :-)

Kit lifted, we traipsed down the hill and off to the Akeman for a nice hot chocolate – possibly not made by melting 200g of milk chocolate over boiling water and smooth over the chilled mixture. However, it is important to warm up those who ran and got chilled again.

Gallery 1 of The Natural History Musem at Tring
An actual Polar Bear - in Tring museum

After breakfast we strolled back to the car via the museum. The first thing I saw was the polar bear in the glass cabinet. Did you see that Bradford parkrun allegedly cancelled last week because: “There are polar bears on the path. Actual polar bears!”? Well, Tring parkrun is much closer to having an actual polar bear permanently a few metres from the start and a fake fake Dodo. We have to come back in the sun to run the full course, not one that is chopped into pieces – and can’t wait.

Thank you.

Pippa White (Queen Elizabeth)

PS - A brief additional word from the Stat-O-Matic

Early Feb with its cold weather and dropping of New Years Resolutions is always a low attendance time at Tring parkrun, usually only equaled by mid-December Xmas shopping weeks. So no surprise that with 201 runners, this was the lowest number so far in 2019. That said it was still a lot more than the same week in 2016 when we saw our lowest ever turnout of 84

Aesthetic times - On the ascending parkrun number 234 Charles Ashwell and Moira Douglas both managed the descending times of 43:21 and Emma Young recorded 34:34 (I.e. 2 34s on parkrun 234)

“Son” was a popular syllable with the 3 most seen surnames this week, with 4 each, being Ireson, Hanson and Patterson.

After 17 weeks our year 5 100% club is down to 4 members – so Peter Leigh, Holly Bunn, Helen Page and Louise Bladen will be carefully watching each other’s holiday plans!


You can find out more about Tring parkrun and see all of our photographs and videos on our Facebook page here.

You can see our current volunteer roster here.

We encourage all parkrunners to volunteer a few times a year. If you can help on any future date, or would like to find out more about our volunteer and helper roles, please email us at

We now have two excellent parkrun podcasts available each week. "Free Weekly Timed" is the official parkrun podcast with Vassos Alexander and Louise Ayling. We also have "With Me Now" with Danny Norman and Nicola Forwood which is an independent parkrun-based podcast.