Winter Course Review

Back in in late November, when the Woodland Trust asked us to change our course for Winter, we were a bit apprehensive as we know how much everyone enjoys our traditional single loop course. However, there was no need to fear, it appears that we have all enjoyed visiting a lesser seen corner of the park and the out and back nature of the course has given the chance to hi-5 your friends and at the turn around point see how close you are to other runners. Another factor that has helped people’s enjoyment is whereas on our old course Winter PBs were quite rare, this winter we have seen loads! In fact, if you take a look at the graph below you can see the volume of PBs compared to prior years over the winter months. Likewise the 2nd graph shows how average times over this period are lower than previous years

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Each week , on average we are seeing more PBs compared to previous other years

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Average run times have been faster this year

It’s great to see everyone running so well, however, unfortunately parkrunHQ have contacted us about the need to ensure consistency from year to year. With the rapid growth of parkrun both across the country and around the world, parkrunHQ are keen to ensure that all parkruns operate in a similar fashion. Obviously, this is a tough task across the various countries and with each parkrun being of varied terrain. Therefore, whilst it’s difficult to compare parkrun times between venues they are keen that the times remain similar from year to year at each individual parkrun.

We have therefore been doing some calculations and believe that this winter’s times are faster than the previous 3 winters by an average of 21 seconds. As a result, parkrunHQ have requested that all times recorded since we moved to the winter course ( parkrun 222 on 1st December) need have these seconds added to them. We haven’t had a chance to do this yet as obviously it involves quite a few calculations but hope to have adjusted the times before next Saturday’s run. This will mean unfortunately that a number of PBs will no longer stand.

We have tried to argue against this change but you will appreciate that with parkrun being a much larger organisation now, we do need to keep a consistent message. For those of you that have been touring other parkruns, you may wish to check each of their Facebook pages as they may have to make similar adjustments. We appreciate that this announcement may cause some upset, particularly for those of you who have lost PBs as a result and we apologise for that, however at the end of the day putting a bit of a positive spin on this, remember it is a run not a race, Tring Park is a great place to be on a Saturday morning and if your PB has been adjusted then when you come along next Saturday it will be easier to get nearer your PB!

See you again next Saturday
The Tring parkrun team