The big catch up

Do you remember September? 

Earth, Wind and Fire wrote a song about it - you're "only" going to get a run report. But what a report!!

Since late 2014 we’ve built the most marvellous record in words, pictures and stats, of our weekly get togethers in beautiful Tring Park and our more recent virtual fun. We have a bit of catching up to do (sorry - I've been away), covering all the virtual, themed Tring parkruns since the first weekend of September.

As usual we've had fantatsic participation and hundreds of brilliant entries, from our excellent community (including from as far afield as Egypt). We've also got a stack of (not)parkrun news to catch up on, including advance word of a special challenge we'll be launching this week. And on the topic of advance news, we have a heads-up on forthcoming virtual Tring parkrun themes including our sixth birthday event and the virtual continuation of our annual St Andrews Day celebration. (See below).

Just a few of our brilliant Tring parkrun community
Just a few of those who took part in September's various virtual Tring parkruns

Tring parkrunners, the London Marathon and more. 
Before we start on parkrun news, and so it doesn’t get lost in the words below, we'd like to say a huge *congratulations* to a few of our regular parkrunners who took part in the virtual London Marathon this weekend. So many brilliant efforts in challenging conditions, well done to them all. And well done to those that turned out to support all of the runners on their way.

Julian and Lottie Claudia
Well done to Julian and Lottie Crane (left) and Claudia Selina for completing a very wet virtual London Marathon. And a special "thank you" to Cathy and Martin Bishop (behind Claudia) who braved the conditions to support everyone (and supply Jelly Babies).

All of our marathon runners (and virtual parkrunners from the day before) braved conditions that were slightly damp underfoot!

And while we're at it - kudos to Keith Stonestreet who has steadily worked his way up from 5km a few years ago to tackling ultra-marathons. The recent 50km Tring Ultra was cancelled but he, like many others ran it anyway and in less than six hours too. Wow! I believe Howard Clarke also did this too (if you have a pic let us know). Well done to them both.

Keith running the Tring Ultra route - even though it was cancelled.

Message us if we've missed anyone so we can update this report.

Virtual Tring parkruns..... 
Week 25, Fruit and Veg 

Cast your mind back to Sep 5th, summer was coming to an end (although it didn’t seem like it at the time), the harvest was almost over and our theme, appropriately, was “fruit and veg”. Who knew that so many of our parkrunners had green fingers??

Nick Charmichael-Jones (with Pencil’s help) showcased his apples, Ken Douglas appropriately had a fistful of runner beans, Helen Page, Cathy and Martin Bishop showed us an impressive crop of grapes, the Monks were found to be very able beetroot cultivators, Just Ewart was not alone with her crop of Damsons and Andy Evans had a garden plot that Monty Don would be proud of.

Quite a few combined their Saturday 5k with blackberry scrumping (if that’s the word) or nipped in past local PYO farms or the wonderful Tring Community Food Garden. 

We also appreciated John Manning’s question about how many of the submitted photos were taken on an Apple or Blackberry? :-)

jam brownies chutney Damson Gin
A photographic social commentary!!
On the left: Olympian Claire Hallessey with her (healthy and wholesome) plum jam, plum, brownies and plum chutney.
On the right: Kirsty Dance with Damson Gin (they like a good party, the Cheddington Crew!)

118822791_10157638030147308_3192756613846723556_o fosketts
A very impressive crop of fruit and veg from the Pages (left) and the Fosketts (right)

Week 26, The Tring Triangle 

Sep 12th saw one of the lengthiest introductions to a virtual run “….there are 3 main points to our run theme - yes, this week our theme is “Tring Triangles” – feel free to look for right angled, equilateral or isosceles triangles. Whether you visit the Tring Triangle itself or perhaps disappear in it’s Bermudan cousin. Or perhaps 3 of you make a triangle shape or you could visit the pyramids in Egypt or the Louvre in Paris or maybe spot triangular shapes on your run”. 

Buried in there was an apparently rhetorical example - however the reach of Tring parkrun is far and wide as we soon discovered.

Imaginations ran wild on this one - from pencil’s illuminati inspired, bad-hair-day disguising effort, triangular street signs (Julient, Graham, Angela), triangular sandwiches (thank you team Bishop). To keep the conspiracy theorists happy Blaz pointed out the “all seeing eye” atop the pyramid on the back of a US one dollar bill (the connection being that the challenge was announced on “9/11”!!). 

jonathan smith Ken
Battle of the pyramids - Ken lost! :-)

Ken Douglas just happened to be in Royal Deeside, just a few miles from the cairns built by Queen Victoria, including the huge “hidden pyramid” to commemorate Prince Albert, and so set off for a run up the hills to find it, encountering the Queen's (friendly) armed guards on the way. He was, however comprehensively out-pyramided by Jonathan Smith who happens to be working in Cairo and so went and visited the actual Great Pyramids. He wins!

Honourable mentions to Philippa Storr and Dave Carey who ran triangular virtual parkuns and posted the Strava results to prove it. 

It was also great see Andrew Powell dig out a very arty shot of one of our course marking triangles - they seem like a distant memory!!

trig 2m triangle
Love these! Terrific triangles. I'm sure that the common denominator here is that there is at least one teacher in each. Thank you "Dan's Hareem" and "The Cheddington Crew"

Thank you Andrew Powell for this impressive photo of one of our triangular course markers - brings back happy memories. Let's hope it's not too long before we see them again in Tring Park.

Andy used a vintage photo of Akeman Street (which flanks the old part of Tring known as the Tring Triangle) taken in the mid 18th century, to introduce the theme. It just so happens that this picture included the home of Steve (our co Event Director) and Louise Bladen. And so a re-staging was arranged to see how much has changed. On the old pic, the building on the right was demolished to make way for the Rothschild Museum and is roughly where the car park entrance is now.

old triangle new triangle
Akeman Street, then and now. These were taken from almost exactly the same spot but about 150 years apart.

Week 27, Wheels and Yellow Shirts 

Avast, ye landlubbers, I be weighing anchor and setting sail to see me hearties……

Thankfully for week 27 Andy did not choose a pirate theme (it was International Talk Like a Pirate Day!) else you'd have had to endure an entire run report written in pirate-ese. That weekend also saw the end of the Tour de France and a sporty angle seemed more appropriate than scraping barnacles and shivering timbers, so “wheels and yellow shirts" it was.

Keith Stonestreet was quick off the mark with an enormous, agricultural looking, JCB-ish yellow wheel spotted on Goose Acre Lockdown parkrun’s route. Wheels were spotted at Tringford, Pitstone and even down in Swansea (as a result of virtual parkrun tourism). 

Pencil kept up her impeccable record of entertaining virtual entries - we loved that meme!

yellow wheel
Yellow and a wheel - this week's first finisher!

they be
:-) Love this!

Week 28, Hills 

When Tring parkrun first started it quickly became famous for its hills - one of the least flat routes in the country. Since then we’ve been knocked off of the top ten (just) but no one can argue that adding 120m of vertical climbing to 5k of distance makes things a bit harder - especially when combined with the famous mud of Tring Park.

The theme was inspired by the return of more Covid related restrictions - just when we thought we were maybe seeing light at the end of the tunnel. This reminded us of the “corner of false hope” and then the slog up “Heartbreak Hill” on our original course route. 

The theme clearly resonated because we had a very large number of contributions to the Facebook group.

Special kudos to Helen Tullie who sprinted up Heartbreak Hill itself. And well done to everyone else who tackled the many various hills around Tring and elsewhere.

Helen Tullie revisited the original Heartbreak Hill

The most uplifting moment that morning was a session with the local Beaver Scouts to introduce them to Tring parkrun. They learned all about what we normally get up to on Saturday mornings and can’t wait to have a go themselves when it all starts again. We’ve never seen to many smiles when we had them running up to “Gate 1” and also up and down Heartbreak Hill.

Fingers crossed they have the opportunity to do it for real in the not too distant future.

What an uplifting sight. The local Beaver Scouts trying out part of Tring parkrun - and looking forward to it restarting

Week 29, Marathons and London 

The London Marathon, postponed from April and then chopped back to a physical race for the Elites, pressed on with a virtual event for everyone else who earned a race number. The weather added to the fun!

It was this time last year that the rain started and it pretty well didn’t stop for the next 20 weeks!! Let’s hope that doesn’t repeat itself. 

Perhaps not surprisingly entries were fewer this week for our virtual 5k. Quite a few were content to stay at home and munch on a Marathon Bar (it will never ever be a Snickers in my mind!!).

The start of the Great British Bakeoff has reminded us of the perils of a soggy bottom, but this was getting a bit silly.
Well done to everyone who got out and completed their 5k in any case.
(These are Lucy Clutton's feet!)

john manning
It was great to see folks digging out their old London Marathon Medals. We were especially impressed with John Manning's from 17 years ago when it was the Flora Marathon and not Virgin Money.

Well done Maura (and Dan's crew) - they will *always* be Marathons

And finally, although she was too modest to mention it, here is the lovely Claire Hallessey qualifying for the British Olympics at the London Marathon in 2011. Just look at that time (it's less than twice our slowest recorded time for Tring's mere 5k!!).


Up and coming virtual themes 

We normally don't announce the theme topic until the Friday evening before each virtual parkrun day. Coming up are two exceptions.

The first is on November the 7th, our official sixth birthday. We'll be holding a virtual event to mark this and you can expect a cake baking challenge thrown in for good measure too. What are your best memories from the last six years of Tring parkrun? Let us know by emailing us at or messaging us on Facebook.

The second is on November the 28th when we plan to hold our annual celebration of St Andrews Day with a virtual kilted parkrun. Ken (at least) will be running one (at least) of our 5k routes in Tring Park to mark the occasion, in his kilt. Och!! There will be a prize of a jumbo box of shortbread for whoever comes up with the most original way to mark the occasion too!

More details as soon as possible. Watch this space!!



As you know any registered park runner can record a 5k walk/jog/run on any day during the week. It can be any route, not just one of our Tring routes.

During September the numbers have not been that high, to be honest. We’ve been averaging 20ish runners posting times a week and it would be great to get that up to 50 or even 100. Possible? Are you up for a little challenge?

not parkrun top slots
Last week's top places taking age% into account

Last week we had one new “first timer” to (not) parkrun. Welcome to Rob Chambers. Rob ran with us on our 2nd and 4th events back at the end of 2014 and has completed one other parkrun (Gadebridge) since then and so it’s really super to see his name on our results table, with a very respectable (and third fastest) time.

A special mention to Paul Dyat for posting the most aesthetically pleasing time of 1 hour 1 minute exactly.

At the other end of the table Harry Bryant recorded a time of 20:50, with John manning next at 22:42 and then Rob at 23:13. Luise brooks was again speediest for the ladies, then Kay Ison and Cathy Bishop. 

Cathy, Louise, Howard Lambert, Martin Bishop and Alan Hunt all recorded PB times…..perhaps the cooler temperatures helped them on their way. Historically this has been a a good week for PBs.

For more information on (not)parkrun and how to get involved, please visit the FAQs on the parkrun site.
Visit your profile to add new (not)parkrun times.

What happened this month in previous years? 

Well, loads of stuff happened, but this report is long enough for now and so maybe we'll revisit that later in the week.

In the meantime, stay well, stay fit and look out for the special challenge/request we have for you coming up this week.

The Tring parkrun volunteer team.