Time to catch up and say "thank you Andy"
It's been waaaaaaaay too long since the last run report - but now as we look ahead to more normality I thought it was time to fill in the gaps since last time and also to thank Andy Evans for his great efforts to come up with an interesting and fun "virtual parkrun" theme each and every week. It's really appreciated. It's always wonderful to see the ingenuity, creativity and sense of fun from so many in the Tring parkrun community.
December 5th - "Christmas Trees, Lights and decorations".
Let's start - way back at the end of last year!
Virtual parkrun week #38 and we were gearing up for what was to be, for many, a very odd, locked-down Christmas. No encouragement was needed for this one, there was a distinct feeling of "bring it on" in the air, and for many Christmas Trees and decorations had long been in place at home!
Sarah Fosket showed us a pic of her 30 year old (real) tree, and we discovered that Fran Leff's dog Gio had his own tree! First finisher this week was Blaz Ziembaczewski who risked electrocution to bring a little, illuminated festive cheer to our Tring parkrun page.
The Nativity Play theme
I can remember primary-one at school and our first Nativity Play. I was Joseph and Susan Mathieson was Mary (and my first girlfriend) happy days! So what better theme for our 39th virtual Tring parkrun?
Clearly the idea sparked other happy memories - we had three kings, numerous little donkeys and more tea-towel head-dresses than you can shake a stick at.
December 19th - it's beginning to feel a lot like...
We didn't have a Christmas virtual parkrun and so celebrated a few days ahead with our 40th event. No prizes for guessing the theme - we saw a brilliant display of Christmas hats, Christmas jumpers, elf costumes, Santas, etc. in one of the happiest set of virtual parkrun photos we've had. It was also great to be joined by Judy Ewart from the Isle of Man (where they managed an actual parkrun)
Happy New Year!
We welcomed the year 2021 with the hope that it was better than 2020 and with a theme of "anything new". A bearded Ken Douglas showed us his new look, Nick Carmichael-Johns had a new painting of Pencil, the Hollands were sporting new, customised parkrun T-shirts (Pitstone Windmill Not parkrun!).
January 9th - What has the number 43 ever done for us?
This was brilliant - in a strange sort of way! Andy said "Some may know that it’s the atomic number for technetium, it’s a useful number if phoning Austria and 4:3 is the standard television aspect ratio...
Many original car models were made at a scale of 1:43 (I have no idea why), London bus route 43 runs from Barnet to London Bridge and York is the 43rd largest city in the UK...
Locally Jonathan Sartin finished 43rd at Tring parkrun#43 back in 2015, Kevin Lawley was the 43rd person to run 43 times at Tring, Matt Turton and Richard Murphy have seen finish token #43 more than anyone else and Ron Yaxley and Katrina Bond have finished the most in minute 43 for the males and females". (And there's more!)
A lot of creativity was on display but the first finisher, by a clear OCD margin, was Martin Bishop
January 16th - Brought to you by the colour "white"
Week 44 and snow was in the air - and snow is white. As it happens there was less snow than forecast but our intrepid virtual Tring parkrunners sought it out and ran, jumped and even rolled about in the stuff. All that is except Juliet Mitchell who chickened out - but redeemed herself by visiting her friend "Miss White". We like!
January 23rd - Glorious Mud
Tring Park is known for it's mud (yes - even without parkunners!) and this week felt like that was an appropriate theme. It was also a very easy theme, as Phil Rogers pointed out, there was "lots to choose from this morning!". There was no shortage of muddy feet, muddy trails and, of course, Cow Pat Alley made a strikingly brown and goopy appearance.
The clear first finisher (controversial, as he's not yet reached the minimum age to take part officially) was little Branden Hallissey. Why? Well, just look!
January 30th - Bird Brains
The annual RSPB garden bird count, inspired the theme for week 46. I think Andy's introduction is, again, worth repeating...
"This week’s theme is 'Birds'. So stop 'Larking around take a picture of a feathered friend that you spot tomorrow, whether in your garden or out on your run. Obviously, as ever lateral thinking is allowed – so suitable street names are allowed or you wear your 'Blackcap', or a pic of you with your favourite 'Hobby' or with a friend called 'Martin' or find the letter 'Jay'. 'Robin' the bank just for a photo probably isn’t wise and don’t drink too much tomorrow, otherwise you may feel 'Ruff'. Make sure you get out for a run, you know you won’t 'Egret' it. Looking forward to pics of you 'Puffin' your way around Tring and the surrounding area. Just post your picture in the comments below...."
Once again we had many inventive entries. Partridge Close and Goose Acre were included in more than one virtual 5k, and the wet weather that morning brought quite a few references to Ducks!
February 6th - A Hotel on Park Lane
The UK version of Monopoly was released on the same day as virtual parkrun 47 way back in the 1930s. We had many brilliantly inspired entries from fans of this iconic board game - from Isobel's brilliant, improvised Jail, through to several Station and Utility company visits, and the delusional submission by Andy claiming to have won 2nd prize in a beauty contest (the only way that's going to happen is if there was only one contestant!).
Cathy Bishop passed GO, got out of Jail free, and busted the bank with her Chance Card - posted here for posterity and as a reminder of the promised breakfast!
Nearly Valentines Day - and lurv is in the air
Week 48 was near Feb 14th and there could only be one theme. All of our virtual parkrunners proved they were big softies, with huge hearts. Love was definitely in the air - with the possible exception the Bladen household, after young Louise posted a very cheeky photograph about Steve!
Tamsin Leybourne and Dawn Figg crossed the virtual parkrun line in first place simultaneously with their brilliant heart shaped Strava tracks! We were impressed.
February 20th (premature) early signs of Spring
Those of us following Percy's journey to the surface of the red planet felt that this just *had* to be the theme for week 49 - but Andy had mother Earth in mind and not distant Mars.
Snowdrops and even Lambs dominated the theme for the day - with Jonathan Sartin sneaking ahead of a very competitive field, with his discovery of an early Daffodil, to be first finisher. [As a side note - even several weeks later it still doesn't quite feel like Spring!!]
Feb 27th - FIFTY is very nifty
A major milestone for our virtual parkrun event - week 50. This week really resonated with our Tring virtual parkrun community with more entries, by far, that in previous (or subsequent) weeks.
This week also saw news of when and how parkrun will re-start when lockdown restrictions are eased. Click on the link https://blog.parkrun.com/.../restarting-parkrun-in-england for more details.
March 6th - World Book Day
Our theme for week 51 brought a surge of creativity. Lucy's Where's Wally (surprise, surprise) rubbed shoulders with Claire Hallessey's cookery book. Carol Page's high-brow Chaucer reference sat alongside various books and magazines on running. John Manning improvised by defacing public street signs and Andy Evans made a special trip to the Reservoirs so that he could share his "great reeds" joke (groan!).
Lord of the Rings features several times in various guises - Clive Cohen seized an early morning opportunity to trespass on his neighbours property and so is awarded first finisher status for audacity.
March 13th - Mr Men, Little Miss
Week 52 saw our favourite kid's cartoon characters feature as our theme. Quicks, Cheerfuls, Bumps, Grumbles, Sunshines, Greedies, Tinys, Tickles, and even a Disappointing all made inspired appearances. What a great effort by everyone.
And then we had this...
March 20th - The parkrun book relay
This was great! For the launch of the book “How parkrun changed our lives” a bookrun relay took place from Fell Foot, the author’s home base, to Bushy Park where PSH received the “baton”, a copy of the book. The book first travelled from the Lake District to Lancaster. Over the next few days it worked its way south until it reached our area. Several Tring parkrunners took part - Steve Bladen started day 7 run from Aylesbury parkrun. Ann-Marie and Andy Evans took it from Tring to Berkhamsted, where Phil Roger and Richard Murphy took over and continued to Gadebridge parkrun.
It was a great idea and inspired the idea of "Athletics Track and Field" as the week's theme. The competition was intense. Pole Vault, Javelin, Steeple Chase, Hammer Throw, Relay, Hurdles, and more all featured. At the end it was all too close to call, with a three way photo finish between Juliet Mitchell's "water jump", The Monks tribute to Mo and Bolt, and Carole Page's "long jumper".
March 27th - Enter, Stage Left
Week 54 coincided with World Theatre Week - who knew?? John Manning's "Hair" made us laugh, as did Shelley's clever "Mat-Hill-Da".....but Nick and Pencil's wonderful Hakuna Matata moment carried the day!
April 3rd - It's Easter (again)
At the start of April the traditional "Tring parkrun April fools joke" was tactfully set aside, instead the theme was - funnily enough - Easter. Andy invited photos from outside your nearest church, or pictured with your Easter egg, or with Easter chicks or bunnies (luckily Jim Maple didn't see this invitation), or eating hot cross buns.
What did we see? Well Dan was happy now that lockdown had eased a bit and he was reunited with his hareem of Easter Chicks (Philippa's words - not mine!! ). Blaz had obviously consumed magic mushrooms with his Easter egg, judging by the bunny self-portrait he submitted. However, Dawn Figg nuked all opposition with a brilliant Strava track up at Wendover. Hugely impressed by this one.
April 10th - Horse Play
Week 56 was Grand National week and inspiration for "a pic with a horse, or choose one of the jumps and jump over the “The Chair”, “The Water Jump” or “An Open Ditch”, or maybe surprise your "neigh"bour with a leap over their fence". LOL
We saw strong entries from Lee Robinson (refusing Lee'chers Brook), the Bishops (diverting their run via the Horse and Jockey pub), and Giles ran to the Wing’s Jumping and Dressage Centre! Top place went to Ella Highton with an impressive Horse and Cart effort.
April 17th - Personal Bests
Week 57! It's been so long since I've had a Personal Best that I'm not exactly sure what they are. It seemed that it was the same for most of this week's entries, which resulted in amazingly creative entries for Andy's theme of “PB or just P or B” – take a selfie of you running a PB or simply find the letters P or B, or for double points find them both at the same time! – number plates, street signs, shop signs, a tub of peanut butter, the chemical symbol for lead. they all account.
Paddington Bear, Post Box, P(u)B, Public Bridleway, Prunier Barret (Juliet Mitchell's mum), unfeasibly large tubs of Peanut Butter and the first finisher "Poachers Beware".
April 24th - Run Round Me
And so - we are now up to date. Phew. I promise not to leave it so long next time!!!
Week 58 and the theme was a reminder of the famous Tring parkrun "run round me" sign. It once graced Cow Pat Corner and then took station at the end of King Charles Ride - and inspired a theme of running round something or next to something round, or perhaps alongside something that goes round.
A huge thank you to everyone who took part this week and all the other weeks. As usual we had many inspired and brilliant entries. They varied from the brilliant, round, Iron Age fort at Cholesbury, to creative circular Strava tracks, and even arty photos of arched bridges and their reflections. Special kudos this week to the virtual Pitstone Windmill parkrun crew - great effort and brilliant to see a few "tourists" join from Tring too.
That's all for now
We'll get back into the swing of weekly run reports again.
Watch this space.