Eurovision Special

Not in single file
Mama Mia - Cows oblivious to "walk in single file" rule!

"Puppet on a String"

It was Eurovision week, characterised by a broadcast that was shamelessly disconnected from reality, stranger than fiction, stretched the bounds of decency, and had more spin and gloss than you'd think humanly possible. But enough of a certain PR Spin Doctor's interview on Three Counties Radio.

Everyone else enjoyed the glamour, the glitz, and the happiness of our virtual parkrun theme and put a very large smile on our face instead.

"(Boom-)Boom Bang-a-Bang"

A full "douze points" to all of this week's fun loving participants. As usual we had a wide range of brilliant inputs as virtual 5ks were completed between showers.

Let's just get Andy Evan's entry out of the way - he managed to finish behind the Tail Walker with a visual pun that we're reproduced below, at a suitable size!

Waterloo indeed!

"Save Your Kisses for Me"

We saw spirited entries from many. Judy Ewart and Claire joined us remotely from Nobles parkrun on the Isle of Man (not jealous at all!!!). Dan Storr surprised us all with the news that he actually featured in a Eurovision music video. I wonder what Graham Norton would have had to say about that? We saw several Bucks Fizz inspired entries (it was too good an opportunity to pass up after all - although starting on the bubbles at 8am was a bit keen). We saw platform boots, Ya-ya-ding-dongs, musical street performances, and messages of good-will from as far afield as Hong Kong (which trumps last week's message from Rome).

In the Bluebells
Ruth Monks enjoying the beauty of the (very late) bluebells

It was a hard battle to the finish funnel this week - and joint first finishers were Amanda Russell and the Pattersons, mainly because it was so nice to see them again.

Amanda and team Peterson
Joint first finishers this week were Amanda and (part of) Team Patterson. Well done and great to see you.

"Making Your Mind Up"

And so with this week's glittering, virtual parkrun performances almost done (we still have a special guest to go). It's time to look at the scores on the doors and the considered opinions of our international local jury.

A particular thank you to the Northchurch panel - team Fosket voted along exactly the same lines as Wigginton, Pitstone, Ivinghoe, Cheddington, Marsworh, and Long Marsden.

The score from the Jury
For once there is no controversy with the jury's decisions. Well done Northchurch.

"Love, Shine a Light"

And last but certainly not least, it's over to our resident lyricist - Martin Bishop.

In his own words: "I couldn’t resist the obvious Tring-link in the title of the 1967 British winning entry to Eurovision: “Puppet on a String”. So here goes with my homage, with just a hint of reflection over the events of the past week. (With apologies for the cheesy rhymes and sometimes quirky phrasing but I hope it lightens your mood)

The song is addressed to the Woodland Trust, particularly to those who think that a free weekly timed event open to anyone endangers bio-sustainability of a park that Tring parkrun-ers also care deeply about.

    We’---re, hoping that one day that
    You'll say that you care
    If you say you love Tring parkrun
    We'll gladly be there
    We love running out at Tring

    [Verse 1]
    Tring Park is.. second home to us
    With all the fun in fresh air
    One bit we’re running on flat ground
    Then we’re up on the hill
    We love the trees in the Spring,
    We love the grass, so we sing…


    We’---re, hoping that one day that
    You'll say that you care
    If you say you love Tring parkrun
    We'll gladly be there
    We love running out at Tring

    [Verse 2]
    We have run where you’ve guided us to
    We’ve shown you that we do care
    We don’t think you have listened to us
    We think your decision’s unfair
    Are you reading us wrong?
    We’d despair if Tring parkrun was gone!


    We’---re, hoping that one day that
    You'll realise we care
    If you say you want our help then
    We'll gladly be there
    We love running out at Tring
    We’---re, hoping that one day that
    You'll realise we care
    If you say you want our help then
    We'll gladly be there
    We love running out at Tring

    Let us back out onto

A quick look back 12 months ago

It wasn't just this year we were spreading a little musical love. This time last year the virtual theme was simply "music". We asked for "pics of you singing, or by a musical road name or building, or perhaps a pose with a musical instrument that you have at home, or dressed up in your Eurovision outfit?". We were not disappointed and saw a huge outpouring of talent, both musical and creative.

AM and Andy
Madness: Ann-Marie and Andy putting "one step beyond" into action

Notable results from virtual parkrun 9:

  • First finisher was Peter Loose - who also bagged a volunteer point for setting-up Cheddington Goose Acre Lockdown parkrun. Respect.
  • Team Mitchell were next across the line with a very technical and musical effort - and we were impressed by the Monks musicality too.
  • Kieth Stonestreet deserves kudos for spotting a boat on the canal called "All Mod Cons" (my favourite album).
  • Kieth Henderson entertained us with Springstein's Born to Run.
  • Saving their kisses and downing Buck Fizzes were the Leybournes, Pages and Dances.
  • Allison Williment and Helen Tullie both went for the nature's music and even posted recordings of Geese, Wren and Chafinch. We liked these.
  • Graham Hollands recorded a virtual parkrun PB, turning his lockdown hair to aerodynamic advantage with a great punk inspired Mohican. Respect.
  • From her time in the USA Claire Hallessey donned her Chicago Rock'n'Roll half marathon T-shirt. (Claire's running T-shirt drawer must be HUGE).
  • Pencil on Piano impressed us all - and was this week's top placed canine participant.
  • Clare Murphy gets a consolation prize for the week's corniest joke about the new cows in Tring Park making "moosic" :-)
  • And finally a creative mention for Team Patterson's interpretations of "Bridge over troubled waters".

Len and Katie top of the pops
Brilliant effort by Len and Katie - surely far too young to remember Jethro Tull and the Beatles!?? And talking about too young, surely Dick and Jac weren't even born when those albums came out?

Those album covers triggered a bit of research - and highlighted songs that are strangely relevant to the ongoing position we find ourselves in as Tring parkrun looks to start again. "Best of Top of the Pops 72" featured such wonders as "My ding-a-ling" and "Mouldy old dough"! Album 73 regaled us with classics including "I'm the Leader of the Gang" (guess who?) and "Rubber Bullets" (load up!!). On album 74 "Kung Fu fighting" is featured which is always better than dirty-fighting/spinning.

Two years ago

For some reason this feels like an age ago. The cows were well and truly back, some apparently even in single-file. We'd discovered another natural Cow Marshal in the form of Steve Brookman, Martin Bishop completed his 100th and Cathy baked and decorated the most awesome cake, and a very pregnant Sally Nash finished in a time way faster than I've ever managed. Young Isobel Roberts wrote the brilliant run report - its well worth a read.
#249 Special guest report by young Isobel

Cow selfie
Steve Brookman - one of my favourite pics from tring parkrun

3 years ago....

It was surprisingly - like this year

#195 The one where the cows took an interest in our blue tarp

"Blue tarp to a cow"

4 years ago....

#140 Return of the cows

#140. Who will get to Gate 1 first - the parkrunners or cows? Read the report to find out

5 years ago....

#86 Keep moving forward/

6 years ago....

#32 Well behaved cattle
Plus Chris’s occasional series
Part of Chris Millar's occasional series....



Stay well and fit. the weather is looking upon so time to practice for virtual parkrun PBs.

Watch out for more important new on brining the Woodland Trust to the table to find a win-win way forward for us all and benefiting the community as well as the park.

The Tring core team.


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