What’s that coming over the hill?


What's that coming over the hill?
Is it a monster? Is it a monster?

Well no, it was actually Wes, Will and Ken in their kilts, but more of that later.

Tring virtual parkrun week 37  

Our special events at Tring parkrun are the stuff memories are made of: Christmas, Halloween, Hawaiian Shirt Day, plus bonus events like the Bridal Dash (see last week!). And then we have the annual kilted parkrun to mark St Andrews Day. It never ceases to delight me that each year, in deepest Englandshire, we manage to assemble more kilted parkrunners than even St Andrews in Scotland itself.

This year it all had to happen virtually - a big ask. And we got a BIG response. So THANK YOU to everyone who joined in the fun locally and also the to "virtual tourists" from other parkruns.

The challenge for this write up (to be kept for all posterity and poured over by archaeologists hundreds of years from now!) was to know which of all the brilliant efforts to feature - they are all so good!

On the other hand, choosing this week's week's virtual first finishers was easy. Cathy and Martin Bishop not only had an impressive display of tartan attire but unveiled the most fantastic model of Nessy, our new kilted parkrun mascot. What a creative masterpiece, and what a lovely, thoughtful and fun thing to do.

Team Bishop stars
Cathy and Martin Bishop and the fantastic Nessy mascot they made. Next year it will have pride of place when we meet again for real.

A podium place went to our own our very own Annnnnnnnnndy Evans - who tackled (H)Adrain's Wall in his kilt. This made me laugh out loud, all the more so after discovering that the idea had long been brewing in Andy's mind. That wall really does belong to an actual Adrian, and it is indeed difficult to get over in a kilt! Inspired virtual parkrunning, well done Andy.

Hadrians Wall
The impenetrable barrier that is (H)Adrians Wall - at least for kilt wearers

Another podium place went to Louise Brookes with a splendid, tartan assisted - and apparently lighter than air - leap into the elements. Happiness is Tring parkrun's virtual kilted parkrun!

Is it a bird, is it a plane?

A quick jog around Tring Park on Saturday morning revealed many (responsibly distanced) regular parkrunners out stretching their legs, dotted around the landscape. Among these were Steve and Louise Bladen. Steve was Run Director for last year's kilted run and had a large audience for his opening words. Sadly there were a few less, in fact, no one at all to hear Steve this year. Roll on 2021.

Further afield a whole host of local, virtual events took place. As usual the Cheddington Crew were out in force - and we were especially impressed with Kirsty Dance's Highland Fling (a Dance doing a Dance), Katie Van De Linde was a very convincing, tartan-cowelled Green Lady of the Glens, and the McLeybournes skipped the run and ate a box of shortbread instead.

A Big audience for Steve No audience for Steve
Last year an audience, this year no audience for RD Steve Bladen. :-(

Greg and Juliet Mitchel went Haggis hunting. The weather was suitably misty but: 1) there are no haggis in Hertfordshire, 2) it is well known they are wary of the colour pink. Top marks for trying though.

We had an enormous display of tartan including a very fine kilt sported by (a not very impressed looking) Pencil, a stylish sash from Angela Hollands, cosy jim-jams from Angela Hollands and Lucy Clutton, very cool tartan buffs (one of my favourite bits of kit) from Clare Spry, Karen Hennel, Lucy Brittain and Vicky Lea.

Anita and Steve Stephen McKeen again Stephen McKee yet again
A brilliant display of virtual parkrun tourism

Steve and Rhona McKee, Peter Thornton, Taras Huzar and Anita White were very welcome virtual kilted parkrun tourists. Next year they will get an especially warm welcome when we do this for real again. Thank you for joining in the fun.

Jillian Russell Lucy Marris Maria White
More great tartan parkrun efforts by Jillian Rusell, Lucy Maris and Maria Waite

Of course there were many other great efforts from John Manning's misty glens, Blaz's impressive collectors item whisky bottles (we expect to see more of them next year!!), and young Mr Hallessey showed great taste in performance food (Scottish Oatcakes - better than fancy running gels!). Paul Dyett broke out his Sassenach mug (purchased in Edinburgh!) and Keith Stonestreet sported his Keith FC supporters scarf. (Keith being a small town in NE Scotland - between the metropolis of Inverurie and urban sprawl of Huntly).

And last but not least Run Directors Ken Douglas and Wes Ball (with son Will) donned their kilts and tackled the original Tring parkrun course - and even bumped into another RD (Katie) coming in the opposite direction - see the great video she took on our Facebook page.

Wes, Will and Ken
Running the old course in kilts drew a few funny looks from the legion of early morning dog walkers

Covid may take our parkrun but it will never take our FREEEEEEEEEEDOMMMMMM!

What a great week.


This week's (not)parkrun results were interesting. Sam Meldrum was the only participant to record a PB - well done. This secured him the top spot in the Age% results table (with 70.88%), ahead of Claire Hallissey (68.88%) and Damien Fortune (on 61.44%).

In terms of outright pace Claire was first, followed by Louisa Hopper and Louise Brookes for the females; Sam, and Damien topped the table for the men followed by Harry Bryant.

Andrew Booth and Lucy Clutton both earned their virtual red T-shirts for recording their 50th (not)parkrun times. Well done.

To post you own (not)parkrun times simply visit this page.

See you next week 

Have a good week everyone, as we enter the month of December. The last month of a year most of us would rather forget......so keep smiling, stay safe, get out running and we'll see you for more virtual fun again next week.

The Tring parkrun core team.



Love is in the air

Two for the price of one 

Our sixth birthday celebrations reminded us all that we really did get out, in Tring Park, all together, right through to the end of March. Congratulations to all of those who earned medals and certificates from those distant days and also to those who were awarded prizes for outstanding virtual parkrun and (not)parkrun participation.

This week we look back on the previous two virtual parkruns and (not)parkruns, and we also look back at one very special and memorable event from this period in years gone by.

Click for bigger image
Just a few of those who joined in for our "Hats" and "Love & Kindness" virtual parkrun themes

Love and kindness 

To celebrate "World Kindess Day" (no, I hadn't heard of it either...but we need a bit more of it and so I'm all in favour) the theme for Saturday the 14th Nov was, well, "Love and Kindness"

And what a warn and soft hearted lot we all proved to be. We had a huge response to this theme. It was especially heartwarming to see Lee Robinson thank parter Nicky Summers for encouraging him to start running 5 years ago, and likewise Angela Hollands thanked husband Graham for his encouragement and support. Kirsty Dance posted a photo thanking parkrun in general for the Saturday morning motivation - and we thank her back for being a consistent park runner, volunteer, supporter and general good egg throughout the years.

Martin Bishop's take on kindness was a selfie with wife Cathy and a quip about seeing old ladies across the road. Poor chap hasn't been seen or heard of since.

ruth monks
Love this photo of the Monks at Tring Reservoirs

Steve Bladen was overcome with warmth and enthusiasm by Louise's display of love and affection.

Many took the opportunity to be thankful for having a good reason (if one was needed at all) to simply get out and run around the beautiful countryside surrounding Tring, Berkhamsted and the villages. We are lucky to have Tring Park, Ashridge Forest and Tring Reservoirs on our doorstep.

John in Oz
John Manning clearly allowed the love to go to his head - he ran a beautifully "hand scripted" Strava track to mark the day. Just a shame it was upside down.

That weekend also coincided with many of the medals and prizes, announced the week before, officially reaching the worthy recipients.....

Not happy
Meanwhile young Lucy very generously showed love, kindness and the warmest congratulations to her two prize winning sisters!

We love this photo of Lucy reacting to the fact that both of her sisters won prizes and she, errr, didn't. Lucy, however was a star throughout the year and has a long record of joining in the fun and has volunteered since she was a dot. We'll send her something special too, as a thank you.

Mad as a Hatter 

Our 36th week of virtual parkruns recognised that it is getting a tad chilly outdoors these days. Hats are what were called for and hats it was for the weekend's theme. We had so many brilliant entries.

Robin Attfield
Robin Attfield went for the illuminated, cold night running, hat look

First off the mark was Robin Attfield - modelling the kit that many of us must resort to at this time of the year. Gone are the shorts and T-shirts and out come the fleeces, long leggings, gloves, hat and (if you are keen) a head torch to light the way. It's odd to say, but when I don my own beanie and headtorch I feel like I can take on the world - perhaps because I just can't see it.

Claire and Brandon
This made us smile, Claire and Brandon looking happy in their cosy hats

Every week Claire and her "running coach", comfortably seated in his pushchair, take on a virtual parkrun. At the speed Claire runs a hat is extra necessary due to increased wind chill factor, as the cold air comes whistling past!

This week's first finisher - a fine Peaky Blinder effort by Jonathan Sartin. Great job

We saw loads of other hats, including several dozen wooly hats (thank you Fosketts, Bishops, Dyetts and more); peaked hats (from the Evans', Robinsons, Van De Lindes); furry hats (cпасибо comrade Ziembaczewski); silly hats (Pencil, and Roberts' Cat); bright parkrun tourist hats (Hollands); safety hats (team Clutton); reflective hats (Helen Tullie); Vietnamese hats (Kirsty Dance), optimistic sun hats (from the Mitchells); tweed bonnets (Mr Cary); virtual Strava hats (Lucy) and this week's first finisher....... the full Peaky Blinder effect by Jonathan Sartin. What a GREAT effort.

Too many hats
A spirited effort by John Manning. He was going for the "I wear many hats" style but looks more like a technicolour version of a Knight who says "nee"!

Phil Roger, alone, insisted that it wasn't that cold and had - shock - NO hat! We'll revisit this theme in February!

The great Tring Bridal Dash - 2017 

Now it's time to turn the clock back a bit. Three years to be precise. Cue the soppy background music...

Run Directors Ross Lambert and Anna Last, met, fell in love and decided to get married. The wedding was on a Saturday and so what better way to start the day than a quick sprint round Tring parkrun.

One problem though - as tradition demands Ross could not see his bride and so a cunning plan was hatched. What if we got as many brides to run as possible, thus throwing Ross off the scent and minimising the risk that he spots Anna amidst a flock of white dressed maidens?

And so, on the morning of November the 25th 2017 a zillion blushing brides executed plan "Bridal Dash". It has to be said that many (if not most) of the brides were not of a female persuasion, and just in case Ross might rumble this he was blindfolded (at least until the start) just to make doubly sure tradition was upheld.

Just four of the many dozens of beautiful brides who turned out to throw Ross off the scent

Who knew that running in a dress could be so hard
- well, three out of these four for a start

Bride Anna double checking that Groom Ross was oblivious to everything before she made a quick getaway at the start

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Our very own morning matrimonial delight

As they say "memories are made of this". Perhaps we should organise a repeat Bridal Dash to celebrate a future anniversary?

Read the run report from that week right here.


Let's do this real quick - just like the times that are increasingly recorded.

Week 9/11 to 15/11.
We welcomed three new "first timers": Matthew Manning, Will Rice and Seb Brummell.
Wes Ball and Blaz Ziembaczewski both lodged Personal Best times. In doing so Wes Ball propelled himself to the top of the podium outright. Paul Myatt nipped into top place taking Age% adjustment into account.
Louise Brooks was the fastest woman - so to speak.
Keith Stonestreet maintained his record of most (not)parkruns with a impressive total of 117.

Week 16/11 to 22/11.
First of all special mention to Wes Ball. On the 22nd he recorded a time of 22:22.
Harry Bryant (bless his cotton running socks) topped the table, followed by Paul Myatt and Damien Fortune. However John Manning and Kay Ison displaced the top two taking Age% into account. Great running all.
Louise Brooks and Isobel Roberts both bagged PBs - well done.

GREAT effort all round.

That's it for another week.

Stay well, stay safe.

And REMEMBER - it is the virtual kilted parkrun this weekend.

Och aye the noo.

The Tring parkrun team.


Year 6 awards

Well, what a year - 2019/20, our 6th Tring parkrun year  - saw only 40% of the events take place, 22 rather than the normal 54. Despite it covering the winter months, it was great to see a number of you braving the conditions and running regularly.

Normally you would arrive early on our birthday Saturday with a howling wind and usually raining and to try hear who has won what. This year, make yourself a cup of tea and settle down in your favourite chair to have a read of this year's award winners

Certificates will be sent to all those named below. Also thanks to Ken Douglas who has been busy with his 3D printer and has produced these great medals for those of you in podium places

So here we have the 2019/20 awards…..

Attendance awards – based on how often we saw you. (This year, being a shorter period, there were a number of ties, so we have separated any ties in the 1st 3 based on the number of PBs achieved.)

Male juniors
- In Joint 4th we have a junior who has been running with us since 2015 and is usually just outside our top 5 attendance. He has seen his best time improve from just under 30 mins to just over 22 mins – well done Oscar Atkins!

- Also, in Joint 4th – Running with us to achieve his DofE exercise Bronze Award, his brother was an award winner last year, well done Peter Lea!

- Moving on to 3rd – this junior combines his parkrunning with tennis playing. Last year he was 4th and he has gone one better this year – Well done Aidan Roberts!

- He has been running junior parkruns, mainly at Ashlyns and in early March PB’s at 26:32, which helped him get 2nd - well done to Edward Harrison!

- In 1st place with 22 runs, the only male to not miss any week this year. He has been in the top 3 every year since we began, and last year was 1st for the first time, a feat that he has repeated this year, so a round of applause for both the 100% attendance and being this year’s Junior Male Winner, well done Noah Roger!

New folder1
We’ve borrowed the same pic from last year’s awards - Claire may not have recognised Noah from last time she presented him an award!

Female juniors
For the last few years this has become very competitive and this year was no exception

- Starting with 5th - Over a period of 2.5 years, this girl has improved her running times from around 40 mins to just under a stunning 25 mins and was our fastest female in early Feb – well done Enid Fleetwood!

- In 4th place and with 20 appearances this year, this girl has run at Tring more than any other junior, now with 225 Tring parkruns and has been in our top 5 female juniors every year since we started - well done to Isobel Bladen!

Now I did say we were separating out our podium places this year, but I’m not brave enough to separate these next 2, and don’t want to create a sibling feud

- In joint 2nd with 21 runs, this girl is the youngest person to earn their 50 shirt here at Tring and at the time of lockdown was only 9 runs away from taking the “youngest to reach 100 at Tring” title from her sister! She has really improved her time as well with a sub-28mins PB. Well done to Amelie Bunn!

- Also, joint 2nd with 21 runs, this girl is still the youngest person to have run 100 times at Tring, (her sister will have to wait for the end of lockdown to take this title!) and also had a Christmas day PB It's well done to Holly Bunn

- So 1st, also with 21 runs – but with 3 PBs down to a time of 27:29 that mean she gets the Junior Female Winner title this year it’s well done and a big round of applause to Isobel Roberts!

Our 3 podium Junior Females, recently taking part in our Autumn leaves themed week. Well done to Amelie, Holly and Isobel

Most seen Newcomer Awards
We always like to see new runners at Tring, and these 4 awards are for those who have started their running in this Tring parkrun year (ie since the 1st week of November)

- The junior male award winner is Matthew Pither who started running with us in Jan 2020 and with 8 appearances would have reached his 10 shirt in March had lockdown not arrived, Pleased to see that Matthew has continued his Tring Park Saturday running during the year.

- The junior female award winner is Lana Dales who also started running with us in Jan 2020. Well done Lana.

- Our male adult award goes to Charles Leach who started in November 2019 and as well as running at Tring has touristed in South Africa.

- Our female adult award goes to Natalia Gromnicka who started in December 2019. Well done Natalia!

Another picture of those medals - well we think they're great!

Back to the attendance awards, this time for the adults:

Adult females
- In joint 4th place - with 19 runs - She is one of our RDs and has run at Tring more than any other female and is only 9 away from her 250 shirt. Well done to Louise Bladen!

- In joint 4th place on 19 runs - She only started running with us in Summer 2018, but has been a regular ever since, Well done Luciana Walker!

- In 3rd place, this female started running with us in January 2019 and hasn’t missed many weeks. This year she has run 20 times and brought her PB down to sub-33 minutes. Well done to Deborah Lea!

- In 2nd place, this lady is on the podium for the 3rd year in row. She won last year, but missed a week this year – so with 21 runs, it’s well done to Helen Page!

- In 1st place, the only female to achieve a 100% record with 22 weeks out of 22. She just missed out on a top-5 position last year but she gets this year’s Adult Female Winner title – so well done and a round of applause for Lucy Brittain!

Well done Lucy! (pictured here as a Roman "10" in one of our themed weeks)

Adult Males
There was only one run separating the following 7 men and so we used PBs for the deciders for the podium places.

- Joint 4th - he has been on the podium every year, has run more at Tring than anyone else, being the 1st person to run 250 times at Tring, and with 19 runs this year it’s well done to Paul Myatt!

- Joint 4th – A run director at Tring and during this year has become Joint Event Director at Tring. He only needs 9 more to get his 250 shirt and has the 2nd highest total at Tring. Well done to Steve Bladen!

- Joint 4th – Also 19 runs this year and with the 4th highest number of runs at Tring – it’s well done to Peter Leigh!

- Joint 4th – He was 4th last year and has repeated the feat this year. He passed the 200 Tring parkruns milestone this year – well done to Dan Storr!

- Joint 4th – He is one of our regular pacers and is approaching 200 runs at Tring – well done Phil Roger!

- 3rd place – He just missed out on the top 5 last year, but 19 appearances plus 2 PBs in January sees Chris Simmonds take 3rd – well done Chris!

- 2rd place – 20 appearances and has won this trophy in the past 2 years. Well done Andrew Booth!

- 1st place – Also with 20 appearances but with 2 very fast sub-20min PBs meaning he takes the award – it’s well done and a round of applause to Tom Moreton , this year’s Adult Male Winner!

Tom Moreton
Well done Tom - this year's Adult Male winner

The next group of awards are for those who managed The most PBs:

Most of us only see these occasionally so congratulations and a round of applause to this group who were the best PB collectors.

- First for the junior females. 5 PBs bringing her time down from 36 mins to just over 30 mins - it’s well done to Fran O’Neill

- For the junior males - Improving his PB from 34mins he squeezed in an excellent 26:29 just before lockdown, earning his 10 shirt on the same day. Well done George Foster!

- Next the adult females and we have a joint award here.
- She started with us in October 2019 and with 5 PBs improved her time from over 34 mins to 29:46. Well done Heulwen Williams!

- She already has earned one award this year and with 5 PBs has improved her time from 31:49 to 29:14. Well done Natalia Gromnicka!

- Finally, with the most PBs of all of us. Only started running with us in November 2019 but managed to squash in 6 PBs in our part-year, improving his time from 32 mins to 26:46. Well done Mark Costin!

Most (not) parkruns
A couple of new awards this year. To take part, run a 5k on any day, anywhere and add the time to your parkrun profile page and the results appear on our Tring results page.

Most (not) parkruns – Male. One of the lowest barcodes that we regularly see at Tring, this runner was one of the first 10,000 parkrunners when he ran at Bushy Park in 2007. He has recorded 111 (not) parkruns and also during this time ran his 1st ultra with a 32 mile run around the Tring area. Well done Keith Stonestreet!

Most (not) parkruns – Female. With 43(not) parkruns, this female’s running has been really improving. Recently getting a sub-30 minute time and running her 1st half-marathon – bravely choosing a muddy towpath on a very wet day for that! Well done to Lucy Clutton!

Virtual parkrun stars
We finish off with 2 more new awards. Each week we have had a Tring virtual parkrun on our Facebook page. Each week it’s great to see Tring parkrunners posting their pictures around that week’s theme.

And our winners are…
Virtual parkrun stars – Always putting in a great effort each week, our winners are Martin and Cathy Bishop. Well done both!

2020 Awards
Well done Cathy and Martin!

Virtual parkrun star (Pet category) – We have also introduced a Pet category for these themed runs and our clear winner this year is Pencil! – Well done Pencil!

2020 Awards1
Well done Pencil!

So, well done to all this year's winners. We will be E-Mailing you all your certificates and will be contacting those in podium places so that we can hand over your medals.

Andy Evans



Trick or Treat?? 

There is only one correct answer, "treat", of course. We have a bumper double week issue, we explore time and halloween, we have spooky (and real!) local tales of witchcraft and murder, we have a spooktacular look-back, we have (not) parkrun, AND a few words about our sixth birthday and how you can help.

Hold on to your pumpkins.....

Time for a virtual parkrun 

It's getting a bit more challenging to get out for a run these days. It's colder, darker, wetter, there is no end to all this miserable Covid situation and, to make matters worse, we had to put our clocks back and endure an extra hour of 2020. To brighten things up and act as a bit of an incentive our 32nd virtual parkrun had the theme of time or, more specifically, "Clocks, Watches, Egg Timers and Sundials".

It was a great excuse to invent routes that passed church and school clocks in and around Tring, Northchurch and Pitstone, and the Leybournes were out clock spotting in Cornwall.

Gio and Pencil both got in on the act again with Gio checking out the marshal point at the old "Gate 2" and Pencil was keeping a keen eye a Felix looking cat clock.

Lee Robinson had his eye on his Garmin, and was pleased to finish his virtual 5k in less than 30 minutes after a wee injury.

Top marks for powers of observation go to Louise Brooks who spotted an appropriately named Beach Hut on her virtual tourist parkrun at Lowestoft; and to Lucy Brittain (and Dan's Hareem) for cleverly homing-in on Dark Lane (as it will be getting dark an hour earlier now); and to Martin Bishop who spotted "Sundial Cottage" on his virtual run around local villages.

Hareem 1 time out Louise
"Dark Lane" and "Time Out"

Martin Sundial
Sundial Cottage

Great job by everyone!

The Bladens and Pages

And a very special mention for several of our regular parkrunners who stepped up their Saturday morning virtual 5k a few levels, by running more than eight times that distance on the challenging Beachy Head Marathon. Congratulations to Louise and Stave Bladen, Carole and Stuart Page, Helen Tullie and to Lynda Hembury. Lynda was the first female in the 55+ category, 2nd if you take into account those over 45 and 14th female overall. Great running.

Halloween time machine 

One of our most popular special events is Halloween and so there was no doubt about the theme as October came to an end.

We had a surprisingly good costume effort, although it has to be said no one was seen running along Tring High Street or through Tring Park dressed in something outrageous. There was no doubt that Blaz would pitch in with a good effort and Andy Evans too dug deep in the Snapchat filter locker. Pencil was going for a scary, vampire, Count Drac' look - but failed miserably!

Blaz Halloweeen effects Pencil
Scary, Scary, (not)Scary

Like the week before we had a several virtual parkrunners go on to add a lot more kms than the required five. Dave Cary terrified Marsworth as part of his 10k route, Lucy Clutton ran her first ever Half Marathon (in very poor conditions) and Giles Monks also clocked up the 20k+ of a Half Marathon. Well done to all.

Lucy monks
Well done to our Half Marathoners

Other notable efforts include Dan's Hareem visiting Hang Lane (the olden days were harsh times), Claire Hallessey treated herself to pumpkin pancakes (which are new to me and sound very yummy) with the bonus that the pic she submitted with three pancakes in a pan looked like a radioactive warning sign!

Stuart and Carole Page completed their personal virtual alphabet challenge with a run up to the Zoo. I'm sure they never guessed they'd get to letter Z when lockdown started and here we are going into Lockdown 2!

Judy Ewart deserves special kudos for her costume and for covering 10km in Ashridge dressed in it. We're very impressed.

Judy Ewart
Judy dressed as a witch, but not in the least witch like!

Real life ghosts and witches in Tring 

A strong virtual parkrun first finisher this week was John Manning who achieved an impressive and spooky treble whammy: a virtual run outside of Tring; a ghastly, true witch/ghost story and a link to a popular local beer!!! We are seriously impressed.

John's route took him down Lukes Lane, between Tring and Long Marston - the scene of the outrageous murder of a poor, old and frail local woman accused of being a witch, and also the scene where her killer was hung and his decaying remains left swinging in a gibbet for months afterwards. It was the last recorded witch related death in England (see here for the sad and sorry story). The confession of the witch hunting murderer - one Thomas Colley - says something of the mixed feelings at the time. Many locals still believed in witches and, although illegal by then, did not condemn the persecution and ducking that led to her death.

old colleys dog witch new colleys dog
John Manning on Luke's Lane - scene of witch hunting, murder and execution. And Colley's Dog beer - the original scary label and the more modern and less scary version!!

It is telling that local tales tell of the ghost of the hung Thomas Colley roaming the lane and not that of poor Ruth Osborn - who, frankly, had better reason to be aggrieved. The ghost takes the form of an evil looking black dog - "Colley's Dog" - that also gives its name of one of Tring Brewery's most popular beers.

Looking back 

Delving back into previous Halloween parkrun reports we found these great photos:

2015: The Tullie family supporting everyone on the finish line

2016: Isobel on her way to leading the points table (remember those?) for that year.

2017: Hubble bubble - one of or favourite Halloween parkrun photos

2018: Love this - Claire chose a brilliant way to let us known that a little Hallessey was on the way

2019: It wasn't a very nice day last year (like this year) but still we had smiles


During Halloween week we had the highest number of PBs for some time. Perhaps this is because it's getting cooler? Kudos to Lucy Clutton, Damien Fortune, Angela Hollands, Andy Evans and Greg Leff.

There was a shock at the speedy end of the results table - Harry Bryant was knocked off the podium by Samuel Meldrum, Paul Myatt and Damien Fortune.

Taking age% into account didn't (unusually) change the top spots but a very consistent Kay Ison took the "bronze" slot, with a nicely symmetrical time of 30:30.

For the first time ever we had a virtual (not)parkrun simultaneous line-crossing, Dave Cary and Lee Robinson both posted times of 29:09.

REMEMBER - we want to seems many (not)parkrun times this (birthday) week as possible. To do so visit your parkrun profile page or follow the link at the foot of the results page.

Remember this week and out sixth birthday 

Tring parkrun started SIX years ago. In that time our 8000 different people have completed the course and over 700 different people have volunteered to make each week happen.

We can't wait to get back together again.

This weekend we'll look back over the years. What are your favourite memories? Let us know.

We typically have the most amazing birthday cakes and so, in the spirit of the Bake Off, why not bake and/or decorate your own and let us see what you've created. We'll have a virtual birthday cake munch!

In the meantime stay well - and do that (not)parkrun!

The Tring volunteer team


Autumn Leaves


It's that time of the year again and Tring Park is fast changing colour from green to the most amazing shades of red, orange and yellow. It's that time of year to start looking out long sleeved tops and maybe even hats and gloves if you're out early.

Autumn leaves in Tring Park
Tring Park is getting ready to hunker down for winter with a blaze of autumnal colour.

Andy challenged everyone to combine their weekly virtual parkrun with the theme of "autumn, trees and leaves" and over 50 joined in and sent us their photos. This fantastic level of weekly involvement really makes me smile (which is perhaps more than can be said for Andy's jokes on the Facebook introduction!!).

Let's kick off with a really tenuous link from Tring parkrun this weekend two years ago (more on that below) with a few of this week's canine parkunners. First off we were introduced to lovely Gio Leff (Geoffrey - who we all loved so much - reincarnated), and we hope that, like Geoffrey, he has the opportunity to volunteer at Gate 2 or anywhere else in the park before long. Pencil was showing off her autumn crop (no pun intended) and the bright colours of the season, and we had guest appearances of Toby (Amanda Russell's dog) and Team Patterson's.

Gio pencil
Gio (in Tring Park) and Pencil (chilling at home)

With lower temperatures and summer "holidays" a distant memory (in some cases very distant!) many turn their attention to autumn running events and getting out on a Saturday morning continues to be part of the weekend training routine. This Saturday will see the Beachy Head Marathon and we wish the Bladens and the Pages all the best, they were out running through the autumnal paths of Tring Park in their last practice before the big day. Also keeping up the routine is the virtual Pitstone Windmill parkrun crew - with Graham showing off an impressive bit of clambering up the Post Windmill's turning beam to get the great pic below.

in training colours
The Bladens and Pages in leafy Tring Park and the Pitstone Windmill crew at, well, Pitstone Windmill.

Well done to those who navigated their way through appropriately named streets in Tring before heading up through the park and up to the Ridgeway, and well done to those that tackled their now regular Cheddington virtual parkrun route.

Sycamore treehanger
Clever street navigation in Tring

We saw "tourist" virtual parkruns from Hughenden Valley, Glossop Park, Frithsden Beeches, Brancaster (in Norfolk) and even the the hallowed ground of Bushey Park itself in addition to our local sprinkling of temporary 5k routes. We saw examples of autumn colours and crops in the form of ginormous pumpkins (from Ruth Monks) and the first sign that "off road" wheels might soon be needed for those that are pushing young offspring in buggies (Claire Hallessey).

Sometimes playing with the leaves is better than running through them


Nineteen parkrunners recored 26 (not)parkrun times, with two PBs ...well done Kay Ison and Greg Leff. Kay's PB placed her top of the table, taking age% into account; whilst in terms of absolute pace Harry Bryant, once again, found himself on the top podium slot.

Well done to everybody. And remember that we want to record as many times as possible during our birthday week up to November 7th.

This weekend on previous years 

It's been a few weeks since we've done this. And, for some reason, looking back to 2015/16 seems an absolute age away. Everyone looks somewhat younger in the pics and many of today's juniors are mere dots.

2015: Tring parkrun 52 "Brought to you by the letters P and B"

This Girl Can
We were getting ready for our first "This Girl Can" event

2016: Tring parkrun 107 "One of those weeks"

2017: Tring parkrun 161 "A milestone sort of day"

2018: Tring parkrun 216 "A video run report in the form of dance"

This has to be one of my favourite run reports ever. Wes Ball was RD and asked for input and ideas for his write-up. This was too good an opportunity to pass up and so he was challenged to do it "in the form of modern interpretive dance" - and he was good for that challenge.

The tenuous link with dogs (above) is that the theme music is "I wanna be adored" - and Louise Bladen's friend though the words were "I wanna be a dog"! (Now that, Andy, is funny! :-) )

Click above for one of the best and (I think) the only video run reports - featuring a dancing Wes ball

2019: Tring parkrun 270 "Cake glorious cake"

Junior parkrunner Holly Bunn wrote the run report a year ago. Perhaps it should be no surprise, for those of you who know her, that cake featured prominently.

glorious cake
Cake! Dig out your recipes for our sixth birthday

That's all for this week.

Stay well, and safe

The Tring parkrun team


my favourite things…..

The sound of parkrun 

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favourite things

Barcodes and trainers and bright smiling faces
Milestones and cow pats and happy occasions
Munching on flapjacks that everyone brings
These are a few of my favourite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favourite things
And then I don't feel so bad


parkrun is one of my favourite things, but you probably know that. Thank you for all the messages last week and all the hope that we'll get through this dismal Covid stuff and we can see each other again before very long.

The link to the Sound of Music comes from the famous song featured in that film. "Sixteen going on Seventeen" (sixteen being this week's theme) featured more than once in this weeks virtual runs.

Had parkrun existed in 1938 Austria the local hills would have been alive with the sound of cow bells and bar code scanners. The Von Trap family would have filled the role occupied by the Bunns and Roberts at Tring. No doubt Elaine would have ran the course dressed as a nun each and every week. And Andy and Steve could have delivered the RD briefings using nothing more than military whistles.

We'll take a look at (not)parkrun (GREAT effort by the way, this week) and also a special feature on our brilliant Duke of Edinburgh volunteers.

This week's virtual parkrun theme 

Sweet sixteen - that's how old parkrun now is, although it didn't really get going until 12/13 years ago. Since then it's spread to 2,000 locations in 22 countries across five continents. Tring parkrun is coming up to 6 years old, we're going to celebrate that "virtually" too. Look out for more information on Facebook next week.

Like many other parkrun events we chose 16 as our virtual theme this week

dog years Errr
16 in dog years, and 16 in Roman numerals (XVI)

Well done to everyone who turned out to accept the challenge and fun. Top marks for the creative-takes on the number 16 went to Pencil who showed us what that number is in doggy years, and to Dan and his Hareem for 16 in human, Roman numerals.

16 miles Bladens 16 miles Pages
Impressive milage - the Pages and Bladens clocking up a distance of 16 miles

Several regular parkrunners are in training for the Beachy Head Marathon (scheduled for the end of October, as things stand) and so were putting in extra distance.... 16 miles (with an extra 4 for good measure) by the Bladens and 16 for the Pages. That's just short of a total distance of 24 parkruns between them on one morning. Impressed with that!

Cake arty Tamsin
Birthday's deserve cakes and candles.

Well done to the Bishops for an impressive cake and display of warmly glowing candles and to Tamsin Leybourne for an excellent, arty arrangement of 16 birthday candles on a parkrun milestone T-shirt. Suddenly I'm feeling very uncreative! :-)

TU 16

As usual John Manning was on the ball and plotted a running route out over the back of Tring Park and a path called TU16 apparently. It all sounds a tad military like Zone X or something! I do wonder if near Glasgow the equivalent would be CU16??

sound of music
A blast from the past

And finally: We found a photo of a young Philippa and Dan Storr dancing round a gazebo (Dan in his Air Cadet uniform) - a bit like the frolic up the hill to the Summer House but without music now that young Jim has had his little Bluetooth speaker muted!

Many thanks to all the other entries from Billy Idol posters, through car number plates and creative Strava tracks. You are all stars - and definitely among my favourite things.

Marched him up to the top of the hill and marched him down again 

The Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Scheme , since 1956, has encouraged countless 1000s of young people to spend time developing new skills, taking part in sports, volunteering etc.

Tring parkrun has become one of the most popular volunteering spots for local DofEers


Just short of 50 young people (filling 809 volunteer slots so far) have used Tring parkrun to qualify for their bronze, silver and gold awards, and in at least one case it has shaped future career choices.


This week we received a brilliant write-up from Oliver Blundell, that we'd like to share:

Saturday mornings have always been about sport. From a young age, I have always had on a pair of trainers or boots to participate in football training, play a rugby match, tennis match or head off to cricket somewhere. However, last year, things were a little different, (I should have realised it was a taste of things to come!)

When I was not involved in Saturday school sport, no lie ins allowed. Instead I headed to Tring park to volunteer with the Park Run team for my Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.

I had no idea how busy, popular and fun this weekly event was.

What a brilliantly diverse crowd arrives week in week out.

Different ages, shapes, abilities, groups of families, friends & rivals, all turning up whatever the weather to run together 5km through this beautifully scenic Chilterns landscape.

With so many people, this event would not happen without volunteers to man the route. We took it in turns to perform different but all essential tasks.

Marshalling saw myself and others ensuring that everyone went the right way. When cold, muddy and foggy, it is easier to get lost than you think! .
Walking tail end saw us ensuring that everyone finished with no one left behind, not even stray dogs.

Encouraging the people over the line was always lively and felt worthwhile.
It was good fun seeing faces that you recognise from around town to old school mates, teachers past, neighbours and members of your own family.

My favourite part was the time keeping post when you would watch the final sprint to the line and go to congratulate the participant.
You would give out the finishers token and then scan the bar code to record a time, which may be a personal best or frustrating close second.

Either way you get a sense of who would be coming back next week and when we are up and running again, post-COVID, I know that I will be joining this Saturday group whenever I can.

HUGE thanks to Oliver and ALL of the other Duke of Edinburgh participants that have helped us so far.


Last week we asked for a few more (not)parkrun results to be posted. Between now and our virtual sixth birthday we'll be tracking all of the entries, with a big push on our birthday week itself. Certificates will be awarded for notable participation.

Last week 17,511 parkrunners took part across 20 countries, with an average finish time of 34:04. At Tring we had 23 entries with a very rapid average first time of just 28:13.

A special mention for Samuel, Chris, Greg, Gavin and Lesley who all joined the fun this week for the first time.


Two of our first timers (Chris and Samuel) were also top of the age% adjusted times with 71.5% and 69.2% respectively, with Louisa Hopper in a respectable 3rd with 67.7%.

In terms of absolute pace Samuel and Chris' places were reversed - knocking Harry Bryant off the top podium place for the first time in weeks.

Keith Stonestreet and Blaz Ziembaczewski both recorded five (not)parkrun times (i.e. five separate days) - impressive dedication.

Keith is in an unassailable position of the most (not)parkrun times in total - at 90. Under that we had some very pleasant symmetry: Blaz(55), Howard Lambert (44), Lucy Clutton (33), Louisa Hopper(22), and both Ken Douglas and Charlie Watson ran two too many to finish the sequence at (11)! (OK I admit that I ignored Martin Bishop(36) and Andrew Booth(41) for inconveniently spoiling a nice sequence!!)

Graham Hollands and Louisa also got PBs - the only two this week.

Keep it up everyone.


See you all next week.

Stay safe, stay well, keep running, keep smiling.

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night,

The Tring team


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 tring@parkrun.com 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.



Week 24: Aloha


There's more to a word than meets the eye 

"Aloha" to you and to everyone who has joined us at Tring parkrun on Saturday mornings (real or virtual) ever the last six years.

We know of the word "aloha" as a Hawaiian welcoming greeting and also a way of saying a fond farewell. But, this week, I found that there's much more to this apparently simple word than meets the eye.

The word is common to the majority of (very) different Polynesian languages, but has special significance in Hawaii. Its meaning is so deep that there is no simple translation, no English language equivalent.

The literal definition of aloha is "the presence of breath" or "the breath of life". This seems appropriate for parkrun. The "spirit of aloha" is a way of living and treating each other with respect.

(More about the word Aloha)


Let's start with (not)parkrun. Why might you ask? Well, let's just say that there is a result this week that we're never likely to see again!!!

Taking age-grade into account the top table is as you see below. I know it's not a race and I know that just getting out and jogging/walking/running is the thing.....but I have to confess to being quite delighted! :-)

The age-grade table for this week's Tring (not) parkrun.

Setting age aside the overall quickest females were (in order) Louisa Hopper, Louise Brooks and Kay Ison. For the men it was Harry Bryant (who seems to have claimed this spot as his own), somebody called Ken Douglas and Blazej Ziembaczewski.

Keith Stonestreet (57), Blazej Ziembaczewski (35) and Andrew Booth (34) head the table of the most (not)parkruns recorded.

And welcome to Carlone Duncombe, our only "first timer" this week.

You can record your own time, any day, from any 5k route, on your parkrun profile page. You can find a link to that from your weekly parkrun email or from the link at the foot of the results page.

This week's virtual theme 

This weekend should have been our "annual" Hawaiian Shirt parkrun. Our first was last year and it was such great fun we decided to do it again.....and we'll do so next year too.

Aloha v2
Brilliant Hawaiian shirts and Hawaiin themed ideas this week

Lee Robinson, after his front cover appearance last week, maintained a high standard this week and reminded us all of that TV Classic "Hawaii Five-O".

Pencil was back in top form surfing and slurping doggy-cocktails from a pineapple inspired container. Woof!

Dave Carey and his family, and Juliet Mitchell scored bonus points for actually surfing (on the south coast).

Keeping the weekly tradition of at least one entry being beer/wine related - Claire Hallessey had a really quite impressive bottle of Kona, Hawaiin beer! Brandon looks bemused!!

And we had all the colours of the rainbow - and more - in a pretty impressive array of loud and flowery shirts. Great job everyone.

A shout-out to the Hollands and to the Pages, who got out there and completed their virtual parkruns too.

Conspicuous by his absence was our very own Andy Evans. He set the theme and then failed miserably to actually enter anything. In time-honoured parkrun tradition he has been awarded a finishing time of 59:59!!

And in previous years.... 

If you have time on your hands, or any of the points below trigger a memory, you can click on the links below to read the run reports from the previous five years.

#263 - 2019 - Back from the Holidays
Who remembers this week, last year, when Barry Watson entertained our parkrunners with his violin/fiddle from the deck of the Greek Temple inspired Summer House?

#209 - 2018 - the A to Z of Tring Parkrun
Andy Evans wrote a great report in the form of an A to Z list of points relating to the days parkrun.

Millie gets a PB - watched over by a proud mum.

#154 - 2017 - Bank Holiday Magic
The one where Matty Sinfied, Heather Painter and Moira Douglas saved the day by moving the cows away from the "Run Round Me" corner where they'd ran to after the start of the parkrun - blocking the way. They succeeded with just minutes before the fastest runners reached that point.

#100 - 2016 - Our Centennial / 100th parkrun
Our 100th parkrun was a huge event. Andy Collings (as we learned last week) completed his 100km challenge and raised £2000 for our defibrillator, we ran the course in reverse (just for fun), and generally we all enjoyed a great party atmosphere. We also smashed our attendance record by a huge margin.

312 attendees
Maura Paterson was Tail Runner (as they were called back then) and holds token 312 - the first time we'd ever seen such a high number by a margin of 99!!

#46 - 2015 - For Tring they Ring
The one where EJ Thribb makes a guest appearance and we introduce the now famous "PB Bell"

Thats all folks for this week

Mahalo parkrun ohana

Ken and the Tring parkrun volunteer team


Week 23: Bob Grahams and Hawaiian Shirts

This week's theme... 

This week's virtual theme had snappy title of "Bob, Graham, the Lake District and for good measure the letters B and G". Plenty options there then - even a glass of water is creative enough to come up with an entry for this one! :-)
But first, Bob and Andy.... 

Andy Collings is one of our lovely volunteer Run Directors, a proud Cornishman and somewhere in his lineage you'll find the Duracell Bunny. The man can't stop running. Almost exactly four years ago - you may recall - he ran Tring's hilly course 19 times overnight before joining us all for our 100th anniversary parkrun. In doing so he raised money to buy a defibrillator and sound kit. Epic stuff.

Andy finishes
Andy completing his epic 100km challenge in 2016

Since then he's had a few other short jogs - like round the entire Cornish coast and even across New Zealand. This weekend he took on the 105km, 8200m ascent, 42 Lake District peaks, "Bob Graham Round" - named after the first person to complete the route in less than 24 hours back in 1932.

It is hard to appreciate just how tough this is - 5 times more people have climbed Everest than completed this challenge!

Tring v BG V2
These are the elevation profiles of Tring parkrun's original course and the Bob Graham round compared to scale. It's worth taking a close look at this !!

Andy had to delay his original planned start by a day because of bad weather - it still wasn't ideal at midnight on Saturday when he left Moot Hall in Keswick. Sadly the weather continued to turn against him. He completed the entire route but cold, windy, wet conditions slowed him and he finished only minutes after the 24 hour target.

2 Andy at the start 17 Andy at Pike Stickle
Andy at the start of his awesome run and also tackling part of the course about half way through - one of the few times there was a glimmer of blue sky.

Ever smiling Andy put the experience down to a "recce" and plans to do it again. Respect!!

You can see photos from Andy's awesome achievement on our Facebook page "Andy's 2020 Bob Graham attempt".

Completing this required almost inconceivable levels of fitness, dedication and focus. Andy was supported by Run the Wild and Tring Running Club, including several regular Tring parkrunners.

We are inspired and will never complain about Tring's hills ever again.

Saturday Morning Fever 

The letters B and G, Bee and Gee, the BeeGees, Saturday Night Fever, Stayin Alive, You Should be Dancing, Jive Talkin'. Since Andy Evans set this theme it's been hard to get those songs out of my mind and it seems several of you were the same.

SNF poster
Lee Robinson's pose was so good we just had to superimpose it on the film's poster!

Stayin Alive
The Bishops "ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive, stayin' alive” :-)

Around Tring we have mini hills and lakes. College Lake was an obvious draw for many including the Monks family, Claire Hallessey and her little running coach. A little closer we have our own "Lakeside" - visited by Keith Henderson - a spot in Tring not many know about, with an interesting history connected to William Kay's Silk Mill and the Rothschilds who had a fishing and picnic lodge at the waters edge.

The Foskett family were happy to see this week's theme, like Andy Collings they were already in the actual Lake District.

Lakeside Keith H 2 Lakeside Keith H 1 College Lake Monks
Lakeside (the source of the name Dundale) and a grey looking College Lake

We had several real running connections. The Pages and Bladens have places for an actual, physical, in-person marathon, conveniently starting with the letter B (Beachy Head) in late October. They were already in training this weekend, and we wish them all the best with their preparations and the race itself.

Bechy Head team Bob Graham Training Recepticle

In Tring Park there is also a Strava Segment called "The Bob Graham Training Receptacle". It's the ludicrously steep (25%) path directly up to the Rond Point - the viewing point on King Charles Ride that we run past on our parkrun route. Ken Douglas struggled up it for a PB and is currently head of the age grade league table on Strava - until John Manning and Martin Hopcroft find out....I'm sure they'll have something to say about that.

For the armchair runners, Helen Tullie was settling down to "The Round" - a book about....you've guessed it.

Dave Carey BOB Andy Collings fan club

Special kudos to the Van de Lindes for their creative tribute to Andy Collings and to Dave Cary for finding a carton of BOB Milk. Who knew?? By the way no, John Manning, DF isn't close enough to BG!

Thank you for all the other great entries this week.

Highlights from previous years 

Next week should have been our Hawaiian Shirt parkrun, our first was a year ago this weekend and was a brilliant, brightly coloured and happy event. Oddly there is no run report - so if you'd like to delve into more details have a look at the great photos from that day, or enjoy an "interesting" ukulele duet.

mike sally
Mike Holdroyd was one of many who made a great effort to enter into the spirit of things.
Also Sally after her epic parkrun with newborn Jack and little Gracie

This is the one where the amazing Sally Nash completed Tring parkrun the Saturday before, gave birth on the Sunday and then did parkrun again the following Saturday (i.e. this weekend a year ago) with new baby Jack in a sling!

Tring parkrun 208 (25/8/18) parkrun love from Bradford
Great report from visiting tourist Helen Brant

Tring parkrun 153 (19/8/17) The Happy Hens
The more astute may notice that we actually (mistakenly) included this last week - it's the one where 
Paul McCormack ran his 100th and Ella Highton her 50th.

Tring parkrun 99 (20/8/16) The week the weather turned
Featuring epic cow marshalling from Paul Hembury and the announcement of Andy Collings' 100km challenge.

Tring parkrun 45 (22/8/15) The return of Ermintrude
Andy Collings was RD this weekend 5 years ago - a far cry from tackling the Bob Graham. Richard Lambert was presented with "parkrunner of the month".


We had an impressive set of PBs this week. Congratulations to Wes "Jive Talk" Ball, Blazej, Keith Stonestreet, Mark Tikaram, Lee "Travolta" Robinson, Louise Brookes and Paul Dyett.

Speedy placings were - for the boys went to Harry, Wes and Blaz, and for the girls Louise Brookes, Louisa Hopper and Kay Ison.

Kay was first finisher overall taking age% into account.

Keith Stonestreet also extended his lead with the most times submitted - passing 50 and (not) earning a red (not)parkrun T-shirt!

Great running by everyone.

Let's see how many more can record times this week - follow the link on the results page or from your weekly parkrun email.

I'm going to aim for a PB!!!! Watch this space.

And so that's it for a few more days!

Stay well and fit

The Tring core team.



Weeks 21 and 22 – Beaches and bees

TWO for the price of ONE 

This week we cover the 21st and 22nd locked-down weeks of no parkrun. We're edging towards half a year now and despite the publishing of the parkrun framework to return there is no imminent end to parkrunless Saturday mornings in sight. :-(


We seem to have an interesting competition developing between a few of our regular (not)parkrun participants. But first well done to all of those who managed PB times in the very hot and then wet/humid conditions of the last two weeks.

Shelley Deverall-Roberts, Blaz Ziembaczewski and David Saul all booked personal bests in the week ending the 8th August. Blaz repeated that feat this week (w/e 16th Aug) and both Helen Page and Angela Hollands got their names on the PB table too.

Wes Ball, Kay Ison and Adrian Falls all recorded (not)parkruns for the first time during this period and have all given the first-finsher boards a shake as a result.

Keith Stonestreet seems now to have built an unassailable lead in the record for the most (not)parkruns completed with 44 under his belt.

Screenshot 2020-08-16 at 16.43.03
The current table of most (not)parkruns completed

As for those with rapidly operating limbs....the fastest finishers for each week were:

Week ending Aug 8th:
For the women: Charlie Watson, Kay Ison and Louisa Hopper
For the men: Matthew Skelding, Harry Bryant and Adrain Falls

Taking age% into account the overall speediest were (in order) Kay, Matthew and Adrian.

The week ending Aug 16th saw a spot of jockeying for position:

For the men Matthew and Harry held the same places but John Manning nipped into overall finisher slot.
For the women Louisa Hopper secured the fastest finishing time, followed by Kay and them Helen Page

Taking age% into account the picture was as follows: John, Matthew, Kay.

Well done to everyone.

Don't forget to post your times - just visit your Facebook profile page (the link is in your weekly parkrun email).

Our weekly themed, virtual parkrun 

Each week Event Director Andy Evans sets a theme, as a bit of an extra challenge, for those sticking to the routine of completing a 5k run on a Saturday. The themes are announced on Friday evenings on our Facebook Page and anyone is free to post a record of their interpretation of it under another post starting at 8am each Saturday morning.

We have had many brilliant and entertaining takes on these themes, and week 21 "the coast and seaside" and week 22 "honey, bees and honeybees" were not exceptions.

Sun, sea and sand
Oh I do like to be beside the seaside, and so do many other it seems.

Seeing as Tring is about as far from the sea that you can get in England, Wilstone Riviera, Box End Water park and back garden sand pits (for young Mr Hallessey) all stood in for substitute seasides.

Some had to be content with a bit of air-surfing in their backyards too....

hang ten 2 hang ten 1
Lookout Baywatch.
Keith Henderson, Andy and Ann-Marie Evans were all hanging-ten or whatever it is that surfer dudes and dudettes do

Many actually managed to visit the seaside - from Worthing, Mousehole, Ramsey (Isle of Man) and Portland Bill to the beautiful shores of Barra on the West Coast of Scotland, it was great to see so many of our regulars have the opportunity to stretch their legs next to the beautiful briny sea.

Pages mousehole Mick McCormick on Bara
Monks on beach judy
Many were actually managed to visit the seaside.

We were also blessed with a virtual parkrun tourist. Natasha Armstromg joined us from her home parkrun of Southsea near Portsmouth. You can see the image below. The scene wasn't quite like this a few hours later, after the usual hordes descended.

Natasha Armstrong
Virtual parkrun tourism from Natasha Armstrong at Southsea (before the crowds)

A seaside tradition: "Kiss me quick" requested Ken, not surprisingly there were no takers!!

To bee or not to bee
The 15th August is National Honey Bee day in the USA. I think we should adopt this day too - bees are fascinating and valuable little things. Anyway, Andy chose honey, bees and honeybees as this week's theme. I thought this would be tricky and yet again I was proven wrong.

On the day itself we saw many brilliant efforts - way too many to feature all here. They included clever obscuring of street sign letters (John Manning and the Monks) - "The Beeches" became, simply, "The Bee". Clever. Hive minds in action too perhaps!?

Several managed to include runs past actual bee hives into their 5k. There are a lot of them about after you know what to look for.

Poor Sara Darling, though, had a closer encounter than she had hoped for and was stung on her, errr, bottom when out for her run. [I can feel the gaze of the parkrun run report police looming over me and so I shall say no more].

lee robinson
This week's first finisher - Lee Robinson - great costume effort

Lee Robinson scooped first male finisher position with a very impressive, improvised bee costume. His red running shoes even look like pollen baskets!

sarah foskett
Top marks for word-play. "May bee?". (And, by the way - it isn't!)

Sarah Foskett was first female finisher by virtue of a brilliant bit of word play. Looking for a bee in her garden she took the photo above. It may be a bee, but maybe it's not!? In fact it's not.....and I would dearly loved to have said exactly what it is. I was counting on a bee keeper friend to provide the full scoop.....but even he is baffled. Answers on a postcard please to Tring parkrun c/o Tring Park.

The note B
Top marks for lateral thinking - the musical note B

Juliet and Greg Mitchel went down a musical road. "B" - the musical note B was their focus. Now B, also known as Si, Ti, or, in some European countries, H, is the seventh note of the fixed-Do solfège. Its enharmonic equivalents are C♭ and A . When calculated in equal temperament with a reference of A above middle C as 440 Hz, the frequency of Middle B (B4) is approximately 493.883 Hz. (As I've said before....now you know!)

Another impressive performance from Claire Hallessey. She once ran (and won) a race sponsored by Rowse Honey. Her prize was a huge hamper of said sticky sweet stuff - which is way better than yet another "technical-T", buff and/or medal.

The race where the winner gets a huge hamper of honey

Other notable contributions include Blaz's bottle of Mead. Here we go......"Mead is an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water, sometimes with various fruits, spices, grains, or hops. The alcoholic content ranges from about 3.5% ABV to more than 18%. The defining characteristic of mead is that the majority of the beverage's fermentable sugar is derived from honey".

Mike Ward found the Ritz Carlton of bee hotels on his run, while at the other extreme, Andy found a poster from a bee and wasp exterminator. Hmmmm! I have a bumble bee nest under my shed and a black wasp nest behind it. Quite happy not to have them exterminated. If you have a swarm of honey bees - just contact the bee keeper association and they'll take care of it without zapping them with chemicals.

Bee of Bristol
This week's virtual tourism is from Ashton Court near Bristol

A final word, this week, goes to Rich Kennington - our virtual tourist from Ashton Court near Bristol. And look - there is a boat there (with Ashton Court parkrun behind) called "Bee". Oddly Rich was also stung by a bee this week - which he almost swallowed while out on a run. It got him on the lip, but we'll spare you the photo of the impressive swelling!

This weekend on previous years 

Week 21
Tring parkrun 260 - No run report. :-(

parkrun 206 - Beautiful morning. The one with a parched a park and no cows.

parkrun 152 - Que-Sarah-Sarah The one with seven (!) Sarah's, Toby Gribbin's 100th run, plus Andy Angel and Alison Hope's 50ths.

parkrun 97 - nee-naw-nee-naw-moo A potentially scary moment with our first 999 call and need for an ambulance.

parkrun 97 - a happy ending
A scary moment when we needed an ambulance - but our patient was diagnosed quickly and made a full recovery

parkrun 43 - No place like home. Harry was RD and owned up to being "a tourist" - a big deal in those days!

Week 22

Tring parkrun 261 - Sun has got its hat on. A run report sponsored by Sesame Street for some reason!

parkrun 207 - 207 When YOPA came to visit and Wendover Woods core volunteer team got some training done before their inaugural event.

parkrun 153 - Happy hens. We had a hen party join us (we always like that), Paul Mccormack did his 100th, Ella Highton her 50th and Isobel Roberts completed her 10th.

parkrun 98 - A BIG week. A Special Olympic week event!

parkrun 44 - X file mysteries and a string of PBs. This will give you an idea.....
Chief “Cow Marshal” Chris Millar reported the mysterious disappearance with some incredulity:
“They’ve gone!”.
“What d’you mean gone?"
“Gone…vanished, disappeared!”

The only cows to be seen

And that is it for another week.

Stay well, stay fit, keep smiling.

The Tring parkrun team

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