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
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.

    [Chorus]
    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…

    [Chorus]

    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!

    [Chorus]

    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

    [Outro]
    Let us back out onto
    Tring

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

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"Blue tarp to a cow"

4 years ago....

#140 Return of the cows

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#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....

:-)

THAT'S ALL FOR ANOTHER WEEK

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.

 
 

 

Cancelled by the Woodland Trust?

Save Tring parkrun

Many of you will be aware that parkrun UK is aiming to resume its regular 5k events from June 2021. We are extremely disappointed however, that Tring parkrun will not be one of those.

Unfortunately, The Woodland Trust, who manage Tring Park on behalf of Dacorum Borough Council, has withdrawn all future permission for Tring parkrun to continue within Tring Park. And, importantly, this decision has nothing to do with concerns about restarting social gatherings post COVID-19.

Since the Woodland Trust first told us of its decision last September, the Tring parkrun core volunteer team, with the support of parkrun UK, has attempted to engage the Woodland Trust, up to CEO level, in order to find a solution that would enable parkrun to continue in Tring Park. We know that parkrun operates successfully on many sensitive sites throughout the UK and around the world, and in our view, there is no reason why we should not be able to do so in Tring Park. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, the Woodland Trust has not engaged constructively with us to find a way forward and has provided no good reason as to why we are no longer welcome.

Now, more than ever, communities across the UK need help and support in getting active, and improving their health and wellbeing, as they come out of the most challenging year in many decades. That makes it even more disappointing that the Woodland Trust feels unable to support an event which provides physical and mental health benefits to so many in our community.

The Sports Minister, Nigel Huddleston MP, recently wrote an open letter to parkrun landowners calling for the return of parkrun, but this has held no sway with the Woodland Trust. And we are now asking you to help us let the Woodland Trust know just how much Tring parkrun matters to you, your family, and your community, in the hope that it may make the Woodland Trust rethink its decision.

Reasons given by the Woodland Trust for its decision include:

  • The administrative burden for the Woodland Trust created by Tring parkrun is too great at a time when it has limited resources.
  • That the parkrun route has potential to cause damage to Tring Park, specifically sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) located within the park.
  • That the site holds ancient monuments that have to be protected.
  • That amid a ‘dual nature and climate crisis, and with woods and trees playing a vital role in the future of the planet, the focus of the Woodland Trust must be on the conservation of existing woods and trees as well as creating more high quality spaces for nature and people. Therefore, we must put the needs of the site and the species that call it home first’.

Our responses to those reasons are as follows:

  • parkrun events operate successfully in over 2,000 global locations, and we do not believe that they create an administrative burden for their landowners. However, we have offered admin assistance on a voluntary basis, and this offer has been rejected by the Woodland Trust.
  • We recognise that Tring Park is a beautiful and special place, and that elements of the park are designated as SSSI. Each of the routes we have used over the past six years has been fully agreed with the Woodland Trust in advance and, for the avoidance of doubt, our existing route does not cross the SSSI area. Nor do we believe our participants would pass through the SSSI on arriving or leaving the park. In fact, our volunteers go out of their way to make sure participants treat the park and surrounding area with respect.
  • We recognise Tring Park has two historic monuments located on site but refute any suggestion that Tring parkrun has caused or may cause damage to these. There is no evidence at all of Tring parkrun negatively impacting either of these historic monuments.
  • We entirely support the Woodland Trust’s aims of protecting nature and reducing climate change. However, Tring Park is not a habitat closed to visitors, and we strongly believe that Tring Park, owned by Dacorum Borough Council, should be a public space where people and trees co-exist. Further, the Woodland Trust does not place restrictions on other users of the park; indeed, the Trust’s own plans to create a car park next to the lime tree avenue in Tring Park will significantly increase footfall through both the park and the SSSI area.
  • We have also offered to work directly with the Woodland Trust to arrange work parties for conservation activities, such as tree-planting and scrub clearance. Disappointingly, this offer has been entirely ignored.
  • Importantly, 3km of our 5km route is on the Ridgeway National Trail, managed by Natural England, with whom we’ve spoken to and had positive conversations with. One of the aims of National Trails is to enable as many people as possible to enjoy a wide variety of walking and riding experiences.

We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported Tring parkrun over the years, and know that many of you will wish to express your opinion regarding this situation.

Also, Gagan Mohindra, MP for South West Hertfordshire, has today issued a statement setting out his continued support for us, and which we appreciate greatly:

    As MP for South West Hertfordshire and as a member of the Tring community, I am saddened to hear of the Woodland Trust’s decision to withdraw its permission for Tring parkrun to resume in Tring Park. Tring parkrun has been a fantastic opportunity for free, outdoor exercise for local people over the past six years. In the aftermath of Covid-19, it is especially disappointing that this opportunity has been taken away from my constituents when we should be encouraging people to get outdoors and to look after their mental and physical health. While I understand the Woodland Trust’s core focus on protecting its sites, I hope that there can be a compromise that is beneficial to both the Woodland Trust and Tring parkrun."

 

help-us

How can you help?

With the Woodland Trust unwilling to engage with us, we are asking you to contact them, via their official complaints process, explaining what Tring parkrun means to you and why you think it should remain in Tring Park. Details of how to do that, by phone, email, or in writing, are available here.

Our only hope at this time is that the strength of public feeling will persuade the Woodland Trust to reconsider its decision and engage positively with us to support the continuation of Tring parkrun.

Our preference is to remain in Tring Park, and we have not identified any alternative locations in or near Tring that would be suitable, however if you do have a suitable idea, please let us know via tring@parkrun.com.

Thank you for taking the time to read this email, and for your support of Tring parkrun over the years. If we, as a parkrun community, wish for our event to continue once the country comes out of its COVID restrictions, we need to make our voice heard now.

If you would like to get in touch with us about any aspect of this situation, please reply to this email.

Thanks for your parkrun passion,

Andy, Steve and the Tring parkrun team
      

 

FA Cup Special + Reunion Extra

 

The Foxes and the Blues

This week we take a brief look at our special FA cup theme - which proved surprisingly challenging for our seasoned virtual parkrunners.

It may come as no surprise to learn that we had a football theme last year too, so we've also included a side-by-side comparison. And, while we're at it, we take a quick look at this weekend over several years of Tring parkrun.

Whether your team lost, or won, or you didn't even realise the FA Cup happened, we have something for you below.

FA Cup SpecialThis year - like last - many of our runners were on the ball.

Back of the net

Our sixty-first virtual Tring parkrun brought the usual diverse entries.

Our very own Andy Evans has, sadly, crocked his knee. Realising that his current pace was slower than a Chelsea Pensioner with Gout he opted, instead, for a PB (a Personal Bun) - of the Chelsea variety of course!

Top supporter kudos to Juliet Mitchel reminded us that Chesham Football Club were not in the Cup Final - seriously, they were robbed. Get some glasses ref!

Monks in the net
Well done to team Monks - who really were in the back of the net!

Judy Ewart spotted that Nobles parkrun flanks a football field and so passed that twice on her virtual 5k - great effort.

Sarah Foskett was not alone in remembering the glory of local Watford FC making the final on this day not so long ago.

Team Brookes were up with the Blues-bells. They are looking very lovely right now (a statement that could apply equally well to the flowers or the Brookes).

Team Monks went straight for the silverware with in impressive shot from inside the goal!

Tamsin does keepy-up
Tamsin was this week's virtual first finisher

First Finisher this week was Tamsin Leybourne with an impressive display of ball skills. Did she manage 61 keeps-uppys?

Reunion 5k

Several of our regular Tring parkrunners took part in a Government 5k test event at Kempton Park on Saturday morning. Harry Bryant, Kate Haines, and Cathy and Martin Bishop all did their bit to get our parkruns back again.

This taking part were Covid testing before and after, the aim being to gather evidence that – hopefully – mass running events do not spread Covid-19.

Bishops do the Reunion
Team Bishop supported the Reunion 5k event

Cathy posted "[We were] very happy to do our bit towards getting parkrun and other running events back again! Superbly organised by London Marathon Events, it was a great experience, such a joy to take part in a large running event again. And the icing on the cake: I got a PB too!"

Harry also bagged a PB, while Martin and Katie were not far off their old parkrun pace. Respect!

On the Injury Bench

We were disappointed to hear that Pencil and Nick Carmichael-Johns were ruled out of the virtual parkrun on the grounds of being poorly. They had to watch the fun from the sidelines. This was a far cry from this exact time last year when both were stars of our "getting to know you" series.

You can read the whole write-up here. A sneak preview.....

"Having spent most of his twenties saying that he would never leave London, Nick reached a point in his life where he decided that the allure of wide open space just got too much. So where better to move to than Tring?

Officially Nick has now completed 86 parkruns, though he did sneak in a couple of unrecorded events when visiting his in-laws. Nick started parkrun back in January 2017, and has been a regular at Tring ever since. Having racked up four PBs in his first six runs, Nick's current PB is 29:14, which he set back in April 2014."

Park run Pencil
Anyone who wants to follow Pencil's exploits can follow her occasional Instagram updates @pencilthecockerpoo

A look back to last year and "the beautiful game"

Last years FA cup coincided with out 10th virtual parkrun. We could have fielded several teams with that week's turnout.

The faithful
Watford vs Norwich City at Vicarage Road. Clive Cohen and Dave Cary suitably segregated at Marsworth Wilstone parkrun.

You can see the full set of Week 10 entries on Facebook including:

  • First female finisher was Lucy Daisy Clutton who posted a video clip of impressive ball skills. Who knew?
  • Team Bladen were the first family to finish together. Apparently they support Arsenal (again - who knew??).
  • Best joke of the week goes to Lee Robinson "....wearing a West Ham goalie shirt - helps reduce the chance of me catching anything! ⚒️".
  • Pencil was first canine finisher again - playing in goal, too.
  • Carol Page and Helen Tullie get a special mention for reminding us "it's all about the coffee"...posting photos with croissants and with appropriate mugs.
  • Charlie Watson's contribution was to keep going after 5km until she'd completed the first half (45 mins)...we're looking for evidence of the second half next week.
  • Team VdL also deserve a special mention for their dogged and full-hearted support of Port Vale despite all evidence that this is not a great idea.

Two years ago...

Remember back in the day when we could actually get together in Tring Park? For our 248th parkrun the highlights were that the cows were well and truly back (and we'd discovered another natural Cow Marshal in the form of Steve Brookman), Martin Bishop completed his 100th and Cathy baked and decorated a most awesome cake, and a very pregnant Sally Nash finished in a time way faster than I've ever managed.
See the run report: #248 "Now these are small"

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

3 years ago....

Apparently there had just been (or was just going to be) a royal wedding, and we had the 2nd running on our new course through the valley.
See the run report: #194 The Second Running

32884887_2524217384470340_6785776374645784576_o
A very young looking Gus rings the PB bell

4 years ago....

2017 was a warm Spring. Our numbers grew and for the first time we exceeded 200 runners for more than 2 weeks in a row.
See the run report:#139 Good things come to those who wait

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Impressive to look this happy at the top of Heartbreak Hill!

5 years ago....

Lorraine Hurford was RD for the first time back in 2016 (one of four new RDs taken onboard), a very small William Drath got his first PB, Tom Patterson completed his 10th parkrun, Katie Haines (another of the new RDs) was heading for a PB but stopped to help a runner than had taken a tumble, a great display to parkrun family spirit.

See the run report: #85 Cakes and cows

bombing ken
Ken photo-bombs Andy

6 years ago....

Six years ago, wearing an Arsenal top, Issy Bladen completed her first Tring parkrun and has hardly missed a parkrun weekend since. Liz Daniels was "Queen of PBs", Dom Evans won "parkrunner of the month" and his sister Sophie was surprised to be first female finisher (the visitor in front took a wrong turning on the woods!!!).

See the run report: #31 A new herd of cows

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With parkrun being for all ages and abilities runners often can find themselves running with others many years different to themselves in age. Pictured are 2 sprinters, both running for the first time at Tring but at opposite ends of the parkrun experience table. Young Oscar Atkins produces an excellent sprint for his 1st ever parkrun, whilst Richard Kirk, our most experienced parkrunner this week, gives him plenty of competition.

THAT'S ALL FOR ANOTHER WEEK

Stay well, stay fit, stay happy and join us for next week's (62nd) virtual parkrun.

Details on our Facebook page.

Your Tring parkrun team

 

Memories are made of this

fave trings

Week 60 - "Our Favourite Trings"
Our 60th week of virtual event felt like an appropriate time to look back at the good old days.

Andy asked us to capture something of our favourite things from Tring parkrun - deceptively tricky because there are just SO many good times to choose from.

This week's write up is more a walk down Memory Lane than an account of the usual splendid creativity, energy, and sense of community you all bring each weekend. But before we get underway, very special thanks and congratulations to Martin and Cathy Bishop - this week's first finishers with a PB too!!

Set to the music of "My Favourite Things" from the Sound of Music they penned this inspired version of the lyrics:


    Raindrops on noses, cow whisperers a-plenty,
    PB’s abounding, if not all sub-twenty
    Fast flowing scan queues, the Marshall that sings,
    These are a few of my favourite Trings

    Tartan and Sporrans and Saltires are showing,
    Gazebo and Tunnock’s, Drambuie a-flowing
    Live ceilidh music and highland flings,
    These are a few of my favourite Trings,

    Cow bells and bluebells and wide-open spaces,
    Laughter of runners with smiles on their faces
    Snow on the Ridgeway that melts come the Springs,
    These are a few of my favourite Trings

    When the wind blows,
    When the rain pours,
    When I’m feeling sad
    I simply remember my favourite Trings
    And then I don’t feel so bad

    Shout-outs for milestones and tabards for pacers,
    Run briefing done now it’s time for the racers(*)
    Run-walking with friends, the joy that it brings,
    These are a few of my favourite Trings

    Cattle stampeding and finish-line clapping,
    Tokens and timers and scanners are zapping,
    After-run banter, PB bell that rings,
    These are a few of my favourite Trings

    Barcodes and woodlands and hills that get steeper,
    Comments from Jim M that might need the bleeper
    Landowners permission, now that would be “King”,
    These are a few of my favourite Trings

    When the wind blows,
    When the rain pours,
    When I’m feeling sad
    I simply remember my favourite Trings
    And then I don’t feel so bad

    * Yes- we know parkrun is a run not a race! We plead artistic licence.

Touching Reminiscences 
We were especially struck by the strong sentiments expressed this week. So many are looking forward to parkrun starting again. We learned that the local Beaver Scouts were "desperate" to join the fun on Saturday mornings again, and many others expressed how much they were missing seeing everyone. All of us too!

Of course this Saturday morning would have been a wet one in Tring Park as we were reminded by Philippa Storr and her fellow members of "Dan's Hareem" who explored the bluebell lined and waterlogged paths in the park near Wigginton.

the storr gang
Tring Park in all its soggy glory

 
Do you remember? 
Nick Carmichael-Johns (and Pencil) reminded us of the last physical parkrun we held in March 2020 with the following great photo taken along King Charles Ride. That seems like such a very long time ago (I guess 60 weeks IS a very long time ago).

last run
The last time we were all together in Tring Park

That was a bit of a soggy day too, although several picked up on memories of glorious sunshine.....
 
Glorious Video Memories of Tring parkrun 
One event in particular sprang to mind. The day in June 2017 when attendees at the first international parkrun conference (meeting at Ashridge Management College) converged on Tring Park. It could not have been a better morning and still stands as one of the great highlights in our history. The brilliant video below was put together by parkrun photography genius Bruce Lee (who has visited us more than once). This video is sure to make you smile.

Click here to see video
The memorable day that parkrun's founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt, and parkrun Ambassadors from around the world, joined Tring parkrun
***Click above to see the video on YouTube***

Another video of great memories was the day that Tring parkrun was chosen by Hertfordshire's Year of Physical Activity as an example of improving the wellbeing of the local community. Alas, the initiatives deer mascot, "YOPA", decided that encouraging everyone on the finish line was a better idea than slogging round 5k in the heat!

Click here to see video
Run Director Andy Collings and YOPA
***Click above to see the video on Facebook***

We'll Meet Again 
One last video of memories. Be warned, you may need to get your hankie out for this one!
A year ago we marked the 75th anniversary of VE day - and set this sequence of great Tring parkrun moments to Dame Vera Lynn's "We'll meet again"

Click here to see video
We'll Meet Again
***Click above to see the video on Facebook***

How many of these wonderful moments do you recall?

See you again, virtually, next week

The Tring parkrun team

 

The Merry Merry Month

 
With a Hey and Ho and a Nonny Nonny No 
Apparently it is May. My calendar tells me this. Andy Evans told us this - hence this week's theme. So why then does my entire being think "January"?

This month's theme was "May Festivities" - more on that below.

PLUS...Can you recall what happened (or didn't happen) this weekend a year ago? Find out below and when you are done here take a look at the brilliant (even if I say so) run report from back then too.

PLUS...Can you remember who was interviewed as part of our "Getting to Know You" series??

Find out below

mayday
Keep the parkrun flag flying!

 
May Festivities 
For this week's theme Andy chose "May Festivities" noting that May Day is a festival with it’s origin in celtic times, celebrating nature and fertility.

Symbolised over time by various customs there were plenty of virtual run themes to choose from. Ideas included dressing as a Morris Dancer, or dancing with someone called Morris, or finding a May Pole to dance around, or going back to those pagan times worshipping an oak tree, lighting a special bonfire (I wish I'd done this one), wearing a floral garland, washing your face in the morning dew, dressing as a Green Man / May Queen / May King. And never a mention of hordes of Red Guards goose-stepping up and down in front of St Basils!

With characteristic disregard for our esteemed Event Director's suggestions the first finishers this week chose to do something entirely different!

A huge well done to Ella ("is it a bird is it a plane") Highton, who picked out the letters M A and Y in the air. Brilliant effort.

ella
Brilliant airborne letters M A Y by Ella - this week's first finisher

And thank you to Judy Ewart and her niece Claire who submitted a photo that made Spring really look like Spring and not a scene more remeniscent of Ice Station Zebra. We like.

Judy and Claire
Well done to Judy and nice Claire for brining us a touch of Spring

And a round of applause to everyone else - to Gio and Pencil for their floral headpieces, to Blaz for a concept a little like a human mobius strip (how exactly can you dance around yourself??), Lee Robinson was doing a spot of virtual parkrun tourism to the Holy Land (Scotland!!), Paulo Dyett was keeping a surprisingly anaemic looking red flag flying, Ruth Monks was doing virtual tombstone jump from a canal bridge....and much more.

Thank you for ALL keeping the spirit of Tring parkrun alive.

 
The 300th that never happened 

This weekend a year ago we SHOULD have celebrated our 300th Tring Park parkrun. Of course, by then we'd been in lockdown for seven weeks already and so the best we could do was have the number 300 as a theme and also look back at previous major milestones.
Each of these had their own amazing stories to tell.

It's well worth reading the whole run report.

Here are just a few quick snippets

Andy finishes
Who can recall Andy Collings EPIC 100km run to raise funds for our defibrillator?

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On our 200th Tring parkrun Harry Bryant completed his own 250th run

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Katie Haines with the round-robin 200th anniversary sign. I wonder where it is now?

The whole run report is a great trip down memory lane. You can find it here: https://www.parkrun.org.uk/tring/news/2020/05/04/week-7-the-300th-that-didnt-happen/

 
An audience with Jim Maple 
And there's more! A year ago tomorrow we also published an interview with regular parkrun volunteer and runner, the one and only, Jim Maple.

This was part of a "getting to know you" Q&A with Tring park runners, and brings back many great memories.

IMG_4378
Our own, our very own, Jiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiim Maple!

Thera are several absolutely brilliant and iconic Tring parkrun photos in this interview. Well worth reading: https://www.parkrun.org.uk/tring/news/2020/05/06/getting-to-know-you-qa-with-jim-maple/

 
See you next week 
Thanks again to everyone.
Look forward to seeing your entries for next weekends virtual Tring parkrun

The Tring parkrun team

 

The big catch up

 
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.

cacth up
Just some of the brilliant virtual Tring parkrun entries over the last few weeks

 
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.

38
Blaz and his wearable, electric tree

 
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.

39 - Lee Robinson
Lee Robinson and the 'star in the East' - just over Ivinghoe Beacon as seen from Slapton!!

 
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)

40 john Manning
John Manning was first finisher furnishing a fantastic festive costume

 
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!).

42 - Lucy
Lucy had a new - and very bright - pair or running shoes to usher in 2021

 
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

43 - Martin Bishop
43 Shreddies! And 43 chocolate fingers!!!!

 
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!

44 - Bladens
The Bladens found the white stuff on the higher ground in Tring Park. Brings back memories of fun parkrun in the snow

 
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! :-)

45 - Young Hallissey
Too cute

 
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...."

Brilliant!

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!

46 Ruth Monks
The Monks with an appropriately feather friend

 
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!

47 Cathy Bishop
We'll remember this Cathy!

 
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.

48 - Dawn Figg 48 - Tamsin
Great minds think alike

 
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!!]

49 - Jonathon Sartin
Jonathan - wandering lonely as a flower....

 
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.

50 Louise Brookes
Louise Brookes and team - an impressive display of red milestone T-shirts

 
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.

51 Clive
Nice one Clive

 
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...

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The Mr Men, Little Miss Tring parkrun team!

 
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".

53 - Long Jumper
Carole Page and her inspired "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!

54 Hakuna Matata
Nick and Pencil re-enacted the iconic Lion King scene

 
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.

55 Dawn Figg
Brilliant creativity

 
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.

56 Ella
Any old iron??

 
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".

57 Poachers Beware
First Finisher this week was our own, our very own, Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnndy Evans

 
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.

58 run round me
Great team effort

 
That's all for now 
We'll get back into the swing of weekly run reports again.
Watch this space.
 
 
 
 
 

 

What’s that coming over the hill?

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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!

Louise
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.

 
(not)parkrun 

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

Keees
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!

Sartin
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.

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

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

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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.

 
(not)parkrun 

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.

 

Spooky!

 
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!

Marathon
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.

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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:

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2015: The Tullie family supporting everyone on the finish line

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

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

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

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

 
(not)parkrun 

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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Sometimes playing with the leaves is better than running through them

 
(not)parkrun 

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"

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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! :-) )

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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.

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Cake! Dig out your recipes for our sixth birthday

That's all for this week.

Stay well, and safe

The Tring parkrun team

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