A double funnel day! Run report 652, 18 January 2020

“It can’t possibly work!” The idea behind a double funnel is to maximise the workable space between the finish line and finish tokens. One thing we cannot manipulate is time. As an event grows larger in size more people will cross the finish line at the same time. This Saturday’s event, which saw a total of 731 individuals cross the line, was our third busiest event.

On Saturday, there were a total of 65 people who crossed the finish line between 27:00 and 27:59 minutes. That’s more people than attended the first two Woodhouse Moor parkruns, COMBINED. In fact, approximately half of all the participants at Woodhouse Moor on Saturday crossed the line between 24:00 and 31:59. That’s 362 parkrunners in just eight minutes! Even if we make the assumption that a zealous volunteer can hand out a finish token every two seconds it would still take 12 minutes to do so. That’s providing they don’t develop repetitive strain injury in the meantime. In those additional four minutes we would have seen another 129 people cross the line.

The maths tells us that we’re reaching a point at our event where we’re a victim of our own success - we have more people crossing the line than we can handle. The double funnel is a useful way of negating that fact.

The double funnel effectively doubles the space we have to play with, allowing us to ‘hold’ parkrunners in position, yet offset them from the main funnel. The funnel will flow as normal until it reaches ‘critical mass’, and the risk of parkrunners backing up over the finish line starts to increase.

At this point, our funnel manager (aka Count Spatula) will make the call to split the queue. The last person of the queue is given a spatula and the new line is formed, adjacent to the current one. At the end, stood just by finish tokens, is another funnel manager who is keeping a close eye on the spatulas. When spatula A is handed over, the funnel manager at finish tokens now knows that the second queue can start to flow. This second queue of people will continue to flow until they see another spatula, spatula B, denoting the end of that bunch of parkrunners. At this point, that queue will be held and the original funnel will flow, until the next spatula is reached, and on it goes…


Well done to Martin Bare who ran his 300th, William Evans who ran his 100th, James Done, Lucy Gould, Howard Bednarek, Eleanor Parkhill and Curtis Ledger joined the 50 Club.

This week 731 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 117 were first timers and 104 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 56 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 48 volunteers:

Frank JONES • Claudia BAUER • Adam YEADON • Ken FOX • Robyn JOHNSON • Anne AKERS • Egg CAMERON • Richard EDWARDS • Nathan SMITH • Steve MILNE • Sue LUMBY • Curtis PARKER-MILNES • Andy RICHARDSON • Clare EVANS • George WEBSTER • Lizzie KERSHAW • Nick BROWN • Sarah UNDERWOOD • Heather FULTON • Jessica MCGRAGHAN • James LEACH • Vicky JACKSON • Naomi ADKINS • Tobias ADKINS • Elizabeth STEPHENSEN-PAYNE • Emma WHITLOW • Chris SIMPSON • Sarah BENTLEY • Jenny BRADBURY • Rebecca WHITE • Rachel DIXON • Sam HUANG • Katherine KIRKHAM • Anya KIRKHAM-MATTHEWS • John PRATT • Julie HADDON • Jacob SMITH • Danni BRYANT • John SUTCLIFFE • Donna SWALES • Phoebe BAKER-JOHNSON • Luqman AL-MAANI • Katie LEES • Louise CHEONG • Jack EVANS • David PEAT • Alex BRIGGS • Rachael COONEY

Full results and a complete event history can be found on the Woodhouse Moor parkrun Results Page.

The female record is held by Lizzie BROWNE who recorded a time of 16:25 on 23rd July 2011 (event number 196).
The male record is held by Dan GARBUTT who recorded a time of 14:58 on 25th February 2012 (event number 229).
The Age Grade course record is held by Treena JOHNSON who recorded 96.49% (18:31) on 12th August 2017 (event number 521).

Woodhouse Moor parkrun started on 6th October 2007. Since then 26,075 participants have completed 206,001 parkruns covering a total distance of 1,030,005 km, including 33,961 new Personal Bests. A total of 2,062 individuals have volunteered 12,208 times.