parkrun – why they should scrap results and barcodes.

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This topic contains 61 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  sharnie1 1 day ago.

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  • #5187

    Richard Woodfield
    Participant

    Was interested to see this post from Horsham parkrun a couple of days ago.  It is illustration that local parkrun Event and Run Directors are acutely alive to the need to protect the spirit of parkrun and at the first sign of any bad behaviour (which is very rare) they leap into action at prerun briefings and on social media.

    #5188

    Ian S
    Keymaster

    @Richard fair play posting that. Does prove that some are more interested in racing parkrun. If it happened like they say obviously.  But it is great to see it was acted on asap and the message sent out to all.

    #5190

    Adam
    Participant

    Considering that there were over 160,000 people took part in parkrun in the UK last weekend it’s not surprising that there are a few bad eggs. We’ve had it too, and we try to deal with it swiftly. We don’t have police powers or anything like that, but the “serious” runners in particular don’t like it if we take them out of the results (but happily it rarely comes to that).

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by  Adam.
    #5193

    JillyMP
    Participant

    A couple of years ago, doing Snowdon HM, one of the runners making up time on a downhill stretch of rough grass, was very rude to me as they bombed past, with words to the effect that I was in his way. There are inconsiderate people in all races, but the vast majority of runners are a very decent bunch.

    Needless to say, the rude guy fell in a bit of bog a few metres ahead! Karma….

    #5199

    Richard Woodfield
    Participant

    Maybe timely in view of this mini debate about parkrun on Running Bug.  This coming Monday at 1930 on BBC1 – a programme by Dame Kelly Holmes, about parkrun.  Dame Kelly herself happened to be at Kingdom parkrun in Kent this morning and after her own run was encouraging all the other runners still out on the course.  Good to see the focus on mental health as well as wider physical health benefits of parkrun, and running more generally.

    “In this uplifting Our Lives documentary, Dame Kelly Holmes explores the rise of parkrun and the mental health benefits of running, in the build-up to the launch of a new run in Northern Ireland.

    Over the last 14 years, the parkrun phenomenon has transformed Saturday mornings around the world. What started out in London as a simple idea to get mates together for a time trial and a coffee has turned into something much, much bigger. Today, parkrun is one of the largest running events on the planet, pulling in more than 235,000 participants around the globe every weekend. Although it started out as a runners’ event, these days it is about improving health and well-being, inspiring people to take exercise, meet neighbours and volunteer. The organisation is now actively targeting areas of social deprivation in the UK, with its focus shifting toward how running can help transform our mental well-being.

    This film follows the launch of a new event in one of those areas – Strabane in Northern Ireland – and is presented by one of the UK’s most successful athletes, two-time Olympic gold winner Dame Kelly Holmes, whose passion for parkrun sees her make unannounced appearances at runs all over the UK. Dame Kelly reveals that away from the track she has struggled with mental health issues from a young age, including self-harm, anxiety and depression following the death of her mother two years ago. She uses her own personal experiences to help inspire and coach two people using the new run to kick-start their fitness journey. With five weeks to prepare for the event, will they join the running revolution?”

    #5203

    Ian S
    Keymaster

    I will watch that, will be good.

    No one disputes what good parkrun does now, has done or will do and it’s great seeing how passionate people are about parkrun. I dont think anyone can argue against the good points of parkrun. But there still seems to be a denial that there is a big race element to parkrun by many. That people are still more interested in being top of the lists than they are in the parkrun ethos.

     

    #5235

    Richard Woodfield
    Participant

    I watched the prog on “catch up”.  Thought it was a very fair representation of the parkrun ethos, both at an individual level, with Dame Kelly, and parkrun, encouraging the individuals who had mental health, weight issues.  Also at a more structural level where parkrun is seeking actively to plant new parkruns in deprived areas (alongside the other initiatives to reach people who could benefit most, eg via parkruns in offender institutions and signing up GP parkrun practices).  I strongly suspect that the great majority of regular parkrunners see no contradiction at all between (a) parkrun aiming to be really inclusive and (b) many parkrunners of all standards hoping to go as fast as they can, as long as it’s not to the detriment of other parkrunners, volunteers or parkusers.

    #5236

    Vicky Pixi
    Keymaster

    Another here who doesn’t think the barcode/results should be scrapped – If an individual doesn’t care what position there going to come, time it takes them, then they don’t need to use there barcode.

    Iv only ever run a few times and only used my barcode a couple of times, mainly because i couln’t find it, but really doesn’t bother me to have my name/time/position in writing.

    But it is good and helps people to see there improvements over the weeks. its a great ego boost OR  good kick up the bum if they have been slacking with there running.

    #5250

    sharnie1
    Keymaster

    Am I the only one here who has spotted that your gamin will happily tell you whether you ran your fastest 5k or not and even whether it was your fastest on that route??   Any how – it’s perfectly possible to keep the official times, positions etc and just not publish them – so only you get your e-mail with your time and postition etc so you can tell if you’re improving etc. but if  there were no published results and league tables I’m sure it would remove some of the negative headlines we’ve all seen as the speedsters would probably (as a couple here have confirmed) stop attending.  This would remove come of the course congestion and overcrowding and make it easier to spot new comers thus solving may issues in one easy move 🙂

    #5251

    Ian S
    Keymaster

    I thought exactly the same, it’s not difficult to keep track of your times and it’s not difficult for parkrun to send results to everyone, as they do now. So why the desperation to publish top ten tables, leagues, quickest this and that etc.

    Lots of people are passionate about parkrun and the ethos of it but not many ( across all forums) but not many will admit to the racing culture of parkrun. And if clubs are more concerned about parkrun ethos, why dont they ask to be taken from league tables and not worry if they are beating the other clubs.

     

     

    #5252

    Vicky Pixi
    Keymaster

    Agree with Garmin stats but not everyone has a sports watch tracker – i didnt get my first Garmin until after i had ran my first official hm and used to just clock the time when i left the house and again when i returned.

    With in individual email that must take some effort and time and for a free run all run by volunteers i can see that being a pain and very time consuming.

    #5253

    Ian S
    Keymaster

    Vicky, they already send your results to you by email.

    #5254

    Vicky Pixi
    Keymaster

    Do they – i thought it was just an overall results page, that shows how longs its been since i done a park run.

    #5264

    Richard Woodfield
    Participant

    I would be confident that there would be a truly vast storm of protest from parkrun runners of all shapes and sizes should there be the slightest hint that results service would be drastically cut back so that little if anything was visible other than your own results.  I think such a storm would be larger by a factor of 1,000: 1 – and maybe a good deal more than that – than any grumblings about people turning parkrun into a race.  The whole point of parkrun is that it’s a communal, community event – in which everyone is recognised for their contribution and achievements, whether it be volunteering, running fast, running slow.  So it would (imho) be widely regarded as completely ruinous to the ethos of parkrun to remove this public record of individual and collective achievement.

    Vicky – to mention that the results service is completely automated and therefore not of itself time consuming for local volunteers.  (Other than team around finish funnel need to keep close eye on muppetry such as where people enter the finish funnel but then duck out half way along before they’ve been given a finish token)

    In this debate I really don’t get all this focus on perceived issues with fast finishing racers and “racing culture”.  At our parkrun if you take sub 20 mins as proxy for really fast finishers, barely more than 1 – 1.5% of parkrunners go at that speed.  Will be slightly higher on flat, easy courses.  Of those who can run that fast some are regular volunteers, eg as pacers, or in our case as the last Event Director.  And there’s nothing remotely against the spirit of parkrun in people trying to get their fastest time, or indeed to set a course record, or fastest in age group etc.  That has been fully part of parkrun ethos from the word go.  Indeed you will see friendly rivalry on Twitter between national officers of parkrun UK about their respective times.   What would be against spirit of parkrun is if people try and achieve fast times, PBs etc at expense of consideration to other parkrunners, volunteers or park users.  Is there actually ANY evidence at all that the culture of parkrun has changed to become more racing orientated? (I don’t regard half a dozen people griping on social media as meaningful evidence?  You can just as easily find half a dozen people griping all sorts of other things, eg about the naming policy for new parkruns, or whether people walking 100% of the course should be encouraged given it means volunteers all have to stay for longer.)  As far as I can see the evidence points in exactly the opposite direction, eg with average finishing times getting slower and the much increased emphasis in national and local parkrun communications on inclusivity and participation.

    Thought that I’d get that gripe off my chest!

     

    #5265

    Ian S
    Keymaster

    @Richard a very good gripe to get of your chest. But I still think you will find a far higher percentage of people race parkrun. There are people, and I agree, a minority,  but there are people who will be standing on a start line at parkruns up and down the country this Saturday, that couldn’t care less about the people standing behind them or the parkrun ethos. Their only aim is to win, top 3, get there name in the tables, brag about it on social media or because they want their club to be the best.

    If anyone thinks there is no racing element,  no competition, no bragging rights about winning then they are wrong.

     

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