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Thread: Are Park Runs Destructive ?

  1. #541
    Master
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    Millipede. A bumper turnout at Cliffe Castle (Keighley) inaugural indeed.

    Filtering the results on the last column, looks like over 100 (around 117 at an estimate) of the runners were doing their first ever parkrun, only 6 of whom were registered with parkrun as being affiliated to a local running athletics club. Many others running being experienced parkrunners of both club and unattached status.

    So maybe working both ways in this discussion? 🤔

    Were there any local road or fell races on the same day, and did they suffer with turnout I wonder. 🤔 That's the crux.

  2. #542
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    So.....as a random non scientific exercise....

    Multitasking whilst playing a round of cards with my daughter (it's raining), whilst she was shuffling, I have looked through the results of the last 11 years of the Lantern Pike fell race (Hayfield), a 5 mile show race that takes place after lunch on the second Saturday of September yearly. So there are always local parkruns in the area the same morning and there has been an increase in the number of parkrun events over the period; from the very first round here (Bramhall 10 years ago) to today (Woodbank, Marple, Glossop, Lyme Park, Hyde, and all the other Greater Manchester parkruns depending what you class as local catchment area to Hayfield).

    Lantern Pike fell race attendance as follows in brackets: 2018 (140), 2017 (147), 2016 (153), 2015 (151), 2014 (196), 2013 (191), 2012 (245), 2011 (198), 2010 (239), 2009 (246) and 2008 (269).

    Now correlation is not causation but there is a clear trend there as parkrun events have built up in the Greater Manchester area over the last 10 years. The last time Lantern Pike numbers were below 140 was 2002.

    Just one random Saturday short race for which stats are easily available from Steve Temple's excellent Hayfield Fell Races website. T42.org.uk

    Now I know parkrun hasn't affected the numbers attending the low key 3 mile fell race I RO, with 2017 even being an attendance record. But then it takes place on a Weds evening so does not clash with parkrun days. Similarly the highly competitive Sale Sizzler 5k summer series seems as popular as ever (anecdotally, I haven't looked at any Sale Harrier stats) but again it is midweek not weekends. The secret for short club races is maybe to avoid Saturday's parkrun clash!

    Edit - Sale Sizzker 5k summer series sell out at 500 entries. Thurs nights in Jul-Aug. Most other 5k races on ukresults.net avoid Saturday's. Those few that don't bother like the monthly 'no walk in the park' in Chesterfield (North Derbyshire RC) get relatively low numbers (<100 in this case).

    PS. I lost 1:5 games at cards so clearly not good at multitasking. 😉
    Last edited by OB1; 16-09-2018 at 07:20 PM.

  3. #543
    Master Tussockface's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OB1 View Post
    Millipede. A bumper turnout at Cliffe Castle (Keighley) inaugural indeed.

    Filtering the results on the last column, looks like over 100 (around 117 at an estimate) of the runners were doing their first ever parkrun, only 6 of whom were registered with parkrun as being affiliated to a local running athletics club. Many others running being experienced parkrunners of both club and unattached status.

    So maybe working both ways in this discussion? 樂

    Were there any local road or fell races on the same day, and did they suffer with turnout I wonder. 樂 That's the crux.
    There weren't any local fell races on yesterday, and that's one of the good things about Parkrun: you can always find one when there isn't anything else.
    They rarely clash with road races because those tend to be on Sundays. Most of my club mates who ran at Cliffe Castle yesterday competed in their 'main' weekend events today (Tadcaster, Spen, Beefy's Nab).
    Having said that, when there does happen to be a clash, it's not uncommon for runners to warm up with a morning Parkrun and do a fell race on a Saturday afternoon. I've done that myself a few times. If there's a Saturday race that's long or involves an early start, I just give Parkrun a miss that week.
    In short, I really don't think Parkruns draw people away from doing other races; they add another dimension for seasoned runners and serve as a 'gateway drug' for newcomers!

    I spotted loads of familiar faces from fell running at Cliffe Castle. It's pleasing that most fell runners simply enjoy any opportunity to run and aren't too snobbish to do Parkruns. Several of the local events afford decent training, particularly the new Keighley one. OK, it isn't exactly Pike O'Blisco, but there's a sharp 150ft climb 'off-road' through woods on each of the three laps and if you put in effort it's a decent workout that would benefit most hill runners.

    Great to see Millipede again and a lot of other friends from the fell running community.
    "Get yourself together, Jones" - Ray Davies

  4. #544
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    Pretty much in agreement with Tussockface above... I use them as an alternative 'race' when there's nothing else on. In fact I've only done 4 in the last 16 months (although two in the last four weeks).

    I think the 'average fellrunner' can certainly benefit from a short sharp 5km workout.

  5. #545
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    Tussockface - I agree whole heartedly.

    'Gateway-drug' I like that! Certainly was the case for me 8 years ago and many of my club mates since, especially in last 3 years since as a club we got behind starting and helping running our local parkrun Glossop as well as participating in all the fab local races.

    Parkrun keeps me ticking over as a tempo/fast run or gentle warm up for a weekend race or slower pacing run with kids / family / friends.

    I think one of the younger studenty forumitres could do a good project thesis on this! The data is widely available and the main and sub hypotheses interesting to wide audience in athletics and health. Would want 'gateway drug' in the title / hypothesis somewhere, to grab attention. 😀

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