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  1. #1
    Master Bob's Avatar
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    BGR data

    For those interested in the fastest, oldest, youngest, etc. sort of lists I've added a couple of options to look through the data. You will need a reasonably modern browser to see these, anything from around 2017 onwards will be fine, since most people's browsers are updated several times a year it shouldn't be a problem.

    The first is for various records and lists http://www.bobgrahamclub.org.uk/index.php?page=records - simply select from the drop down list. The reason for some lists being "under 20yrs" or similar is that hard coding the table size cuts some people out even though they may be the same age. I just went with a figure that gave a reasonably sized table.

    The second is for the membership list. http://www.bobgrahamclub.org.uk/index.php?page=members You may select either a year, part of a surname or a club name or a mixture of any of these to filter things down. For the surname you can “pin” what you type to the start or end, so “ wright” or “^wright” (i.e. a space or the ^ character at the start) will find “Wright” but not “Cartwright” whereas “ight$” or “ight “ ( a space or the $ character as the last character) will find “Cartwright” but not “Wightman”. “ight” will return all three.

    The data this runs over will get updated at the start of each year along with the usual PDF lists. As usual let me know if you come across any problems or have an idea for another way to dice the data.
    Bob

    http://bobwightman.co.uk/run/bob_graham.php

    Without me you'd be one place nearer the back

  2. #2
    Member ponte_ricky's Avatar
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    Quite enjoyed having a read through a lot of those stats

  3. #3
    Master Bob's Avatar
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    Have added similar tables to the winter page - http://www.bobgrahamclub.org.uk/index.php?page=winter and also added a table showing the progression of the male and female record times to the drop down list on the records page.
    Last edited by Bob; 25-05-2021 at 08:46 AM.
    Bob

    http://bobwightman.co.uk/run/bob_graham.php

    Without me you'd be one place nearer the back

  4. #4
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    For anyone who wishes to embed the data on their website/blog, thinking club websites here, then I've added an API. Details at http://www.bobgrahamclub.org.uk/index.php?page=api

    There's an advantage in using this rather than creating a list/table of your own as everything comes from one source that's corrected and updated regularly. It also means more eyes on that single data source so any mistakes get picked up quicker.
    Last edited by Bob; 02-11-2021 at 11:51 AM.
    Bob

    http://bobwightman.co.uk/run/bob_graham.php

    Without me you'd be one place nearer the back

  5. #5
    Master Bob's Avatar
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    Welcome to part four of the BGR data trilogy

    Following a "discussion" on here I decided to record details of who paced whom. Big mistake! While extending the database to consist of multiple tables was relatively easy, the data entry took several months of work cross referencing ratification forms and trying to figure out if this "John Smith" was the same as that "John Smith" or indeed "J. Smith" (apologies to any John Smiths reading this). Boyd Millen is a case in point: there were references to "Bill Millen", was this the same person? While waiting for an answer from one of the committee members I came across "W.B. Millen" so I took the risk of assuming they were. A hundred or so forms later I saw "William Boyd Millen" which almost proved things. The eventual response was that folk at the time couldn't remember a "Bill". All that was for someone with a somewhat rare and unusual name.

    There was a lot of jumping back and forth between forms when a name appeared and was similar to one I'd seen before or was from the same club or era. This often happened when an early form had W. Smythe and a couple of hundred forms later there would be Walter Smythe so I could fill in the blanks as it were.

    Girlfriends/fiancees of one contender who then become the wife of a different contender (and themselves are Club members) just add to the spice! A friend assisted her then boyfriend in 1980, assisted her husband in 1988 and succeeded on her Round in 2004 some 24 years after first appearing in the records. I only knew that because my best man used to work with the original boyfriend. Maiden and married names just added to my confusion, if I knew a maiden & married name are one and the same and they are a club member then I've gone with the one they used on the day of their round (and added a note to the database).

    Not everyone was fastidious or indeed accurate in recording helpers. My introduction to helping out was in 2003 when I offered to carry kit for an attempt by John Wootton and Rachael Sharples. As it turned out they completed the Round but outside the 24hr time limit. However one of the other pacers actually succeeded, other than the last leg when the road crew realised that he was on for a finish he'd carried kit for the two contenders so was possibly more tired than he might otherwise have been. His form doesn't mention us though the account refers to us by our forenames. So without having been there I'd have had no way of knowing who "John", "Rachael" or "Bob" were.

    There were also the inevitable spelling mistakes, sometimes within the same form! Absolutely no consistency! Then again English doesn't exactly help especially with transcribing vowel sounds: "Alastair" and "Alistair" are all but identical in pronunciation as an example so it's easy for someone to get things wrong.

    Typically each form would take ten minutes or so to process: go through the names of the pacers; check if they had already been added; check if they were club members; add them to the pacers list if they weren't on there; finally go through the form adding how they helped. Obvious names like Joss Naylor didn't need looking up and when you came across either "reciprocal" Rounds where runner 'A' witnessed runner 'B' and vice versa or those where two or more did the Round together it was pretty easy to do. With an initial first name a quick read through the accompanying article might be needed to see if the name was mentioned in full, though the handwritten ones were hard work and sometimes it was easier just to leave the initial "as was". When I came across something unusual I had to decide if it was just a one-off or if it was likely to occur again and so modify the database to take account of it, an example would be "Assisted on the fells by ..." but no indication of which leg. I ended up with checkboxes for each leg, road support, reciprocal and unknown. Then I came across the first dog to complete the Round so after a bit of thought I added a notes field to the main table.

    What's missing are those listed in the table at http://www.bobgrahamclub.org.uk/index.php?page=missing, there's 58 forms missing/yet to be processed.

    What's also missing are those people, including Club members, who helped on unsuccessful attempts on the Round. Given that the overall success rate is less than 50% that could be a big number.

    So the cross referencing includes only those actually named and where the name was legible on successful Rounds.

    There's nearly eleven thousand names in the list of pacers and nearly twenty seven thousand data points linking those to the rounds. All told there was about 400 hours of work spread over eighteen months.

    From cursory perusal and thoughts whilst entering the data the most likely contenders not to have helped out on other attempts are the "lone wolf" attempts where pacers and road support are close family whose names appear once and once only in the list of helpers. (This does not include one form where the helpers were listed as: "Bland", "Bland", "Bland", "Stuart", "Bland", roadside assistance by "Bland"! - and yes, you can assign the expected forenames to those.) Typically these one time helpers account for about a third of all helpers/pacers.

    I'll have made mistakes - no doubt Jill, Gill, J. and G. Smith are one and the same person. If a name was illegible then I tried as best I could to decipher it but there were some that neither my wife nor I could work out. One or two forms just had first names listed for pacers, no idea who any of them referred to.

    There's a couple of oddities in how the figures appear. Firstly "total" isn't the sum of the help given on individual legs but the number of rounds on which assistance was given. Thus if someone paced legs one and two for one person, then the total would equal one. This leads to the second point: if they just paced leg one for two people, either on the same or separate occasions, the total would be two. There was no practical way to get around this anomaly. Of course it means that someone helping on a certain "train" might be mentioned five or six times for the single day of assistance.

    There were, on average, ten pacers/supporters for every success which shows just how much we rely on others to achieve our ambitions. There are five individuals who listed more than thirty helpers, the biggest number is 38. Part of the ethos of the club is that members assist others in their goal of completing the Round and becoming a Club member. 77.7% of Club members have done just that. The figure rises as you go back in time, not because the early Club members were more inclined to help but the newer members haven't had time to do so, the active lifespan of a helper can be 20 years or more, give them time. An example is Leo Pollard: he supported Bob Astles in 1975 and Dave Makin in 2003. Joss Naylor was still helping out on the fells in 2005. In fact Joss' first assistance was for Eric Beard in 1963 so that's 43 years! Another example is someone who waited 22 years from his round to first supporting someone (on a successful round). When I got to the end of a block of 100 generally about 50% of that block would be marked as having supported another contender, by the time I'd processed another two or three hundred that figure would have risen to 75% or higher.

    +-----------+-------+------+
    | block | total | Club |
    +-----------+-------+------+
    | 000 - 99 | 92 | 92 |
    | 100 - 99 | 87 | 67 |
    | 200 - 99 | 87 | 65 |
    | 300 - 99 | 92 | 73 |
    | 400 - 99 | 81 | 62 |
    | 500 - 99 | 78 | 78 |
    | 600 - 99 | 84 | 80 |
    | 700 - 99 | 77 | 69 |
    | 800 - 99 | 72 | 79 |
    | 900 - 99 | 77 | 82 |
    | 1000 - 99 | 68 | 84 |
    | 1100 - 99 | 73 | 82 |
    | 1200 - 99 | 84 | 78 |
    | 1300 - 99 | 80 | 82 |
    | 1400 - 99 | 85 | 80 |
    | 1500 - 99 | 77 | 81 |
    | 1600 - 99 | 79 | 74 |
    | 1700 - 99 | 76 | 67 |
    | 1800 - 99 | 75 | 62 |
    | 1900 - 99 | 76 | 52 |
    | 2000 - 99 | 74 | 67 |
    | 2100 - 99 | 65 | 65 |
    | 2200 - 99 | 52 | 51 |
    | 2300 - 99 | 45 | 54 |
    | 2400 - 99 | 34 | 50 |
    | 2500 - 99 | 64 | 64 |
    | 2600 - 99 | 6 | 4 |
    +-----------+-------+------+

    Don't be harsh on the last few blocks, there have been a lot of successes in the last few years, member number 2200 is only from 2018, there's only nine in the 2600+ block and six have already assisted on other rounds. Having said that there is a correlation between support and membership of running clubs: in recent years the ratio of running club members to unaffiliated contenders has fallen from around 3:1 down to 1.2:1. I haven't analysed the split of how affiliated and unaffiliated members have assisted.


    There are eighty three individuals who have helped out on 20 Rounds or more. Top of the pile is Nicky Spinks with 52 assists.

    You may search how individual members have helped out on the Club's website at http://bobgrahamclub.org.uk/index.php?page=members

    As usual, any mistakes, missing items or errata then let me know and I'll look into it. Also this year's data will appear in the new year.
    Last edited by Bob; 17-12-2021 at 06:05 PM.
    Bob

    http://bobwightman.co.uk/run/bob_graham.php

    Without me you'd be one place nearer the back

  6. #6
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    Chapeau!! What an effort! That must have been an absolute labour!

  7. #7
    Master Bob's Avatar
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    A quick update, not to the data but a bit of analysis. I did some cross referencing of the members' and supporters' data arrays to work out how long someone had supported others for and how long it was between their own round and the first time they supported someone. Some surprising figures.

    There are at least eight members whose support 'careers' exceeds 40 years, current top of the crop is Martin Stone with 44 years, first supported Brian Harnery #101 in 1978 and his last entry is for Finlay Wild #2599 this year.

    There are several who supported many years before they did their own round. If I've got the data right, i.e. it's the same person, then the current longest wait is Peter Chapman #1692 from 2011 who first appears in the records way back in 1979! That's 32 years, he was 54 on the day of his round.

    Going the other way Rick Robson #586 did his round in 1989 and only appears as support on a successful round in 2018 a mere 29 years later.

    I've updated the code on the site so the above info is available at http://www.bobgrahamclub.org.uk/index.php?page=members
    Bob

    http://bobwightman.co.uk/run/bob_graham.php

    Without me you'd be one place nearer the back

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