Northern Ireland Running

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08/03/2013 at 14:30

Ricky there must be something in all your strange rituals because you were the only man in Ireland to miss the rain last night !!

Kenny you dont count because you live in gods country and it never rains on the north coast !!

Good running guys

08/03/2013 at 21:27
Evening all,great to see friday! Got signed up ro parkrun tonight,didn realise there was one local,happy days! 3 easy miles out in the morning will b a nice wee warm up 4 the race.any1 know if they can scan the barcode off my phone?
Great miles lads!
08/03/2013 at 22:25

It doesn't rain on me Martin

Which Park Run is that Sean? I believe one in Lisburn has just started up in Wallace Park which might suit me some Saturday that I can wangle a later start in work. Never done one before so no idea re: the barcode.

9 miler this evening... hilly/country lanes - lots of puddles but it didnt rain on me

08/03/2013 at 22:40
Sean, not sure about the barcodes my son says paper, I haven't been to parkrun yet , Margaret Matthieson is the queen of parkrun and reads this forum( help me out margaret) I work Saturdays so can't go but the one near me (waterworks) has a huge following , I watch with envy every Saturday on my way to work ! Enjoy it you will meet loads of like minded people in your area

On my Sunday 20 miler about 16 miles I got a bit of a sore knee , more comfortable running slow than walking , last night came on about 9 miles, again easier running, today hurts like hell especially downhill, gonna take the weekend off and rest up, well after I clean the house , make my wife breakfast in bed on Sunday etc etc.............................
08/03/2013 at 22:47
Ricky do you have one of those hat/ head umbrellas that you see guys wearing at country fairs ?
08/03/2013 at 22:51
It's craigavon Ricky.first race for me, though I run the route as part of my long runs sometimes so I know it's quite flat so should be fast. They use the barcode to record your time somehow,think I need get it printed in the morning.good going tonight ricky its baltic out there, icouldn't face a run tonight, soaked out there all day!
08/03/2013 at 23:15

Hello Sean,

Feature on barcodes in this week's parkrunnews - it explains that they cannot be scanned from your phone:

Article by Tom Williams of parkrun:


In the early days of parkrun, when you crossed the finish line you were given a metal disc with your position on and you took that to someone sitting at a laptop who was able to type in your name, find you on the system and credit you with the correct finish position. Forgetting the fact that we were often sat in a field in the rain and cold with a soaking wet laptop this system worked pretty well, at first.

If you’ve ever asked someone for their name and date of birth 30 seconds after they’ve crossed a parkrun finish line you’ll know that it’s not as simple as most people think. Multiply that by more than one person a second during peak minutes and you can see where mistakes start to creep in. Adding to this problem of course is the rapidly increasing numbers of registered parkrunners, when we only had a few thousand there was probably only one John Smith, as we approach half a million (and 33 John Smiths FYI) not only are there many namesakes but it’s not unknown for their home runs to be the same (I’m not the only Tom Williams registered with Leeds parkrun) and even birthdays.

The issue this presents to our volunteers is that with every mistaken identity there is a disproportionate increase in admin required to correct that mistake. We get emails from runners who’ve either been credited when they hadn’t run, or not credited when they had and for some local volunteer teams this previously built up to a day’s work every single week just trying to clean up results. Although some volunteers are happy to spend this additional time, it certainly impacts on their non-parkrun life and creates expectations on all of our event teams which we don’t believe is fair. I should also point out that even the most dedicated volunteers eventually grow weary of the ever increasing admin. In the summer of 2009 we introduced the barcode system with the aim that this would eradicate mistaken identities and dramatically reduce the amount of time our volunteers had to spend sat in front of a computer screen.

At first bringing a barcode was optional but despite our best attempts at increasing non-barcode queues, and decreasing barcode queues, people still largely failed to bring them. In the name of honesty I should put my hand up here and say that I was one of those forgetful bunch. As a result the problem wasn’t fixed, and as a result of that we decided in January 2010 to make barcodes compulsory. This, amazingly, made some people very angry! All we are asking in return for 50 odd free runs every year (which incidentally you can still have without a barcode), plus the Club t-shirts when you complete a number of runs, plus the Sweatshop Monthly Prize if you’re fortunate enough to be awarded it, plus all the amazing benefits associated with being part of our wonderful family, is that you print out a small piece of paper and bring it with you on a Saturday morning. I’d also like to suggest that we are probably unique in the World of organised sporting events that if you forget, can’t be bothered, or don’t want to bring a barcode then you are still welcome to take part in pretty much the same way as any other parkrunner. You just won’t get a time. I should also add that whereas you just need to bring a piece of paper, the volunteers have to get up early and stand in a freezing cold park for a couple of hours.

So, if you do forget your barcode, as I myself have done on more than one occasion, then yes you will have to wait seven more days for your 10, 50, 100 or 250 t-shirt, or come back next week to have a crack at your PB but please take a mom

08/03/2013 at 23:17
Craigavon Wud be closer to me than Lisburn - but work in Lisburn. Yes should be fast course - flat round the lakes. Let us know how u get on - good luck!

Martin watch that knee - I think u need to start touching some wood. Brownie point time this wkend for u then. My lot are only usually surfacing out of bed at 10.30 on Sunday morn wen I'm getting back in from my long un! So the brownie account won't be opened until then ... Think she's gone and booked a table somewhere herself in case I forget... Come to think of it I wonder am I invited?
08/03/2013 at 23:18

oops! think I exceeded a charater limit rule! Rest of the article:

So, if you do forget your barcode, as I myself have done on more than one occasion, then yes you will have to wait seven more days for your 10, 50, 100 or 250 t-shirt, or come back next week to have a crack at your PB but please take a moment to consider whose responsibility that really is. Should our 20,000+ hardworking volunteers be expected to spend more of their precious time adding you in manually or should you understand that you still got to run with your friends? That’s what parkrun’s really about, right?

I do realise that many of you will be reading this unsure as to the correct parkrun barcode form so here’s a few bullet points to keep you on the straight and narrow...

  • If you don’t have a barcode you should still cross the finish line and take a position token, but then just hand the token to the person with the scanner. You will appear as an ‘unknown athlete’.
  • If you bring your barcode but it won’t scan we can write your number down and add you to the results. Please do not bring that same barcode again as it is unlikely to scan in the future, you’ll need to print out another one for the following week. I advise our teams to confiscate unscannable barcodes.
  • Even If you know your athlete ID, that does not count as bringing your barcode.
  • Our scanning devices do not scan from mobile phones so please bring hard copies. My advice is to print out all six, laminate them with Sellotape and spread them around your car, running jacket, wallet etc.

Once a month I email all of our event teams around the UK with updates from the parkrun world and yesterday I asked that they all adhere strictly to the ‘no barcode, no time, no exceptions’ rule so please don’t be offended if your forgetfulness is met with a simple ‘there’s always next week’.


08/03/2013 at 23:29

Martin, hope the niggle with the knee is just a shout-out for a wee rest!

Ricky, good luck with the 21m on Sunday! You will be finished just as I land in Spain for my wee golf-break. Latest forecast for Almeria is potential rain Sun & Mon; grrrrrrr!!!

Tried to force it this week to test readiness for Larne: hard interval session at the club on Tues and 11m with 7m tempo last night. Ab strain is improving but chest infection has got a grip of me in last 24hrs. Still going to take gear to Spain for a couple of easy morning runs and hopefully enter Larne before end of next week!

09/03/2013 at 00:37
Alwyn ' I hope it's just a niggle, I forgot you are the king of the parkrun , so used to speaking to you about longer distances, enjoy your holiday , I love running in the sun, depending how your feeling that dry heat would be great, just keep it reasonably short, what's Ricky gonna do without you ? It remains to be seen ???

Ricky, no pressure !!
09/03/2013 at 01:15
Hardly a Parkrun regular - only run 3 of them so far!
Think they're great for sharpening up the pace but my ab-injury has meant I've had to lay off the harder sessions these past 6 weeks - hence the easy runs with Ricky! Only joking!!
09/03/2013 at 09:22
I am in Devon counting down the next 24 hours to The Grizzly. Good luck to anyone doing their LSR this weekend and to the Parkrunners.
09/03/2013 at 09:42
Glad to hear you packed your man suit for the Grizzly!
'Enjoy'!! Look forward to reading your race report.
09/03/2013 at 12:47
Thanks for the replies folks, got it printed this morning which left me cutting it fine to make the start,I had to cover the miles quicker than I would have liked but made the line just as they were taken off so all good. Great fun! & well organised too, going put my name forward to vol next week as I have the dune half on Monday. So 10 mile covered with first 6 1/2 faster than target mara pace,nice wee tempo run.
09/03/2013 at 14:21

Just seen the posts about parkrun now, or I would have posted a reply earlier.  Thank you Alwyn - you covered it brilliantly.  Glad to see that you read the weekly newsletter.  I mentioned it on our facebook page yesterday and urged everyone to read Tom's article, and then mentioned it at the briefing this morning, but still people forget to bring their barcodes along.  I'm not long in from this morning's parkrun (always lower case p) as there was a bit of a headache with producing the results today. I'm having a large cup of coffee as I wait for the deluge of emails telling me that someone's time is wrong! 

Sean, glad you enjoyed your first one at Citypark, and I'm delighted to hear that you're willing to volunteer already.

I know that Sundays are busy for lots of you with long runs etc, but if anyone fancies a 5 or 10k for charity in the morning, The Stroke Association are holding one at 11am at Qeens Sport, Upper Malone Road.  I'm doing timing and results at it and would welcome any help with marshaling etc. if anyone is at a loose end in the morning.

09/03/2013 at 19:10
HMM - good luck tomorrow & look forward to reading all about it!

Sean - good stuff this morning.. Sounds like u enjoyed it.

Alwyn - will miss the chat in the morning but golf in the sun is a marginally better option I suppose.

Many many many thanks to Alwyn who I sent on a dangerous assignment this afternoon - he completed it admirably and Mrs RickyW will be forever in his debt (lost handbag/train journey - long story ... Don't ask!). Thanks again Alwyn - star man.
09/03/2013 at 19:35
Hmm best of luck for tomorrow
09/03/2013 at 20:01
Got my time in, 21:37 pretty happy but think I can shave it down abit with a slower run over,time wasn't on my side today. Good luck tomarrow hmm,hope the weather is abit better over there!
09/03/2013 at 22:36

Very respectable Sean - 7 min miles... well done!

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