Should I take the official Parkrun time or my ... - Couch to 5K

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Should I take the official Parkrun time or my own?

Steve_L profile image
18 Replies

Oxford Parkrun again today. Quite pleased with the run, though I'm looking to get faster. At the finish, my Garmin said I hadn't quite done 5K, so I grabbed my finish token and ran on a short way until it registered the 5K. My time per Garmin was 30:08. When my official time came through, they'd clocked me at 29:54.

My conscience says I havent yet run under 30 minutes at a Parkrun. What would you do?

My run -

18 Replies
Slow_Rob profile image

I would say go with parkrun , thought the courses were measured and confirmed 5K's ?

Steve_L profile image
Steve_LGraduate in reply to Slow_Rob

Yes, though it depends on the marshals setting up at the right point. For my first couple of Parkruns here, they started the run 100m from the right point!

Slow_Rob profile image
Slow_RobGraduate in reply to Steve_L

Hmmm not to helpful then

LindaR62 profile image

Definitely go with the official parkrun - if that's what they clocked you at.

ActonHighStreet profile image

Realistically speaking, if you can run 30.08, you can run 29.54 so I'd accept the official time - it's not like they've clocked you at 18 minutes or anything. Well done!

Steve_L profile image
Steve_LGraduate in reply to ActonHighStreet

Thanks :) I have actually run 29:49 over one of my own courses, so I know I'm just about there.

runswithdogs profile image

I always take whichever is faster for my races. Chip time or Garmin, either could be off for various reasons. So I err on the side of happy speediness.

Rob_and_his_westie profile image

It's your run... Take the best time!

ju-ju- profile image

I'd say you have...well done :0

Steve_L profile image

Thank you, everyone!

IannodaTruffe profile image

I always use my parkrun time as my "official" 5k time, even though I have clocked a good 20 secs off using other tracking. I use Runkeeper on my phone and my GPS watch for nearly every run and they very rarely give exactly the same results and sometimes vary quite considerably, even though both have appeared to give a good solid track. If you run the same parkrun, then that will give you an idea of your progress over time, so long as they start and finish at the same spot.

Steve_L profile image
Steve_LGraduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

I guess it's true that as long as you can see that the Parkrun is consistent in start and finish lines, it's a pretty reliable indication of progress. It's a bit frustrating that you can't have 100% confidence in what one's GPS watch tells you!

janda profile image

A definite sub-30 minute run. You will also have stopped the watch after your finish thereby losing (valuable) seconds. Go with what the Parkrun team say.

Peter_B profile image

I have that trouble with my parkruns - for the last few my Garmin hasn't had me anywhere near 5K at the end.

But if I look at the track of the run on Garmin Connect it shows corners being cut and sometimes randomness when under trees. So I think its a fault (maybe foible would be better) of the technology.

My Garmin (Forerunner 220 and most of the mid-low end ones) only record gps readings every 4-7 seconds, in which time you could have gone round a bend which the Garmin will miss so "straight-line" you to the next point it records.

I go with the "the parkrun course has been measured, and is damn near the same every week so that'll do me" school of thought.

Steve_L profile image
Steve_LGraduate in reply to Peter_B

Interesting point!

Peter_B profile image
Peter_BGraduate in reply to Steve_L

Have a look at the Garmin Connect tracks for your last few parkruns and see if they show any obvious deviations.

Zanzibar4 profile image

Congradulations Steve its a great time I have had differences with times at Parkrun my garmin watch even though I didnt stop it until I had my token clocked me at finishing at 39.48 and my official Parkrun time was 40.56. I am new to Parkrun and am not sure how accurate it can be as there seems to be a waiting period on getting the token and the nxt volunteer scanning it. That probably makes no difference but if I was you I would definately take the faster time. Congradulations 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️

ArthurJG profile image

A Strava estimated best effort and a parkrun PB are different things. Parkrun does measure its courses with a measuring wheel but not to competitive athletics standards of accuracy. Strava relies on GPS which is not 100% accurate either. However, the difference between the two times is less than 1% so both times are better than 99% accurate. That's close enough for non-competitive running. One thing though is 100% sure: you ran the parkrun course in under half an hour, that's an objective fact. Enjoy that success.

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