Parkrun results hiccup!

Bah! I ran a PB at my local Parkrun today, which I was very pleased with - 29:13, and I felt that apart from the time, it was my best performance to date (my 19th Parkrun).

I was disappointed, and surprised, when the results came out, to be told I ran 29:36, so no PB recorded. I thought it couldn't be right; I could accept that my timing could be a few seconds at variance with the offocial timer, but not 23 seconds!

Just looked at the full results, and the person that finished ahead of me was given a time of..............29:13!!!

Somehow, the times and finish tokens must have got out of phase.


27 Replies

  • Contact your administrator. I had a similar problem. My tokens scanned ok, but then was placed as unknown, but a quick email sorted it out. That was a PB too. I am sure if you explain the situation then they will correct it. The result at present will be incorrect for everybody else behind you, presumably, so needs sorting. Good luck and congratulations. You know, even if nobody else does.

  • Good point; thanks. I've dropped them a mail, being sure to thank them for making my Saturday mornings so special.

  • Oh well, now you at least know for yourself that you have succeeded in this. The only thing that's lacking is the acknowledgement. By someone else. I know it's really hard to think this way, but you could, if you wanted, start regarding that as someone else's problem, then. Parkruns aren't races, so they don't promise to maintain race level timing.

    It gets worse on my local parkrun. There, you'll have someone come in in 19 minutes, something, without a drop of sweat on his forehead. He's cheated a bit more cheekily than the other cheats. Why? you ask. Well one of our medical aid companies gives points for attending parkruns, and some people are just too lazy to walk one. Ours is a favourite target for cheats, because they can sit in the casino drinking coffee, and watching how the run is progressing before slipping in. The beach is already really busy by 8am, when the run starts, so along with the comforts of the casino, there is plenty of cover.

    I think the website might even say something about not taking the times too literally, because they aren't entirely the point. With that in mind, you may even be able to persuade the organiser to edit your time? Maybe not, but if it really matters, I suppose it's worth asking at least.

  • Hi Steve,

    I've done both the time keeping and finishing tokens roll at my parkrun. There are two time keepers for every event and they have ways of cross checking the times. Maybe, you pressed go on your watch at a different time to when the time keepers pressed start and likewise when they pressed stop. I've used the watches and it is pretty hard to get it wrong and we use the fastest time shown if there are any discrepancies. I know its rather annoying for you right now, but I would go off the park run times. You will notice as you go through the funnel there are two people, one is the main timekeeper and one the backup timekeeper. It does happen quite often that people express dissatisfaction at the result, but I would say its pretty certain there's is right. If it helps I could show you mine from today, although not as much out as yours, my watch differs to the actual result slightly. Just a point, why don't you consider volunteering for the time keeper roll to see how its done?

  • I understand how it works, Ian, but it's easy for the results to get out of synch. I'm quite prepared to accept my time can be different to the offical time, but not by 23 seconds - and the fact that the person before me was assigned the precise time I recorded is, I think, too much of a coincidence.

  • I guess in that case you can only ask the question.

  • They've confirmed that there are gremlins in today's results, and they're working on exactly what went wrong.

  • oh good

  • I'm impressed that they're watching their emails on a Saturday evening!

  • Just a thought.... Parkrun timings are from the "gun", so given that I deliberately start near the back, it's always a number of seconds after the official "start" when I cross the line and the point at which I press "start" on my garmin. My official time today was 8 seconds slower than the time i recorded myself, which given the size of the field, would be about right.

  • I wish I hadn't made this post.

    When you're standing, wherever in the field, waiting for the run to start, don't the marshals call "3 - 2 - 1 - go!"?

    I don't faff around waiting for when I think I pass the line to start my timer - I start it when they say go. I started it today when the run was started, I stopped it when I passed into the funnel.

  • I'll say it again. I started my timer when the run was started, not when I thought I passed the start line. I find this a bit insulting.

  • I do the same as you do steve, I start my watch timer when the person says 'go' today as well as the last few days my head has not been with it at all been really forgetful well more forgetful than usual, and ended up starting it a couple of seconds late because i had to get the timer on and start it but then I always stop it well after I cross the finish line,

    Just remember you did great and got a PB, you got there and run the whole course, that in itself is an achievement, I always am a lot happier when I run the whole course no matter my time, I am pretty chuffed when I get a PB myself, I got a long way to go til I'm running the parkruns in the time you did today, I will get there one day, I'm sure you'll soon be running it in less than 29 mins maybe even next week, I wish you good luck in getting another PB next week, I'm sure you don't need the luck though your doing great :)

  • As I said, merely a thought. No intention to insult you.

  • Hi Steve, well done for your parkrun today, I hope the people manage to figure out what went wrong and give you the time you recorded which will be a PB for you, I try to time myself on my watch, not a fancy watch just a plain sports £10 watch I got from argos, I am usually a couple of seconds out due to not stopping my watch dead on the finish line, today has been the only time that my watch time was the same, I would have done the same if it was 23 seconds out, well done on your time today hopefully it'll all be sorted by tomorrow and good luck for your next PB :)

  • Thanks, Siobhan, I appreciate your thought, and thank you for your good wishes.

  • Morning Steve,

    Have you got it sorted?

  • Hi Steve

    I often process the results and there are so many things that can go wrong and usually do, virtually all are human error or runners not abiding by the simple rules of :-

    1) only cross the finish line once.

    2) always take a finish token.

    3) always hand it in - even if you haven't got a barcode.

    It is a rare week when we don't have to adjust the timings because someone hasn't taken a token or something is out of sync.

    Fortunately we have a camera at the finish line and also note about every 20th finisher their time and position so that we could refer back to it if required.

    Also the timing job is not as simple as it appears. If runners finish in a nice timely order - fine There are occasions when a whole bus load of people start sprinting for the tape and there are blanket finishes. The timers have to make sure they click everyone that crosses the line.

    It does seem that you have been given the wrong time for your position or been given the wrong position tag. This will usually have a domino effect, so i would expect others either side of where you finished have also have the wrong time.

  • Thanks for that. I've done the finish token volunteer role, and I know what you mean about people finishing in crowds; also at that Parkrun I know that one of the finish timers got out of synch with the tokens, and at least one runner without a barcode pocketed the finish token and walked off.

    It must be a nightmare reconciling the data!

    And yes, people behind me were shunted down too; one person I'm connected to on Strava has her official time offset the same way as mine compared to her personally recorded time.

  • That's a bit of a bummer. Hope it gets rectified but in reality it doesn't matter too much because you will beat that in the not too distant future anyway.

  • Thanks, D. I'd like to think I'll do better soon, but it took me since mid June to get close to a new PB!

  • And the results have now been updated - my official time is 29:13 and it's my Parkrun PB!

  • Well done Steve !

    Glad you got sorted :-) xxx

  • Thanks, P!

  • Congrats on your new PB Steve - what a frustrating experience, but you knew what it was, and now happily it's official too. I STILL haven't done my first parkrun yet. Hopefully it will be next Sat. Would be amazing to do under 40mins but realistically under 45mins would be good too :)

  • Just go and enjoy the experience, Ruth. And tell us about it afterwards.

    Oh, and thanks :) - I ran a 10K PB the day after, too, 62.47; a great weekend!

  • Wow. I will just go and enjoy it. I'm staying at my friend's and it's her birthday (she lives near Bushy Park). She's an ironman athlete/very fast marathon runner, so for her 5k is a fun run. But we'll have fun going together :)

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