The 2023-24 Winter parkrun Challenge is under way! See here for the current standings …
The Winter parkrun Challenge (WpC) is a recent PRR creation. First trialled in the winter of 2019 by Kevin Rogers, and advanced since by Mike Dales, it has become a popular feature of the winter schedule. At the 5K running distance, it is accessible to nearly all members. It also features:
- a good smattering of travel/tourism/exotic places (eg Arbroath, industrial Fife);
- mid-morning snacking;
- impenetrably complex results tables;
- late-season competitive tension; and
- by use of age-grading, an esoteric/tacky trophy that can be equally competed for by everybody.
Jimmy Fotheringham is the current holder of the WpC title (and, with it, the exciting new Snow Globe Trophy) after some fine competition in the 2022-23 season in which 21 PRRs completed the Challenge. See here for the final results tables.
The challenge is to run five non-Perth parkruns over the winter months.
For the forthcoming 2023-24 season, those five parkruns are:
- Camperdown Park (Dundee)
- St Andrews
- (University of) Stirling
- Holyrood (Edinburgh)
- Wildcard – any parkrun in the world, but can’t be Perth (the UK one).
Smarter/competitive PRRs tend to choose something as flat, fast (and possibly short?) as possible for their wildcard. If looking for inspiration in this regard, try here.
The open season for 2023-4 is from Saturday November 25th to Saturday 17th February inclusive (including all the extra festive period ones). Runs outwith this window will not qualify. If bad weather reduces the number of viable parkruns in this period, that’s alas too bad: no extensions will be granted. It does cement a case for banking a good few parkruns early in the season.
There are two conditions you must fulfil in order to be included in the WpC:
+ You will need to have Perth Road Runners registered as your club on the parkrun website. That will mean that your name will have the club name alongside it in the results and you will then be flagged up in the consolidated club results on the parkrun website; and
+ As an incentive to encourage volunteering at parkruns, your name must appear on the list of volunteers at a parkrun or junior parkrun within the dates of the Challenge. Please contact Mike Dales via Messenger or email to let him know if you volunteer at somewhere other than Perth.
There are two league tables throughout the Challenge season, but only one trophy at the end of the season:
- The first league table is be based on your cumulative time for your five runs.
- The second table is your mean average age grading over your five runs.
The trophy is awarded to the PRR who (both) completes the Challenge and ends the season with the highest average age grading. Thus, young and old, male and female are competing on a level ‘running surface’.
You may run each parkrun as many times as you can manage, allowing improvement across the season. You may also visit as many parkruns as you like for your wildcard. Your fastest time and age grading will be recorded.
If you pass a significant milestone birthday within the season, then you might run slightly slower after your birthday, but get a slightly better age grade. This will be picked up at race HQ.
A key objective/proviso of the WpC is that it not diminish the team performances of PRR at this winter’s cross-country fixtures. We encourage PRRs competing in the WpC – and who are also XC runners – to avoid clashes of their parkruns with key XC fixtures. To this end, the WpC window opens after the early fixtures of the season (and specifically the National Relays) and ends before the National Championships.