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TOPIC: Parkrun Course Ranking By Difficulty

Parkrun Course Ranking By Difficulty 06 Dec 2017 18:02 #19529

  • DominicShields
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I saw this in the Parkrun thread on Fetcheveryone where a lot of UK Parkruns are ranked by difficulty using the RunBritain SSS scores., the full list is attached but I'm struggling to believe that Swansea Bay and Llanelli are quicker than Blackweir based on my experience - even on a windless day.
Top 20 are
Pos AverageSSS Venue
1 0.23 Worcester Pitchcroft
2 1.01 Swansea Bay
3 1.09 Stratford-upon-Avon
4 1.16 Worthing
5 1.20 Llanelli Coast
6 1.28 Dulwich
7 1.29 Long Eaton
8 1.32 Longford Park
9 1.35 Glasgow Victoria Park
10 1.41 Southport
11 1.43 Torbay Velopark
12 1.44 Poole
13 1.46 Catterick
14 1.47 Cassiobury
15 1.48 Birkenhead
16 1.48 Northala Fields
17 1.48 Hackney Marshes
18 1.49 Cardiff Blackweir Park
19 1.49 Manchester Platts Field
20 1.50 Rother Valley Country Park

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Last Edit: 06 Dec 2017 18:03 by DominicShields.

Parkrun Course Ranking By Difficulty 07 Dec 2017 21:20 #19539

  • AndyW
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I haven't done either Swansea or Llanelli but my educated guess would be that because of the way SSS is worked out it is due to the large numbers at Blackweir.

How many of the 600+ runners at Blackweir each week have to wait a few seconds (or many more) to get across the line, adding seconds to their time? If those runners then go to another reasonably flat parkrun with much fewer numbers (Swansea circa 200, Llanelli 100), and don't have to wait to cross the line to actually start their 5k, then there is every chance that they will run a faster time. Therefore the SSS will rank those courses as faster than Blackweir for those runners (well, technically, easier to run a fast time there rather than being a faster course)..

If you start near the front at Blackweir then I can see why your results there might be better than the others mentioned.
Last Edit: 07 Dec 2017 21:22 by AndyW.

Parkrun Course Ranking By Difficulty 08 Dec 2017 07:32 #19540

  • RichW
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We are doing Hackney Marshes parkrun tomorrow. Which is next to Cardiff on the list. I shall feed back my findings.

Parkrun Course Ranking By Difficulty 08 Dec 2017 10:21 #19541

  • DominicShields
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It looks to be very flat with a 180 degree turn and a few other minor bends but not all tarmac
www.parkrun.org.uk/hackney-marshes/course/

Parkrun Course Ranking By Difficulty 08 Dec 2017 16:44 #19542

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A guy from work who used to do Cardiff parkrun pretty regularly got his overall parkrun pb the one time he did Hackney Marshes. I've been meaning to try it myself!

Parkrun Course Ranking By Difficulty 09 Dec 2017 21:30 #19549

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Dulwich, 6th on the list, is my go to parkrun when I stay in London. It's fast but I'd say not as fast as Cardiff. There's a slight incline which you go up on each of the three laps. Not steep, but steeper than the bump by Blackwier bridge. It attracts about 300 runners.
Last Edit: 09 Dec 2017 21:31 by IanO.

Parkrun Course Ranking By Difficulty 10 Dec 2017 10:14 #19550

  • DominicShields
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It may only be psychological but I find laps slower even ignoring the fact that you have to encounter each bend three times

Parkrun Course Ranking By Difficulty 10 Dec 2017 10:21 #19551

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Hackney Marshes was a good flat, fast course. I'd say the path was very similar and width to Cardiff parkrun. The only difference, the tarmac was broken up in places and it had a bit of camber in places. I thought it was just a straight out and back, but there was a short out and back dog leg, which was on a compacted path. So it had 2 dead turns overall.
Overall I would say it is faster than Cardiff. Sally did a pb running with the buggy and I did just under 6 minute miles. Which is about were I'm at, at the moment.

Parkrun Course Ranking By Difficulty 11 Dec 2017 14:35 #19554

  • DominicShields
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Interesting that with two places where you lose all your forward momentum it can be quicker than Cardiff where you don't lose any, OK to be generous I'd say that maybe you lose a second of forward momentum at Steve Owen bend. I wonder about the distance.

Parkrun Course Ranking By Difficulty 11 Dec 2017 17:00 #19556

  • DanL
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My friend at work (David Bovill to give him a name) has always felt a bit uneasy about the distance as this was his fastest 5k by a decent margin. But parkruns are generally measured fairly well aren't they?

Parkrun Course Ranking By Difficulty 11 Dec 2017 17:22 #19557

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No, as I understand it, not many are certified by Jones Counter as Cardiff Blackweir is, I was there when Mike Burns formerly a member did the original certification on the original course in Aug 2008 years before slight alteration due to the bridge work and I would assume that Phil certifies the current one for the Summer Sizzler when required. As Cardiff is all tarmac on a well-defined path with no arbitrary turning points and a well-defined start/finish we can be confident that the distance is correct and never alters

Parkrun Course Ranking By Difficulty 11 Dec 2017 21:54 #19558

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Is Cardiff measured keeping right? Because I don't stay on the right. With the long bends you could end up running short.
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