9th April 2016
Guernsey hosts its first Parkrun at Pembroke
Parkrun, the international fitness phenomenon, reached Guernsey on 9 April 2016.
Wherever it takes place, every Parkrun event is a 5km Saturday morning run. Guernsey’s own course is probably one of the most picturesque. Centred on Pembroke, it takes in the common and coastal footpaths, and expansive sea views.
Guernsey Parkrun course
Runners complete two laps of the course to make up the full length. They start roughly in line with the rocks that mark the mid-point of Pembroke Bay. From there, they run east towards La Fontenelle. They turn a loop around the German bunkers south of the shooting range before retracing their steps around the back of the bay. Marshals posted at key locations around the course ensure nobody gets lost.
Guernsey’s local runners were joined by Parkrun visitors from the mainland. In total, 102 participants gathered at the start line. Visitor Clayton Barrett from Medway completed the course in the shortest time. He crossed the finish line just three seconds shy of 19 minutes.
Fuller results on the Parkrun blog showed the fastest runner from Guernsey to be James Priest, who was just 39 seconds behind Clayton Barrett. The fastest female runner, Nicola Smith, completed the course in 24 minutes and 54 seconds.
Logical, fair grading
Parkrun times are converted to percentages that takes the runners’ ages into account. By calculating how each runner compares with a world record holder of their age, rather than against other runners in the same event, it’s possible to give everyone a comparable grade.
Thus, a 30-year-old runner whose performance reaches 70% of that expected of a world record holder of the same age would receive a comparatively lower score than a 50-year-old whose performance was 80% of that expected of a 50-year-old world record holder. The 50-year-old would still appear to have done better, even if they took longer to complete the course than the 30-year-old participant.
It’s therefore possible for all ages to run side by side, and compete for personal best times.