Chasing the Wilson Index and a course pb!

Warning- this post contains some quite nerdy parkrun obsessive content!

We all love the parkrun milestones, but the gap between 100 and 250 is a long one- 3 years if you run every single week- so I quite like having a bit of a focus on other things. I got into the alphabet a while ago, and before the pause I completed the UK parkrun alphabet, with just Z to go (no Z’s in the UK). Since the un-pause, I was working on my 250, as when it paused I had 15 to go. Now of course the gap between 250 and the next official milestone of 500 is even bigger, so what to focus on now?

Well, I am working to get my Cowell (100 different events)- at this point I was on 78 different events. But touring isn’t always possible, and I think that an hour is about my limit of travelling from home. I’d rather be somewhere already and then visit one nearby than go further and further afield each Saturday.

There’s the p-index (if you have run at 2 events twice, your p index is 2), which is quite good for increasing visits to local events. Mine is on 5, but I think if I go to Preston Park in Brighton one more time then it will up to 6, and most of the other local events I’ve only been to once or twice so I’d need to visit lots more to get it up higher.

So, my main focus at the moment is the Wilson Index. This is to do with the event number that you visit. Visit an inaugural, and you have ticked off an event number 1. Go to a parkrun on it’s second week, and you will tick off number 2. Your WI is the highest number that you have reached without any gaps.  The 5k runner app has a helpful tracker, with event numbers that you have visited being in green, numbers that you need in pink, and then your longest streak (which may not start at 1) in purple (they call it your floating Wilson Index). My Wilson Index is 8, (I have numbers 1-8 with no gaps) as I need a 9, but of course before I go to an event 9 I can tick off higher numbers. This is the newest local event so it’s good to take the opportunity to tick off some of the next numbers that I need.

Above- my last visit there was for event number 15 and you can see the before and after of the WI tracker- the 15 is now green which means it’s ticked off.

If you have read my blog before, you will know that after Christmas I got a bit muddled over event numbers, and went up to Bury Fields for event 8 when in fact I needed number 9.  However, this week I had definitely got it right when I headed back to Henlow Bridge Lakes for my 3rd visit, as it was it’s 18th event and I had a gap on number 18. It’s around a 30 minute drive, and one of my oldest (my first?) friends lives nearby. She has 5 children so isn’t always easy for her to coordinate with meeting up, but on this visit she had volunteered, along with 3 of her children (I thought we would run/walk it together but I was equally happy to see them all marshalling).

Hooray, number 18 is now green and ticked off!

We had a lovely chat at the start, although her children started to get a bit anxious that I’d miss the start so I headed off with plenty of time to spare. I then managed to somehow run a course pb of 28:51- I think it was their fabulous cheering that got me to speed up!

My Earth Runs medal arrived too

The weather was frosty but with beautiful blue skies- the mud was much more compact than on my previous two visits, with only a few boggy patches left. It’s so flat so when the mud dries out I think it will be a fairly fast one. They still get quite small numbers (I was token 35, and 1st in my age cat which doesn’t happen a lot), and it has a really friendly feel to it because of the smaller size I think. Anyway, I’ll be back!

Often parkrun will be with my dad at a local event, and I love those runs together, and going to see my mum for breakfast after, but especially if they are away it’s nice to mix things up and have a bit of a focus as to where to go as we have so much choice around here for events. It’s a good situation to be in!

Are you into any of the parkrun challenges? Any idea what your Wilson or P index is?

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