TrailBall in its natural environment

TrailBall in its natural environment

December 1 2013 – Tredegar House, Newport, South Wales – UK TrailBall pioneer Paul Beales today set the first official time for TrailBall Solo over a distance of 5 kilometers.
The Solo variant of TrailBall involves advancing the ball alone over the course, without the help of team members.
Congratulations, Paul!
Read Paul’s first-hand account of the event, and official course record, validated by Christian Harberts.

Official Record Account

Tredegar House-Newport-South Wales-UK

Tredegar House-Newport-South Wales-UK

« The route circumnavigates the parkland around this beautiful National Trust property. The first section follows a gravel path along a line of trees to the front gates, before turning left onto a soft path which winds through trees, past the children’s playground and caravan park and back to the house. I had a few problems here trying to keep the TrailBall on the path, and I wasted a lot of time running in a zigzag pattern from one side of the path to the other! »
Turning right at the house through iron gates took me to another gravel path which runs around a large tree-lined lake. Much of the path around the lake is through natural woodland with some nice stretches of unsurfaced paths. The lake gets very close to the edge of the path here and I had to take care not to lose the ball in the water. Just before leaving the woods the path crosses a narrow wooden bridge which could almost be considered a TrailBall Trial obstacle – but I’ll leave that title to claim another day 😉
The path here emerges back at the front gates to the park and the start of the second lap of the parkrun route. It was near here that I met an excited spaniel called Henry who wanted to join in my game. Henry’s owners however managed to dissuade him otherwise and I carried on, ball unscathed. (This is definitely the #1 ‘danger’ to watch out for in TrailBall!)

TrailBall in its natural environment

TrailBall in its natural environment

After following the path a second time around the lake and over the obstacle bridge, I turned left again and back along the tree-lined path to the finish point. It was here, in my efforts to do a quick finish that I discovered the other special property of the hemp TrailBall …. as well as its strange attraction to water, it also seems to have a magnetic attraction to large trees!
Anyway, I crossed the 5K finish line in 00:45:56 minutes.
It is surprising how much it slows you down chasing after a ball for 5 kilometres (two weeks ago I did a 5K run in a PB of 00:35:32 minutes.) I did notice however that I was much less tired in a general way, but MORE tired in specific areas, like my back, knees and ankles. I think this is due to the quick changes in speed and direction, and regular adjustments to my stride necessary to control the ball. This has got to be good for the subtleness of my aging joints (I hope) and the TrailBall certainly made the run more fun than last time I did this route.
After crossing the parkrun finish line, I kept on going with the TrailBall back to the car park, through the stable yards of the house, to complete a total distance of 5.53km in 00:52:06 minutes.

Paul Beales

Paul Beales

I therefore hereby claim TWO new Welsh, British, European and World TrailBall records ….

  • Solo TrailBall Speed: 5K : 00:45:56 minutes
  • Solo TrailBall Enduro: 5.53 kilometres

… and challenge all TrailBallers to beat my records!
Do I also get a special mention for doing it with a Mo for Movember? 🙂

One final note – I was fully expecting to get some comments from other users of the park who encountered a gentleman of obviously mature age chasing after a small brown ball around a lake, but I am very pleased to report that I did not hear any adverse comments. (I didn’t hear any favourable comments either, but we can’t win them all eh Christian?)

Christian’s Comment

Well done, Paul!  First come, first served.  Note to all other players (and self):  the first person to officially claim a TrailBall distance automatically sets the record for that distance! Of course, that’s an open invitation to all other players to improve on that time 😉
A word about the distances.  I think its fair to apply the standard distances used in athletics events, ie 100 meters, 200 meters, 400, meters, 1 kilometer, 5 kilometers, 10 kilometers, etc.
Also, a word about TrailBall Enduro. This is the endurance variant of the sport.  TrailBall Enduro applies to sessions exceeding 30 minutes.  Note also that there is a discussion underway to determine if TrailBall Enduro should not preferably reward distances, since times will vary by player ability. This point will be explained when a consensus is reached. Regardless, Paul is in fact also the first official TrailBall Enduro (Speed) record holder, both for the distance and the speed.  By the GPS data, that’s 5522 meters in 00:51:55 at an average speed of 6.382 kilometers/hour.
If you can run longer or farther than Paul did today, alone or with a team, the new record is yours.  However, we will not write up each incremental improvement, only the big milestones, for example :
1 hour, 2 hours; 10 kilometers, 20 kilometers…
Thank you Paul for your effort, and prepare to defend your record!

Résultats réels / Actual Results (GPS Data)

Team / Equipe Members / Équipiers Actual Distance /Distance réelle(Meters / Mètres) Actual Time /Durée réelle(HH:MM:SS) Actual Speed /Vitesse réelle(km/h)
Not Applicable  Paul Beales 5522 00:51:55 6.382

Résultats officiels / Official Results

Team / Equipe Members / Équipiers Official Distance /Distance officielle(Meters / Mètres) Official Time /Durée officielle(HH:MM:SS) Official Speed /Vitesse officielle(km/h)
Not Applicable Paul Beales 5000 00:47:00 6.382

Méthodologie: La vitesse de référence est calculée selon le fichier GPX, sur la distance réelle (qui peut être différente de la distance officielle de l’épreuve).  Ceci donne le résultat réel pour chaque équipe. Ensuite, cette vitesse réelle est appliquée à la distance officielle de l’épreuve, ce qui donne le résultat officiel pour chaque équipe.
Methodology: The reference speed is calculated from the GPX file, according to the real distance run (which can differ from the official distance). This results in theactual results for each team. Next, this reference speed is applied to the official distance, which allows the official results to be calculated for each team.
Outil de calcul § calculation tool : https://www.runninglink.ch/Outils/calculette-temps-de-passage.html

GPS Track

Distance totale: 5522 m
Vitesse moyenne: 7.47 min/km
Durée totale: 00:51:55

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