In the parkrun community there are a number of stats, and challenges that people measure their progress against.  Yes it's more than just your PB and which event you have done.  The list of challenges is beyond the scope of this article, but the Wilson is one that has captured people's imagination of late.  It requires an additional level of planning to achieve this one, which is why we have the Wilson index and tool.

The Wilson was probably postulated by a runner named WILSON, and is arguably  the hardest of the challenges to understand.  Here is a definition offered at Running Challenges.

The maximum contiguous series of parkrun event numbers you have attended (at any event), starting at 1. To start off your streak, this requires that you have run at an inaugural event (controversial!), and then to increase the value to 2 you need to run at event #2 somewhere (not necessarily the same event as you ran at the inaugural event). They do not have to be in order, so you can go back and fill in numbers later.

Let's use an example to explain it.

  1. You decide one day to join your local parkrun.  You take part, get your result and see it was their 135th event.     Your WILSON = 0
  2. The bug has bitten, so you take part in the next 2 events - their event number 136 and 137.  Your WILSON remains at 0
  3. You find out that a new parkrun will be opening closer to your home, so you decide to attend the inaugural; their event number 1.  After completing the event, your WILSON moves to 1 as you have now attended an inaugural.
  4. You attend this new event for the following 2 weeks, their event number 2 and number 3.  Your WILSON moves to 3.
  5. Work commitments prevent you from attending the following week (their event number 4) but you are back again to do event number 5,6 and 7.  Your WILSON remains at 3 as you have not attended a 4th event somewhere.
  6. You plan your holiday to the coast and see that a fairly new event has opened up nearby.  It will be their 4th event.  Your WILSON moves to 7.  (you have now done a 4, 5, 6 and 7)
  7. But while you were on holiday catching up on event number 4, you missed event number 8 at your local parkrun.... and now that the WILSON bug has bit, you need to check out our WILSON schedule to see how you can close those gaps laughing