So with a rare week off since starting Whiteley parkrun as Event Director just over a year ago I was fortunate enough to join my long time parkrun buddy Nikki YEO on a little trip to the sea side. These tourist trips have become a lovely addition to Nikkis parkruns and she's not far off her 50th different event and separately we have sampled France, Ireland, Poland and Denmark parkruns. No surprise, they all seem the same!
We are both looking forward to completing our 250th parkrun in not many weeks time so the world of parkrun just keeps on giving almost 6 years after we both started it together. What's staggering is week after week seeing new first timers. Is there anyone left who has never heard of parkrun I wonder.
So we jump in the car, check watches and head towards Bognor, all is going well until TRAFFIC, what's this! On the A27 between Portsmouth and Chichester we come to a complete standstill and it's 8.07am! Checked watch! Plan B was quickly hatched, no way are we missing parkrun, it's Chichester or bust!
Thankfully the nasty accident ahead seemed to clear quickly and nobody was hurt and we were back on our way to Hotham Park. Next delay of course and there always seems to be a delay when we travel was to miss a turning and head off in the wrong direction again. Add Bognor to the list of missed turns which include Andover, long detour and Wilverley, totally lost! Bet we made them too!
How beautiful is Hotham park, what a lovely surprise, much like Salisbury it's a run in a park. A parkrun!
Easy to park and we were soon heading towards the start line to say hello to Alison who was RD for the day. Next essential of course is the loo stop and they are so convenient. I spot the defibrillator on the wall. TICK!
Not long after our arrival Alison gave the usual run brief and it's nice to see people paying attention, well done all. We listen to the first timers briefing too and what I spotted was the question, does anyone NOT have a barcode. That's a really useful question as explaining about the tokens and funnel duckers is very useful for the results processing.
3.2.1 and off, one short lap and three long loops, wave and smile at the marshals, spot Alice in Wonderland, spot a huge squirrel, mini golf, another marshal, say hello to friendly Derek, say hello to another marshal, say well done to the tail walker and not long after that it's done! Accompanied by little Oscar who was 11 and had never run more than a mile. He was jogging alongside and we just got chatting. Really well done Oscar ERICSON and to your dad too who we later met.
Nikki will have mentioned Trevor BAKER in her report who is trying to do 70 parkrun before his 70th. Good luck Trevor!
So that's it! Done. Well nearly!
It time of course to check out the café, chat about parkruns old and new, chat about Nikkis ultrarunning and me dislike of long runs over a scone, a cuppa and some carrot cake.
Isn't this what Saturdays were made for? We both think so!
Thank you to everyone at Bognor parkrun for making us feel so welcome, you have a special event in a lovely location.
Martin de Wied