Andover #371 - I'm late, I'm late for a very important date!
This morning should have been my first stress-free parkrun for years, as rather than traveling a couple of hours from home I had booked a hotel less than 2 miles from Andover parkrun.
One of my pet paranoias is being late... so much so I arrived before the church was even open at my wedding.
A past experience taught me that the ideal time to arrive at a parkrun car park is ten past 8. This gives time to locate the start and sometimes the finish if dropping a bag. On a long travel use the toilets. And this year take a picture of the team of volunteers for my report.
However today it all went horribly wrong!
As I was even closer to a parkrun than if I was at home, I left it until 8:30 to travel the 5 minute journey.
What I failed to realise is Google Maps had the start location of Andover parkrun and not the carpark!
This meant at 8:40 my SatNav told me I had arrived but no car park, no leisure centre or no parkrunners! I had quite clearly not arrived at my destination!
After zigzagging around a few roads I could see rugby pitches and a sign for the leisure
centre. After parking up I checked the postcode on Andover parkrun website; I put it into the Google Maps and... I was 2.9miles away! - I would be late!
But there looked to be a pedestrian access to the centre. I took the gamble and decided to jog it carrying my frame.
It paid off. Thankful.
I met another runner on the way who directed me over a field towards the start.
A rushed reporting in to Simon EGGINGTON the days RD, as I had offered to write the run report and it was almost time to go!
I snuck into the new runners briefing although on a two lap course only if your likely to be the first runner home do you need to know the route well. At my speed there will be plenty of runners to follow.
Although I nearly missed the New Runners Briefing, I am sure Luke HOLMAN, Rosie HAMLEN, Claire HARVEY, Karen WILLIAMS, Chelsie FAIRWEATHER, Anna FAUVELLE, Sue MACKAY, Emily DUNNEY, Sophie JASPER & Jemima WRAY didn't as they used their barcodes for the first time. So welcome to parkrun and we look forward to seeing you again soon. At Andover or any other parkrun around the world.
After the usual briefing to all runners the parkrun started with the normal cacophony of beeps as various GPS watches are started.
The massed runners soon spread out around the park. I was slightly nervous that the lack of paths would mean I could inadvertently take a shortcut. However the course was beautiful marked out with loads of cones - what a great job the team setting up and closing down the course do each week.
Being a fairly flat parkrun the day before I run a marathon should mean and it would be sensible that I take it easy. As I ease myself around the course I can vocally thank everyone marshalling!
But no! Instead I run with the herd as if I am being chased across the African savannah by a hungry lion. So by the time I reach the first marshal on course I can barely gasp my thank you.
The second time around I can't even manage that! Thankfully I offered to write the run report for this very reason. On behalf of myself and the other 374 runners, I offer Les BLOUNT, Graham COOK, Karen COOK, Janice COOK, Simon EGGINGTON, David GOULD, Catherine HICKLIN, Oliver HICKLIN, Sophie HICKLIN, Julie JACOBS, Bas JACOBS, Elizabeth MESSUM, Ian OLDACRE, Amy RODWELL, James RODWELL, Maisie RODWELL, Jack SEARLE, Amelie SEARLE, Raymond SEARLE, Christina SEARLE, Colin STOKES, Ruaridh THOMSON EASTER, Rachel TURNEY, Steve TURNEY & Isabell Ann WELBOURNE today's #HiVizHeroes a huge THANK YOU!
As I was puffing around my second lap, Lauris SAVCUKS (SM30-34) has storming home as this week's first finisher in 17:17. In a palindromic time of 22:22, first timer to Andover parkrun, Katie NEWHAM, crossed the line in 51st position but as first female. Andover Triathlon Club's, Janet TAPLIN (VW60-64) crossed the line in 24:19, to record this week's highest age grading of 83.34%. Fantastic running.
Today was a fantastic PB day. Despite the muggy conditions 70 runners managed to.set a new PB. Superb effort.
Recently parkrun have taken the milestone t-shirts back in house. Infact as I ran around I even managed a gasped conversation with someone wearing a new 250 top. This week Ian MORRISON ran his 50th parkrun, earning this icon on the results list and soon a link to order one of the new red t-shirts. Wear it with pride, you have earned it.
Juniors Caitlin HANNAH & Dennis WILDE both ran their tenth parkrun today. The result will show the white t-shirt icon for their milestone. Congratulations.
Despite the self caused pre parkrun stress, I had a lovely run at Andover. Happy parkrunning.