22.06.19 #72

Bressay parkrun no. 72 report – In search of the midnight sun

This run report comes from Simon, parkrun tourist from Manchester.

My favourite time of the year is around June 21, the longest day. Since I was a child, I have wanted to see the midnight sun. I have never got round to arranging to do so but this spring I was planning a trip to Norway for the weekend of 22 June to run the Tromso midnight half marathon. Not wanting to miss parkrun, though, I was also looking at running parkrun in Oslo before flying to Tromso for the half marathon at 10.30pm. However, travel plans became a bit too complicated and I decided on a trip to Shetland instead for the summer solstice.

And what a fine decision that was too. We arrived in Lerwick Friday morning on the ferry from Aberdeen and had time to explore the town that day. On Saturday we got the 8 am ferry to Bressay to allow more time on the island. On the ferry we met Marjorie Winter, who not only was celebrating her fiftieth run but also the birth of a granddaughter on the Friday. 

Having arrived on Bressay at 8.10 am, thatallowed us to explore a little. Usually we like to walk the course after running a new parkrun. This time we walked to the finish area before heading back to the start to meet the rest of the runners on the 9 am ferry.  

Fifty five runners set off and they were all seen home by Mandy, the tail walker. There were other visitors from Hastings, Horsham, Rickmansworth, LeedsBushy Park amongst other places. The highest age grade came from the first finisher, Matthew O’Connor, who equalled the course record previously single-handedly held by Bressay parkrun stalwart Steve Daye. 

After the run it was time for tea, cake and chat at the Speldiburn Café and before long it was sadly time to head back for the 11.30 am ferry as we had to check out of our hotel. 

I may not have seen the midnight sun (I was peering out from our hotel room at 11.25 pm on Friday evening, saying “It’s still a bit light over there”) but I had a memorable trip to and a lovely weekend in a beautiful part of the world. I wish we had gone for longer now.

A big thanks as ever to all the Bressay hi-vizhero volunteers who made the parkrun magic happen on Saturday. You can be a hero too and offer to volunteer and earn a 25 volunteer t-shirt after 25 volunteer stints. 

I wish Bressay parkrun every success, with plenty of volunteers, runners and good weather. I shall be recommending a visit to Shetland and Bressay parkrun to all parkrun tourists.

Simon Harrop