These days, when I arrive on a Saturday morning, the question most people ask me is ‘where is Mackenzie?’ and my response is usually ‘he’s in the park.’ You see, it’s become a rarity that I manage to run at parkrun on my own, I have a sidekick – my 9 year old, soon to be 10, son Mackenzie. We first ran at Brixworth Country parkrun on 11/1/2020. My fiancé is a golfer and on this particular Saturday, needed to tee off early which meant if I wanted to run, Mackenzie needed to come with me. Since Brixworth is an out and back course, with no stress of being overlapped and having walked the entire circuit, just the week before, we gave it a go. That Saturday, we made it round in 43.52 in a mixture of running and walking up the hills. After that, we returned twice to tail walk and me to run solo 3 times. Unfortunately, lockdown hit, leaving me stranded on 99 parkruns. During the lockdown period, it became a regular feature that Mackenzie and I would go out together for our daily exercise. What started off as walking, gradually built up to weekly 5km runs and when finally, parkrun could resume, there was no question that he would join me on the start line for my 100th run. That Saturday, we finished in 38.58 and times have been coming down ever since, if you don’t include our 3 tailwalking experiences. I’ve only been allowed out twice on my own as someone is really disappointed if he doesn’t get to come.
So how did this Saturday go? Well, what a gorgeous morning for a run! We always arrive early so that Mackenzie can go on the zipline and I can try to stretch out the legs before we start. Thanks to volunteering, we now know several people so it’s always lovely to catch up with familiar faces. During the briefing, the RD always tells adults to keep their under 11’s within arm’s reach. All I can do is promise to try during the first km as Mackenzie goes off very quickly and it takes me longer to get up to his speed. Thankfully, we then settle into a steady pace and enjoy the views on the way out to turnaround point. Unfortunately, Mackenzie experienced a stitch just past turnaround point meaning he was pulling some strange faces as we met the tailwalkers, but he kept running. Meeting fellow runners and walkers and being able to say hello or hear/offer encouragement on the out and back is definitely a highlight of this course. Having run off the stitch by the time we turned right into the country park bit, Mackenzie once again has the bragging rights for running up all the hills – I can’t quite manage the second one. Maybe one day soon! Having caught him again on the flat, we stay together until he decides it’s time for a sprint finish where once again, he has bragging rights! I could tell you, I let him finish first but I’m not sure that’s true anymore. Another PB this week in 35.34 and a very proud mummy! Eric who regularly gives the first timers briefing has set us the challenge of going under 35 minutes by Christmas. I said 34.30. Let’s see who’s right!
This week 81 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 23 were first timers. A huge welcome to the 6 people doing their first ever parkrun – I hope you’ve caught the bug and will join the Parkrun family every Saturday morning. To those running at Brixworth for the first time, I hope you’ll visit us again. 17 recorded new Personal Bests (including Mackenzie). Well done to you all.
Each week, parkrun can’t take place without our wonderful volunteers – Anne COKAYNE • Dave JAY • Elisabeth GRAVESTOCK • Eric SYMONS • Gary WOOD • Gillian BRUNTON • Heather THOMPSON • Julian ROGERS • Miranda PARRY • Nicholas WILSON • Richard MONK • Robin SCHUMACHER • Shaun MACKEN • Theresa HAWORTH • Tom ELMORE • Vicky NICHOLAS • Warren BEATTIE
If you’d like to volunteer, please take a look at the Brixworth Country parkrun future roster for opportunities available over the next few weeks.
future roster | Brixworth Country parkrun