King’s Lynn parkrun – Event Number 417 – Report by the parkrun Poet Tim Gardiner

parkrunpoetwithcloughs

Unknown Pleasures – King's Lynn parkrun #417, 10 August 2019

A long drive from Gorleston including a blustery Acle Straight, led me to The Walks. My visit formed part of a long tourist streak which has seen me run 36 different events in a row. I'm currently trying to run every parkrun in East Ran-glia (Cambs, Norfolk and Suffolk), focusing on my native Tour-folk (16 events). I also write poetry for parkruns and if allowed, the run report. I'm by no means the quickest poet runner in the east; that accolade belongs to Lynn regular, Elisabeth Sennitt Clough. Lightning Liz ran her first sub-20 parkrun on 3 August at the Lynn; I've yet to dip under 25 mins. She also edits The Fenland Reed, a top-notch poetry journal with a local theme.

Today, we had 405 athletes run, jog or walk The Walks, with over 40 pbs including Sarah Clough (29:25, JW10). A total of 128 people beat the poet (time 25:52), who was clearly suffering from a foray into the Wild West. I'm more accustomed to the east coast isolation of a windy parkrun at Gorleston, but enjoy regular pilgrimages to far-flung parts of the county. One Lynn ran this week (Sally Lynn Hurst), arriving in the Valley of the Kings (finish funnel mounds) in quick time (21:19). I’ve written a short poem dedicated to Sally Lynn's achievement:

red mount

a mere spectator

to the pilgrim

who runs every summer

under lime leaves

waiting for a dragonfly

to catch her breath

and hastily retreat

through the valley

of the kings

Cheering on the athletes this week was Elisabeth Sennitt Clough. She's written this wonderful poem, which I’m sure most parkrunners identify with:

On Taking the Lamp-post Turn Three Times at King’s Lynn Parkrun

When we touch its body:

flesh and galvanized steel.

lightness of breath, denseness of trunk

wider than any hand-span.

The space between each lap:

lay it down like a smooth song.

There’s something honest about a mile,

a solid distance to repeat and repeat…

With the thud of a palm,

the metal echoes, run, run, run.

The metal echoes, run, run, run,

with the thud of a palm,

a solid distance to repeat and repeat…

There’s something honest about a mile,

lay it down like a smooth song.

The space between each lap

wider than any hand-span.

lightness of breath, denseness of trunk

flesh and galvanized steel.

When we touch its body.

When we touch its body.

The metal echoes, run, run, run:

flesh and galvanized steel.

With the thud of a palm,

lightness of breath, denseness of trunk.

A solid distance to repeat and repeat,

wider than any hand-span,

there’s something honest about a mile.

The space between each lap:

lay it down like a smooth song.

I wind this run report up with a tribute to the magnificent Seven Sisters of King’s Lynn parkrun this week:

1. Sally Lynn Hurst (first female finisher).

2. Woman in Joy Division t-shirt. Super cool.

3. Pauline Sparrow. Highest female age-grade (84.62%).

4. Sarah Clough. New pb: 29:25.

5. Sophy Tarsey. Most parkruns (342).

6. Helen Sewell. Most volunteer credits (34).

7. Lynnsport Ladybirds. Women’s only club with most runners (7).

Tim Gardiner

aka the parkrun poet (twitter: @timgardiner3)