King’s Lynn parkrun Event 429 02 Nov 19 Run Report – Tim Gardiner aka The parkrun Poet

The morning HE came home – King’s Lynn #429, 2 November 2019

Once out of the Essex prison, thanks to the stolen security card, I ‘borrow’ a Nissan Note from a side street to drive back to Norfolk, the county where I was born in Haddiscoe, October 1957. My village may have changed, the highways certainly have. Reading poetry books about the Waveney Valley has fostered a love of three-line haiku poems.

new road – behind the wheel old thoughts

I have a long journey to mull things over. The prison parkrun was good training for this Halloween event. The last time I power walked as a free man was at Gorleston Cliffs, my home event. Just thinking about the barcode scanning error fills me with rage, sparking a desire for revenge. They won’t be expecting a funnel ducker!

the toothy grin of a jack-o’-lantern – my face, smile-free

Stopping off, I manage to break into a roadside M&S and steal a Halloween mask, plastic scythe and road map. Back on the tarmac I’m totally lost; ten years is a long time to be away and someone has torn out the page I need. Partially sighted due to the poorly fitting hockey mask, I miss the turning for the A143, and eventually end up on the A47 heading toward King’s Lynn! Nearing town, it’s eerily quiet, except for a menacing piano tune coming from a window above the Carpenters Arms.

old house – ghost of a boy at the window

Pondering how on earth I’ve gone wrong, I decide to complete King’s Lynn parkrun instead. The dawn is here, I won’t be able to make it to Gorleston in time. A field of 285 athletes has assembled, with ghouls and ghosts to celebrate Halloween parkrun style and four first timers. The parkrun has also been swamped with a late season influx of Lynnsport Ladybirds, dotted around the course.

small joys – hiding behind a plane tree I scare a spaniel

After a lively briefing from run director Bridget, whose witch hat is dislodged by a gust, and the presentation of the Fields in Trust ‘Much Loved’ award by Event Director Gary Walker  to Claire Thomsett, The Walks Park Manager, we’re underway at nine sharpish. Despite the Rugby World Cup Final, there are plenty of volunteers today, many dressed as ladybirds or witches, a contrast to my austere boiler suit. I say nothing to any of them. Besides, I’ve not said a word since that Gorleston foul up.

early twinge – just walk like Yul Brynner they all said

I’m lapped by the first finishers, a large number of club runners and good for age athletes. But this doesn’t bother me in the slightest, I have no need to run. In my sights are the newest members of the Junior 10 Club, Frances Ford and Elizabeth Morris-Sampson, and the three runners entering the hallowed 100 Club, Richard Evans, Nick Mackay and Emma Langley.

plastic scythe – I slingshot around the lamp post

My 16 victims include a ladybird and witch, the sheer relentlessness of the death march claiming their scalps. No words are exchanged in passing; that would be unprofessional. The game of ‘five the scythe’ is oddly popular on my last lap, Harley Quinn resisting the temptation to whack me with her baseball bat!

the valley of the kings – I take off my mask

In the finish area, otherwise known as the Valley of the Kings, I narrowly miss a sub 40 time. More inconsolable rage! I don the mask once more. The impressive total of 25 pbs does nothing to quell my anger. Overall, 268 athletes beat the bogeyman (40:28).

runners don’t fear the reaper – snails do

My psychiatrist arrives and shoots me six times with a nerf gun. I fall backwards onto the grass behind the Valley of the Kings. Stabbing pain in my shins hinders an agonising crawl towards the safety of the stingers.

depression in the wet grass – leaves fill the space

While the run director scans the park, a few Lynnsport volunteers remain with the doctor near the finish funnel in case I return. I watch from a distance, hidden behind the Red Mount. They’ll never find me. I’ll be back next Halloween....

empty park – after the chase the silence.

Mike ‘The Shape’ Myers (c/o Tim Gardiner, the parkrun poet) PS. The above report loosely follows the ‘plot’ of Halloween, John Carpenter’s classic 1978 horror film.