A guided tourist – A visually impaired runner at Marlborough Common parkrun

I love Marlborough and I love parkrun. So Marlborough Common parkrun was always going to be a swipe right as soon as I heard about it. Wiltshire has given the world puzzling prehistoric remains , 6X and lardy cake. The world has given back parkrun. It’s a fair deal.

I ran with many of you around the Marlborough Common parkrun on Saturday. Could there be a better day to do it? I had contacted Marlborough Common parkrun run directors a few weeks’ ago and they asked lots of good questions about how guiding worked and were wonderfully enthusiastic and supportive for me running. I was found a lovely guide Will Sandison. And then just turned up, met with Will and ran.

I have run my local parkrun in London many times and can tell you some differences. In London our paths are smooth and fast. Your paths are a bit up and down but the feeling of grass under your shoes whilst you run is sublime. In Marlborough I heard bees buzzing. In London I can smell the corners where people have been using tobacco alternatives. But the main difference is in age. In London I am one of the oldest and all the youngsters speed off past me at the start. in Marlborough I am not one of the oldest and all the oldies sped off past me at the start.

Will gave me a commentary on what was happening around the Common as we ran. That’s’ the road, that’s the golf course, that’s people playing with Frisbees that’s a lorry full of pigeons and that’s the fast people miles ahead coming back the other way.

Thank you all for being so friendly to me . If you are in London for a Saturday come to my local parkrun in Gladstone Park and say hello. Don’t go to the nearby Hampstead Heath parkrun as that’s far too hilly.

Ian Cooke