T’was the night before parkrun and all round the house… (I’ll stop trying to rhyme right there) A right gale was blowing with trees losing branches and rain lashing the windows. Not looking good for the morning.
Prepared for the morning. Sat Nav to Portsmouth Lakeside, C1 to C6 parking..check. Shoes, Barcode, running kit, GPS watch (if its not on Strava apparently it didn’t happen!) Barcode. Coffee money, dry clothes for after the rain lashed run… have I got a barcode ?
38 miles so, early start in case of road closures etc but first. Check parkrun website, check facebook. No sign of cancellation. I mean, who’d travel more than an hour only to find the chosen course was cancelled eh? (insert embarrassed emoji here)
What a glorious morning! On arrival it was bright and clear with the course dusted in autumn leaves and the numerous puddles flashing silver under the sun ! Excellent. I’m told the course is flat. I feel a Season's Best coming on here.
Great first time brief by Edricka. I feel confident that should I actually collapse I’d be in safe hands ! Dean briefs us and off we go !!
I’m flying ! This is flat. Out of my way Lady in the 50 T-Shirt ! Step aside Small Child and Buggy-Pushing Man. I feel a seasons best coming on! Straight out and up a small rise and then the underpass.. hang on, no one mentioned fording a river… straight through, reminiscent of school cross country (shudder at the thought) and back round and through again! OK, two times was plenty. No more water please. Gravel track now and I feel like I’m deep in the countryside as I approach halfway. Was that uphill? Felt a bit tough… oh, hello Lady in the 50 T-Shirt ! She must have sped up .. oh, hang on. Buggy Man goes by too. Am I slowing? OK, water again, twice! Lungs are really feeling this. C’mon, big push for the finish! No one else shall pass! ...except the two chaps who are chatting. ...and the The Small Child with mum in tow. Damn they’re making those little things fast these days! No good, his tiny legs are twice as fast as mine and I must be going backwards. The finish comes in slow motion and I’m guessing its not a season's best but it was ruddy good fun on a beautiful course on the finest of Autumn days. So worth getting out of bed for... hope I brought my barcode.
I love parkrun for so many reasons but the diversity of those taking part and how it means different things to different parkrunners is one of the best. A big thanks to all those who made Portsmouth Lakeside parkrun such a great away day for me. Hope to return with a faster set of legs.
Jef Hutchby (Event Co-Director, Salisbury parkrun)