This week's run report comes from a well-travelled guest who enjoyed the probably last run for a while with us. Here we go:
University of Stirling parkrun started for me, Michael Conway, at 19:30pm on Friday evening when I boarded the National Express coach in Portsmouth, on the south coast of England, and 13 hours later we were pulling into Stirling bus station. A change of bus and a short 15min journey over The river Forth saw me arriving at Stirling University.
The university is built on the estate of Airthrey castle and its around the banks of Loch Airthrey that host the parkrun. The area is overlooked by the impressive Wallce monument, a tower standing on the shoulder of the Abbey Craig,a hilltop overlooking the whole of Stirling.
We met at the boathouse, and its here I met with RD Julia who gave me a very warm welcome on a chilly gloomy morning. The comprehensive first timers briefing was delivered eloquently by Caitlin, and then we had the main briefing by Julia, who welcomed 151 runners, joggers and walkers.
A very short walk to the start and 3, 2, 1 we were off. The course is 2 laps and a wee bit more around the loch. A beautiful scenic route keeping the loch on your right hand side. The loch is a haven to various species of wildlife including swans, ducks and squirrels.
The route starts on the widest section of path but narrows slightly as you go round, mostly flat.... ish with only a few short inclines and downward slopes, although was “puddley” ,muddy and very slippery in some sections.
The course is marshalled by friendly and ethusiastic volunteers, and somehow, presumingly by the parkrun fairies, coats and bags that were left at the start, magically appeared at the finish line. Thank you. A nice touch which is appreciated.
Followed by 150 other runners, with 7 doing their first ever parkrun, welcome to the fun and hope to see you back again soon. 32 runners managed to obtain a new PB, Well done to all. The runners/walkers were all seen safely home by Tail Walker David Candlish. A friendly marshall who offered me good advice before the off...
We then retired to the newly refurbished cafe, for drinks and breakfast where the tokens were resorted and results sent out.
We are very grateful to the volunteers who made this event happen: Calum BOWIE, Pamela BRIDGE, David CANDLISH, Michael CONWAY, Kate ELEFTHERIOU, Georgia FREED, Julia HECTOR, Malcolm HECTOR, Ezra JUMP, Kevin LAWRIE, Ross LAWRIE, Julia LOECHERBACH, Craig MARCHBANKS, Fiona MOFFATT, Caitlin ORMISTON, Oisin RICE, Douglas WOOD
This was my 270th parkrun at my 99th different venue, and if parkruns are graded in order of friendliness and scenery then University of Stirling parkrun would leap into my top 5 easily.
Thank you to ALL the volunteers who gave me a good day out,..... Now just the 13 hour coach trip home again, and i hope to return one day.