Wednesday, 7 November 2012

It fits best when it's earned

After a slow start racking up the runs on my sojourn through parkworld it eventually struck me that there was some similarity or another that had gone previously unnoticed, at least by me.  There was one up ahead; another just passing and a few that took my eye at the start line too.  I had no inclination they even existed but hey looked quite good and I fancied one for myself.

I had been a plodding parkrun participator for a few months now and had never noticed the medium by which they might even have been accessed.  It was all a mystery to me.  Do you think I was about to blow my coveted cover by asking those in the know of just how I might come by such splendour?  Nope.  I was just going to have to ride the storm and do my own rummaging.  Okay, it would be more Clouseau than clued up but a man’s got to start somewhere

Week upon week passed by.  RD No1 didn’t have one and neither did RD No2 nor 3 nor a single volunteer, just the odd runner and mainly kids at that.  Amazon, nil.  eBay, zip.  Google, get out of town, nowt there either.  parkrun website, surely but nothing that I could see.  Maybe I missed the clues or perhaps my magnifying glass had run out of diesel but I sure as hell couldn’t find squat.

Then the penny dropped.  Turns out that what I had inadvertently stumbled upon was to be a community that would develop within our community.  A group within a group, nae, a club within a club.  Firstly in white and as I was to learn, eventually in red then black.  This had already been happening to other parkrun events up and down the country, mainly down, like south and I had no notion.  As Edinburgh was only parkrun number 22 on the role of the grand lodge of parkruns then there were very few around to be seen in the first place and would mainly belong to visitors.

Before I could be bestowed with my own cloak of achievement I had a price to pay.  Everyone in fact would have a price to pay but not in pounds, shillings, kroner or dollars or even zloty my friends but sweat.  Eh?  Aye, graft, exertion, application, effort. (Did you see what I done there, threw an Edinburgh arm round our international cousins).

At Edinburgh, Andy McLeod would be the first adult to have his red dri-fit medal adorn his torso.  An attendance record setting 16th October 2011, our anniversary parkrun was when the club was formed and he was member number 1.  Since then many others of which I was the seventh.  Yep, the 50 Club, or indeed way before that as I had been drawn to notice, the 10 Club if you are a little shorter in the leg, was opened for business.  As I write we now have 86 reds with 14 of whom have since gone to black and silver.  Black and gold seems so far away but then, so did 50.

Whilst my only goal at parkrun is to PB I have to admit to enjoying creeping closer to the big 50 and again at 100.  Most weeks I’d steal a sneaky peek around to see if those who were closing in on the club at the same attendance pace as me were participating.  It was a bit of a race in itself.  I am chuffed to belong as will the many others who are on the brink and those beyond however I am mindful that crossing the line is what gives me the kick not the plaudits.  Plod on my parkmates for your time will surely come.
Photo: T-shirt delivery this morning my friends woohoo!!! Could the

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