Sunday, 4 November 2012

parkrun debut in Preston

A bit of a frosty morning here in Blackpool. Finished scraping the ice off the windscreen using a credit card! ( OK, I was not in the Boys Scouts for very long) 0715hrs and I think I will venture out to the next big town, Preston. Having looked up the other day, where I could possibly participate in a “parkrun” Well, I found one just on the outskirts of Preston. So as I had downloaded my latest app to my Android contraption I dutifully plumbed in the post code where the event was taking place.

Heh presto! The device is now talking to me and directing me South, which I suppose is a start. I did cheat a bit, as I had viewed the venue on the internet prior to my northern excursion.

The time now is about 0825 and the old currant bun had blistered out of the clouds shining across the river Ribble. Unbeknown to me, I had walked upon a stunning riverside reserve, married alongside a beautiful park (Avenham Park) There were two pedestrian bridges and a much larger viaduct. Now thinking, why the hell did I leave my android gismo in the car, as I could have taken some spectacular shots of the location, never mind? I am sure that one can look at other bloggers snaps.

I arrived nice and early to meet up with a whole bunch of friendly folk. I had read up a little bit about the course and knew that it was a three lapper. What I did not know and anticipate, a really nasty 50yd (yes, I still work in pounds, shillings & pence) bloody hill. After a fifteen minute warm up I stripped down to my race clobber and headed to the start.

Some bod shouted “GO” and we were off alongside the river bank, then the bump I had mentioned earlier. After the second lap, I was starting to feel a tiny weary attacking this hill. Third lap and the field had by now, spread out a lot, with a few lads crossing the finish line. I still had a lap to go. I had a lady who was running my pace, but trounced me three times on the dreaded hill. A half mile left and I am tailing the same lady, yes, caught her at the last 800m (back to metric lingo now) and satisfied that I had gained a few seconds on my time for this year.

Race over and into a really posh café overlooking the flower and plant festooned park. I sat down and devoured a nice cup of cappuccino with some really friendly ladies who had entered the local half marathon, the following day.

I walked back to my car with a local lad, who filled me in with work that has been on-going for the last two years. The council had built cycle path, and had linked up existing routes, making a continuous thirty mile route. I might explore this for a future event. Marks out of ten, well, I would have given it a ten but for that bump. 9 out of 10

“Running, you know it makes sense”
Tony Sheridan (Windle Valley Runners) Web Site:

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