I had suggested to my lovely wife that we should do a tourist parkrun this weekend, and that it should be Preston. This was fairly prescient as Lancaster parkrun was cancelled due to the high winds, and Morecambe turned out to be very grim, with 50mph winds and sand blasted into runners faces after the turn around point.
Preston parkrun is located close to the city centre in Avenham Park, and with free parking being a premium we jumped on a train. The times of the trains are not ideal, either arriving with only ten minutes to get to the start, or with 45 minutes. The later train was already running late on its way to Lancaster, so we hurried to catch the earlier one. Obviously Nelly our silly pointer joined us, and was very well behaved on the train, only pumping once or twice. Arriving early also gave us chance to have a walk round Avenham Park, which was an absolutely lovely park, with a Japanese garden and a large cafe. Helen also said a brilliant ‘Dad’ joke on the way which will have me chuckling for a long time.
The River Ribble alongside the park was very angry, flowing fast, with debris indicating that it had been even higher. The Environment Agency had announced that the Ribble was one of many rivers in the area to exceed existing river levels. Those one in a hundred year flood events seem to be occurring every couple of years.
After our little walk around the park we listened to the announcements, with the run director giving a shout out to the nearby Cuerden Valley parkrun, which had been cancelled due to being water logged.
I was running with Nelly so I lined up near the back of the field and chatted to a man with a bib stating that this was his 250th parkrun. Naturally I congratulated him, as did most other people. There was also a woman wearing a ‘this is my 50th parkrun’ bib. I’ve never seen this before, but I like it.
The start of the run was quite busy and slow, with a nasty steep climb, before gently descending for about half a lap. The course is three laps, and by the start of the final lap Nelly was definitely first dog, although the run leader did overtake us as we passed the turn off to the finish tunnel.
There was also a photographer on the course who had uploaded his photos to Flickr before we’d even got home. I’m not sure what kind of a face Nelly is making, but she looks fierce (she isn’t).
Once across the finish line we waited for Helen to finish, although we didn’t have to wait long. After a slow start Helen had been quicker for each subsequent mile and was third in her age group. I might be a little biased, but my wife is looking fit, although the photographer completely missed her every lap.
We ambled back to the train station and only had to wait five minutes for a train. Once again Nelly was very well behaved, getting admiring looks from everyone.
By ten thirty we were home, uploading to Strava with a brew. An excellent start to the day.