Skipton Parkrun

Today I should have been running parkrun, but for the first time for over 15 years there is no parkrun anywhere in the world. Sad times, and I have to say that in the UK people don’t appear to be taking Coronavirus seriously. Me and my lovely wife walked into town to buy a small amount of fruit and veg, and a couple of bits for Helen’s mother. Our favourite cafe was only open for take-out, so to try and support them we decided to buy a couple of slices of cake to take home. The girl working there was happy to see us and wanted to chat, while we just wanted to grab the cakes go. Give it a few more days and I think the UK will be in total lock down. As I said, difficult times.

After that rambling intro, back to this blog, which was supposed to be about the very first parkrun that we did, almost four years ago. Part of my project parkrun (read about it here), where I write about all of the tourist parkruns that I/we have done, but not yet written about.

Skipton was our first parkrun, and it was only a couple of weeks after finishing a triple ironman (read about it here), so I was surprised how good I felt managing 30th overall. My beard at the time was a complete mess; much neater today.


I remember that we made a weekend of it, camping at a site next to the Leeds – Liverpool canal. We also found out that night that our tent was completely waterproof, as it chucked it down. Once our tent was up, we went for a walk along the canal, with Nelly running on ahead. Unfortunately a pair of swans climbed out of the canal and onto the towpath, in between us and Nelly. Our loyal pointer ran back to save us, barking at the swans ferociously until they ambled back onto the canal, completely oblivious to her. This was the first time that I had ever heard Nelly bark, so even though it has been known for her to be scared of her own shadow (or a leaf), we know that if needed, she would be there to save us.

The next morning, after a couple of coffees, we gently jogged along the towpath to Aireville Park, the site of Skipton parkrun, conveniently located next to the canal. Neither me or Helen really knew what we were doing, as we milled around with other runners, although it was all very jovial. We listened to the briefing, and then we were off. I set off at a steady pace and slowly overtook a few people, but with very narrow paths it soon became tricky, more so for Helen as she was trying to run with Nelly as well as having to contend with faster runners lapping them. There were just under 200 people there that day, and when I’d finished I jogged back along the route to cheer on Helen, who handed me Nelly. Helen finished in a very credible 116th, well under 30 minutes, which was very commendable on the undulating route. I noticed that the largest field at Skipton is just over 300, which must be almost impossible.

After our first parkrun we were hooked, and hopefully we’ll both reach our 100 milestones later this year. Lets just hope that this virus clears up soon and we can all get back to parkrun. Saturday just isn’t the same without parkrun.

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