31st October 2016 – best day ever. A couple of weeks later we were returning from a week in Whitby and stopped off to partake in the relatively new Dalby Forest parkun. It was only my 9th parkrun and despite a couple of niggling injuries I was feeling quite sprightly. Helen, my amazing wife, started from the back with Nelly, our silly little pointer.
The route was a one lap affair, with a couple of short muddy sections through the forest. I set off at a good pace, a little way behind the leading group, although I slowly caught and overtook a couple of people. The route back was on a good quality path, and I remember looking at my watch and seeing that I had done 4km, deciding to try to up the pace a bit to catch the guy in front. I was neck and neck with him as we rounded a sharp corner and up a small rise. I waited until I could see the finish line so that I could sprint past him, but the finish line was right there, and he pipped me. Local knowledge obviously helped.
Only a couple of minutes later Helen and Nelly came into sight, both of them with big grins. I was very happy with 6th overall in a time of 19:44, and Helen was an amazing 39th overall, which as I can attest starting at the back with Nelly is never easy. You would think that it would help being pulled a long by a fit strong dog, but she gets distracted by smells and if you’re not careful you’ll end up in a heap of arms and legs.
Possibly I was faster back then, as the only time that I’ve gone faster was on the very flat Fleetwood Prom parkrun a couple of years later. However, I’m not worried about speed at the moment, as most of my training is for longer races and simply going out for a run and having fun.
I know that this hasn’t been the most informative of parkrun blogs, but it was three and a half years ago, and over 80 parkruns ago. By my calculations I have another ten parkruns to blog about, which at my current rate of blogging, should all be written about before the end of the lock down. Today the three of us went for a 10km run along the river and back along the canal, which was a great little route, but we do miss Saturday morning parkrun. We also miss being able to walk into Lancaster for a mooch in a bookshop, before stopping for coffee and cake at one of the great independent cafes that are dotted around this great little city.
Keep your distance, stay safe and here’s looking forward to the resumption of parkruns.