Back in August last year, my beautiful wife and our silly pointer headed down to Clitheroe for a parkrun.We arrived nice and early, an ongoing theme with me, and had a little walk around the Castle before anyone else arrived. Sat up on top of a hill the views across to Pendle were amazing, especially as it was a nice sunny day. From the top we spotted the gathering point for the parkrun, and a few minutes before 9 we ambled down there for the run briefing. Malcolm, my boss from work, has a caravan near Clitheroe so in the summer it has become his ‘home’ parkrun, doing it most Saturdays, and as he was there I introduced him to Helen and Nelly. His dog wasn’t running as he was too old, so instead he was sat patiently with Malcolm’s wife Julie. As we lined up at the start Malcolm used his local knowledge to get near to the front, while Helen headed towards the back with Nelly.
As the start was a little narrow it took me a couple of minutes to get into my stride and also overtake Malcolm. After a couple of hundred metres there is a nasty little climb, with a respite halfway up, before steeply curving up towards the castle, followed by a sharp left turn and back past the start/finish area. Only four more laps to go. Did I mention that Clitheroe Castle parkrun is a five lapper! We’ve only done two five lap parkruns, this one and Millon (read about it here) and if I’m honest I find it too many. Not to take anything away from Clitheroe which was friendly and very well organised.
Slowly as I ticked off each lap I continued to overtake people, some of whom I was lapping and others on the same lap as me. I even looked like a ‘proper’ runner in one of the photos, even if I do have a little too much timber around my waist.
I was very happy with 7th place in a time of 21:46, with only the top two going under twenty minutes indicating that it is a tough little course. Malcolm was a couple of minutes behind me, and my lovely wife finished well under 30 minutes, which on that course with the tight corners and narrow paths, running with Nelly is an amazing achievement. Unfortunately there were no photos of Helen, or of the castle before hand. We’ll just have to go back again soon, especially as Malcolm suggested that next time we could all go for a walk from his caravan along the river to a local pub. Nelly likes pubs.