100th parkrun

Its taken a while, but yesterday I completed my 100th parkrun. No fanfare, no cheers and no treats at the finish, but I managed it. What made it even better was that I was able to run the whole thing with my lovely wife Helen, and our silly pooch Nelly, and it was at our ‘home’ parkrun of Lancaster. It was also the 65th time that I’d run at Lancaster, with 8 times at Morecambe and 4 at Salisbury. It also means that I am eligible for a new parkrun T-shirt, the black one with ‘100’ on the back.

As much as we both really enjoy parkruns, we don’t worry about missing the odd week, although I would have made 100 a lot sooner if we hadn’t lost 18 months due to Covid. What is also great to see is that the numbers are rising again, with over 200 finishers this week.

To make my 100th parkrun a little tougher I ran there the long way round and ran home as well, making my run just over 14 miles. We then headed into town for coffee, cake and a mooch in a book shop, ending the day with a trip to the cinema to see the latest Bond film. A good day all round.

If you wanted to give me kudos, my Strava link is below.


Here’s to the next 100 parkruns, or to be more precise, the next 150 parkruns as the next T-shirt available is for 250.

Staveley – Ulgraves Loop

It had been far too long since we’d been out for a mini adventure. Life getting in the way of fun. Anyway, me and Helen really needed a day out somewhere, so I racked my brain for something that wasn’t too far to drive, wouldn’t be too taxing (we’ve both had a nasty cold), but was also somewhere we’d not been to before. Staveley is a great little spot to start any mini-adventure, and we’ve been there a number of times in the past. Today would be a 13km loop, with a few small sections we’d done before, but mostly new path and trails, up and around Potter Fell, over to Ulgraves and back to Staveley via Potter Tarn.

First photo stop was Barley Bridge, where the River Kent was flowing quite fast.

We then followed the road up, and I mean ‘up’, turning off to continue upwards to Brunt Knot Farm, where there was an amazing holiday let. However, even in February it was almost £1,000 a week, for two people.

From the farm we left the road and onto the grass, continuing up until we passed around the back of Potter Fell. We also saw our first person of the day, a runner heading in the other direction. We joined a footpath next to an old stone wall and continued in a dead straight line for over a mile, rising and falling with the contours. Every now and again we could let Nelly off the lead when there were no sheep.

We stopped to watch a farmer and his two sheep dogs round up a herd effortlessly before a short steep climb up to the top of Ulgraves. Nelly doesn’t like to hang around working dogs, even though she is a working dog herself, she’s never done a days work in her life. She has the best life in the world. Anyway, at the top of Ulgraves the views were stunning, although there were other people, so obligatory selfie was taken, and another one of my beautiful wife and silly old Nelly.

The route down was grassy and even, perfect for running an another day, as Gurnal Dubs came into view. There were a couple of people having a swim, and then we were passed by a runner with a large backpack who stopped so that she could also go for a swim. Another day perhaps. There was also an amazing little tree that appeared to have grown out of a rock many years ago and had split it into two.

A bit further and we could see the more famous Potter Tarn, although if I’m honest, Gurnal Dubs looked much nicer.

We had walked around Potter Tarn a few years earlier in deep snow, so today couldn’t have been more different. Nelly wasn’t impressed with the stepping stones.

From the Tarn it was only a couple of miles back into Staveley, crossing an unknown stream before walking alongside the River Kent back into the village. Of course any visit to Staveley isn’t complete without coffee and cake (or scone) from Wilf’s and a quick look at the very expensive bikes in Wheelbase.

Another fantastic little adventure, and one that was much needed.

Book Review: Running Tracks by Rob Deering

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about NetGalley (read about it here), an online book reviewing site for new or soon to be released books. Some of the books have to be requested while others can be downloaded (for free) immediately. Running Tracks was a book that I requested and after a few days was given a link to download it.

Yesterday I wrote about our love of music, and how we had re-kindled it with the purchase of a record player (read about it here). As an act of serendipity, I have now finished Rob’s book, which is all about running and music.

I’d never come across the comedian Rob Deering before, but the title and description of the book definitely intrigued me. Running and music, what’s not to like. I’m a runner and I also love listening to music, although unlike Rob I don’t do them both at the same time. Many years ago I used to, but after a couple of close shaves where I didn’t hear a car, I decided that running with music wasn’t the best idea for me. Plus, my mp3 player got wet one day and stopped working.

Rob is almost an accidental runner, but once he started running he found his true passion, alongside music. His career as a comedian has taken him all over the country so he is in the envious position of having run in loads of interesting places, and often completing a tourist parkrun while out on the road. His taste in music might not always gel with mine, too many banging beats while I prefer banging heavy metal, but music when running can provide a great lift. One of the things I said after my attempt at Backyard Ultra (read about it here and here) was that I should have run with music, and this book has definitely pushed me getting myself a small mp3 player again.

Rob is also a fairly accomplished runner, having completed the London marathon numerous times, raising thousands of pounds for Parkinson’s UK. Funnily enough today is the London marathon, and I was saying to my lovely wife that maybe I should enter a big city marathon. I did enter London over 20 years ago, but was unsuccessful, so maybe I’ll have better luck this time around.

Anyway, I really enjoyed Running Tracks and gave it a big thumbs up 5 out of 5.

New Record Player

Me and my lovely wife are of that generation when the only way to listen to music at home was with a record player. I am purposefully ignoring cassette tapes as they were only used to ‘borrow’ music from friends. Anyway, over the years we’ve both lost many of our treasured albums. Either they’ve been stolen, given away, sold, lost or taken to charity shops, plus, neither of us own a record player. The end result is that our smaller record collection remained in the attic, until this last week.

It was my 52nd birthday and my amazing wife bought me (us) a record player. She also purchased a stylish record cabinet from etsy. To celebrate our new device we’ve been playing old favourites that we’ve not heard for years. Mainly Saxon for me, and Genesis or Rush for Helen. Also, the mighty Iron Maiden have a new album out, which I bought as a limited 3 disc special edition.

The record player is brilliant and the cabinet looks perfect in our front room. Senjutsu is also a magnificent album, although it will take a few listens to fully appreciate it.