Three years ago my parents moved to Salisbury, and my beautiful wife and I (along with Nelly) have visited at least half a dozen times. Apparently Phil Harding, one of the archeologists from the TV program Time Team, hosted by Tony Robinson lives on the same street. I digress. All those times and I’ve only managed Salisbury parkrun twice, and Helen has never managed it. This was for a variety of reasons. One time we were off to London to see The Lion King musical, and most recently I was just getting over an illness and wasn’t in any way shape or form up to a parkrun.
This weekend though I was ready. It would also take my parkrun p-index up to three. The p-index is the number of parkruns that you’ve done p times. Salsibury would be the third parkrun that I’ve run three times.
Salisbury parkrun is held in Churchill Gardens, which isn’t a particularly large park. This means that in the summer there are three laps, and in the winter four laps, to stay on the paved areas. It’s also quite busy with on average 375 runners every week. With narrow paths if you want a quick time you have to push your way to the front. In the summer I managed to finish in 18th place in a time of 20:30, my fastest time this year.
Having been caught out once, I (we) always check the parkrun cancellations webpage the night before, and then again in the morning, just in case. Alas, Salisbury parkrun was one of dozens called off. The River Avon runs through Salisbury as well as the Nadder. With the heavy rain in the last week all of the flood plains upstream and downstream were full of water. One of these flood plains is adjacent to Churchill Gardens, with one path almost completely under water.
Salisbury parkrun is to the left on the photo above, but this section of the River Avon is usually narrow and quite tame. There used to be a dearth of parkruns where we live until just under four years ago when Lancaster parkrun started, and then last Easter Morecambe Prom parkrun started up. On occasions one or other has been cancelled, but it’s easy enough to get to the other. Salisbury is also in an area with very few parkruns, with the nearest being Moors Valley near Ringwood and Mountbatten School near Romsey, both 15 miles away (if the crow was to fly in a straight line). Without a car it was to be a weekend without a parkrun. Instead I went for a bit of a random run through the suburb of Laverstock before cutting along a cyclepath onto London Road and back to base. Not quite parkrun, but the next one is on Wednesday at Morecambe Prom. Say ‘hi’ if you see me.