“Going anywhere interesting?”
“Read that in a hurry. Just clicked. Are you in bloody Poland?”
This weekend, a group of us flew to Poland to take part in the Gdynia parkrun. The trip was co-ordinated by Peter Fordham, who also masterminded last year’s outing to Reykjavik, and featured many familiar faces from that weekend.
We were met at Gdansk airport by Janusz, Gdynia’s event director, and whisked straight to our hotel in Gdynia. After a quick stop to freshen up, we were joined by Jakub, Poland’s parkrun country manager, who joined us for a meal and gave us a tour of the local area.
Saturday morning dawned and we gathered for the parkrun. After the familiar pre-race announcements (repeated in English for our benefit), we headed off on the there and back and there again course along the promenade. It’s essentially flat, and if it wasn’t quite pbs all round, it wasn’t far off.
After the parkrun we were offered the chance to swim in the sea, though only three of our number braved the icy conditions. The rest of us opted for the more civilised option of coffee and a chat before heading back to the hotel for a shower.
After lunch, we met Janusz and Jakub again and caught the train to Gdansk. Cultural honour was satisifed by a trip to the “Roads to Freedom” museum, where we were reminded of quite how recently Poland gained its independence. We were then joined by members of the Gdansk parkrun team, who showed us round Gdansk’s old town (with architecture that bears a striking resemblence to Amsterdam) and which features Europe’s largest brick church.
After which it was more food, another train, and a welcome drink in the hotel bar. We flew back early this morning.
If you have the option of a long weekend with parkrunners, I heartily recommend grabbing the opportunity with both hands. Especially if it comes with the welcome offered by Jakub, Janusz and the rest of the parkrun Polska team.