This morning, I dragged my disintegrating carcase to Stoke Park for the relatively new Guildford parkrun #4.
I have a theory that the only people who turn up for parkruns at half-eight are the (ever-wonderful) volunteers, parkrun first-timers and tourists. Anyone familiar with both the parkrun format and the course turns up as close to the dot of nine as they dare. That certainly seemed to be the case today. At 8.45am there were only about fifteen runners around, but the final 9am tally was over seventy.
I indulged my taperchondria by pootling around in a respectable but far from spectacular 30:17. I spent lap one working my way through the back of the field before catching up with a junior making her parkrun debut who kept me company for lap two. Afterwards, I chatted to relative newcomer Gemma, who has done four parkruns at three different venues, an excellent ratio, if I say so myself.
The course is an undulating two-lap circuit of Stoke Park and is on a mixture of grass and tarmac. The ups drain the energy from your legs, but the downs make you feel like you are flying. There is some pretty scenery to look at, a BMF class to be glad you’re not in and at the end you can round off your parkrun with ice skating, swimming, bowling or coffee at the nearby leisure centre.
I did none of those things, as I needed to hot-foot it back to London for a chirunning lesson. Lots of drills and lots of food for thought. And where better to practice some of them than at tomorrow’s Kingston Breakfast Run, the last in my pre-marathon-panic-race-triple.