I have just had a pretty much perfect 24-hours*, the highlight of which was Malahide parkrun.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “please tell me that you didn’t travel all the way to Ireland just to run a parkrun.” I wish I could, but it would be a lie, because that’s exactly what I did.
As it turned out, I didn’t just run a parkrun. I also spent a day with Sandhya, the very first parkrunner I ever spoke to, renewed my acquaintance with Richard, an uber-tourist who has run all the parkruns in two different countries, and chatted to a whole heap of friendly new faces. Reinforcing my belief that there really isn’t any such thing as too far to travel to run a parkrun.
After a little early morning confusion about timings (our mobile phones disagreed about whether Ireland was on summertime or wintertime), we arrived in plenty of time for the 9am start…
…only to be reminded by earlybird local Keith that in Ireland, parkruns start at 9:30am. I considered (fleetingly) using the additional time to fit in some extra miles, but was saved from anything so energetic by the arrival of Justin (Roundshaw Downs), Maura (Frimley Lodge) and Richard (the uber-tourist).
The course itself is essentially flat, is run on a mixture of tarmac and hard packed gravel paths and appears to come with go-faster stripes and sunshine. I’m sure that it has its grim weather moments, but the parkrun weather fairies were out in force yesterday morning and there wasn’t a drop of rain, a snowflake or a headwind to be found.
I started, as I usually do, towards the back of the field, gradually speeding up as the run progressed. My taper must be beginning to take effect because my leaden legs, a consistent feature of the last few weeks, had been replaced with a bouncier set and I romped to my second fastest parkrun ever.
Thanks to some forward thinking by Sandhya and the kind indulgence of the Malahide volunteer team, I also found myself on the volunteer roster as token sorter, a role which combines beautifully with post run chit chat and hot chocolate.
All of which was such fun that we lost track of time completely, nearly missing our noon checkout deadline.
If you find yourself in the area one Saturday morning, then I recommend that you join the fun. With a field of over 400, including buggies, children and even a paralympian, you’re almost certain to have a ball.
*If you ignore the delayed plane**
**And the missed restaurant booking***
***And the time-zone confusion****
****And the mix-up over the start time*****
*****And the mad dash back to the hotel to meet the check out deadline******
******Which I will because they are all irrelevant minutiae.