Not all inaugural parkruns go entirely to plan. At Wanstead Flats, the frontrunners missed a turn and we all took a small detour through the car park. At Burgess, the timer malfunctioned and the day was saved by some quick thinking on the part of speedster King Danny. And at Winchester, there were so many parkrunners that the course had to be widened and ended up being ever-so-slightly short.
Which in no way detracted from the appeal.
I arrived just in time for the start, after a mad dash from a nearby car park. I said a few quick hellos to some familiar faces, listened to the briefing and then we were off. It’s a flat, three lap course run on a mixture of grass and tarmac, and the laps have enough twists and turns to make them interesting, featuring trees, a river, two bridges and assorted other bits of scenery.
The turnout may have been swelled by curious tourists, but judging by the number of parkrun first timers and Winchester and District AC members who were there, a good proportion of the 280 runners will be back in the future.
And given the parkrun’s proximity to the South Downs Way*, ideal for when parkrun forms part of a longer training run, I may well join them.
*Which I found very easily with a little** help from Rob and Marc.
**Okay. A lot. Directions followed by a guided jog, once my ability to follow instructions was shown to be wanting.