I ran. Well, I say ran. I walked for five minutes and then adopted a run/walk strategy. Which was probably a very stupid idea, as I was a little bit over-enthusiastic on Wednesday and my foot has been whinging ever since.
But for today, I refuse to care. I ran a parkrun, finishing in a wholly respectable* time of 33:47, caught up with some familiar touring faces, renewed my acquaintance with some of the Midland tourists and made the acquaintance of a touring mother/daughter combo who have set their sights on parkrun venues as far flung as Wales and Poland.
The course itself is best described as a slightly crumpled double lollipop. It’s almost entirely run on tarmac and concrete, though the numerous bridges (which are as hilly as it gets) are wooden and slightly slippery when wet. Most of the course is alongside tufty grass verges, should you have a foot that yearns for a slightly softer surface, and the woman pushing a buggy with not one but two hefty toddlers in it proved that it’s perfectly negotiable with a wheeled contraption.
In terms of facilities, it has a great looking playground, but if there are toilets, I didn’t find them, and the café afterwards is a van in a car park which may lose its rugged charm should the parkrun weather fairies ever go on strike. There are a couple of kinks to iron out, such as whether slower runners should keep to the left or right of the path as they get lapped by the faster ones on the lollipop and whether 9am will signify the beginning of the loooooooong walk to the start-line or the beginning of the parkrun itself, but it has all the hallmarks of a great event, and if the number of local club runners is anything to go by, should go from strength to strength.
*faster than I ran my first parkrun with a lot less effort.