Yes. Of course. But it’s fun, so I don’t care.
Today was not without its hiccoughs. I did book the train tickets for the 21st, despite Vanessa (@neferpus) clearly telling me that she was going to Preston on the 14th. I did panic on the night bus on the way to Euston, decide that I’d misread the route and get off at Oxford Circus only to discover that (a) I hadn’t misread the route and (b) it wasn’t Oxford Circus but Piccadilly Circus and no, there were no buses to Euston from there. And I did almost get off the train at Wigan instead of Preston because I’d lost track of the stations and the train was running slightly late.
But, largely thanks to Vanessa, disaster was averted, and at 9am, we lined up under a bridge to run three pancake flat laps of Avenham and Miller Parks and add Preston parkrun to our respective collections.
Well, I say pancake flat. I had assumed pancake flat, because nowhere in the course description do the words hill, rise or undulation feature. There is mention of running alongside the River Ribble (which is beautiful, by the way) and there is mention of great views. Which I now know is Northern short hand for “great views down from the top of the hill that you have to run up three times, but which we don’t think merits a mention in the course description because the nearest parkruns to us are Cuerden Valley and Bolton which would rib us mercilessly for describing that as a hill despite the fact that it will make soft southerners blanche and curse.”
Though, truth be told, Cassie (@knittingpenguin) had warned us about the hill on Friday, so we weren’t totally unprepared. And it comes at the start of the lap and is followed by long runnable downhills through the beautifully landscaped parks, so it really isn’t too bad.
The icing on the cake was that Cassie joined us for coffee after the parkrun, with baby Hal in tow, so instead of running round and heading straight home, we had the perfect excuse to linger for a couple of hours talking about running, babies, parkrun and Janathon. Which also meant that we had the chance to chat with some of the volunteers, including Kari and Lynn, and to local parkrunner John, who is on the brink of joining the 50-club. All of which gained us an open invitation to travel north again in Summer to try out nearby Cuerden Valley.
Do I sometimes wonder if I am taking parkrun tourism a little too far? Yes. Of course. But it’s immense fun, involves amazing people and gives me the chance to run round some of the prettiest parks in Britain. So I really, really don’t care.