It was a tough choice. Set the alarm for stupid o’clock to go to Chippenham parkrun #2 (where uber-tourist and 100 marathon clubber Ruth Benzimra was due to be running into the Cowell Club) or set the alarm for lie-in o’clock to go back to see the bluebells at Banstead Woods.
On the basis that Banstead was closer to home and I wanted to be within spitting distance of an icepack if my shin proved troublesome, I opted for Banstead, where I met up with Vanessa (@neferpuss), who has been saving Banstead for bluebell season.
It’s one of the oldest parkruns (only Bushy and Wimbledon are older), something which is clear both from the number of 250 club t-shirts and from the presence of this:
I resisted the temptation to run over with my magic marker to scrawl “It’s a run not a” across the top, and instead relaxed in the knowledge that I was in the presence of one of the most experienced volunteer teams around.
The route itself was as wonderful as ever – trees, trail, a running-goddess downhill and carpets of glorious bluebells. As both Vanessa and I were looking for a go-easy-on-the-niggles run, we pootled around together chatting and admiring the scenery.
After resisting the urge to sprint finish (thus missing out on sub-31 by a pesky 9 seconds) we walked back up the hill to cool down and capture the bluebells for posterity, and then headed back to the finish to find the scanner.
After which, we joined regulars Neil (385 parkruns) and Mike (309 parkruns) at The Mint where we chatted, ate cake, drank hot chocolate and sorted finishing tokens. 323 runners, and not a single missing token. They are a very well-trained bunch, these Banstead Wooders.