On Saturday, the day before Dymchurch Marathon, there was another marathon (also a Saxon-Shore one) in Folkestone, so I decided to head down to the coast early to check out Folkestone parkrun and do a little bit of marathon cheering.
I arrived at the start at the parkrun course at about half past eight, rueing my decision not to stop at the services on the M20. According to the parkrun website, there are public toilets outside the café at the start, as well as toilets in the café itself, but the former were locked and the latter doesn’t open until nine. Fortunately, the member of staff who was setting up the café took pity on me, saving me from any mad dashing.
Unlike my last few parkruns (which I will blog about at some point), I wasn’t touring with Vanessa or meeting up with friends, as the people I’d come to see were running the marathon rather than the parkrun (fools!). Add to that the fact that Folkestone is a fair way off my local patch, and I wasn’t expecting to know a soul there. I really should have known better, as within 5 minutes of arriving, I was chatting to a fellow parkrun tourist (who was having a week off touring to recover from his jaunt to Poznan the week before) who talked me through the course and warned me that it was not as flat as I might expect (strangely enough, the same tip that marathon-running Kat had given me half an hour earlier).
They were dead right. It’s not hilly, or even undulating, but there’s a definite rise as you run from East to West (odd, as running from West to East feels flat) which is just enough to make you feel like you’ve earned yourself a post parkrun hot chocolate. I didn’t hang around long at the end but I did inhale a hot drink at the café (fair’s fair, they had let me use their loos, after all) before saying goodbye to Andrew, and hello and goodbye to Caroline (yet another tourist).
After which it was time to head down the zig-zag path (which would probably make a superb hill-rep) to watch some marathon runners suffer.