…about how flexible the social side of parkrun is. It uses the last twelve parkruns that I’ve run to illustrate that parkrun is a great way to spend time with good friends, to put real-life faces to people you’ve only met online, to prompt you to get in touch with far flung friends you only see occasionally, and to allow you to stay in touch with runners you met in passing years ago. It praises the way that parkrun tourism brings you into contact with runners you would probably never have met and waxes lyrical about the joys of a post-parkrun cup of tea. The only trouble is that I can’t write it! Every time I try, it ends up reading like a telephone directory.
Try as I might, I can’t convey the contentment that I felt this morning, running around Chippenham parkrun with @BandTRuns and then chewing the cud with Darryl and Dan, last seen at the longest parkrun the day I broke my foot, and with Maura, first seen by chance at Malahide parkrun.
I can’t capture the pleasure of catching up with @notmucharunner and @mikew30 at Forest Rec parkrun, finding out once again that they are as good company in real life as they are on Twitter.
I can’t explain the way that bumping into Andrew at Folkestone parkrun turned a training run into a social occasion.
I can’t describe the sure and certain knowledge that a 150 mile round trip for a freezing cold, extremely windy and slightly sleety 5km run along Hastings sea front is absolutely and categorically worth it if it is followed by a humungous slice of cake and a leisurely chat with three of my favourite runners.
I struggle to share the perfection of an undulating forest trail run around Rushmere Country Park followed by breakfast with your husband, favourite parkrun touring buddy, new parkrun tourist acquaintance and old parkrun friend first encountered on a trip to Iceland.
I lack the skills to quantify how small the world felt when my touring buddy and I ran into not one but two pairs of familiar faces at Hove Promenade parkrun.
I am hard put to express the relief I felt when the post parkrun tea and biscuits at Workington parkrun turned forbidding fell runners into kindred spirits, happy to share their tips with the crazy southerner looking to try her hand at Lakeland 100.
I cannot do justice to the experience of discovering another ultra-runner at the small but perfectly formed Aldenham parkrun, or playing ‘my pre-race nerves are worse than your pre-race nerves’ at Harcourt Hill with @iRunSalt the week before Autumn 100.
I feel I’m failing miserably to communicate the collective joy that abounded at Malling the week that Rosemary and Mike celebrated significant parkrun milestones, or the thought process that made Wimpole Estate with company a far more attractive proposition than an extra hour in bed.
And when it comes to saying how @WinsomeTahn, a virtual stranger, made me feel when she welcomed me into her home the night before she showed me the sights at Strathclyde parkrun, I find myself lost for words.
Twelve different parkruns. Twelve incredible mornings.
This is why I tour.