One Saturday, as I chatted to a parkrun tourist over a post run drink, he mentioned that he was going to Copenhagen with a couple of friends for a parkrun. Fool! Having no shame, I immediately demanded details, and invited myself along.
Best. Invitation. Ever.
Not only did I have the chance to run my first Danish parkrun, but I also had the opportunity to explore Copenhagen with eight really nice folk, and the running gods were powerful enough to neutralise the onion of idiocy.
The parkrun, Amager Strandpark, has the following course description:
“Ruten er 5 km lang og består af to omgange på beton-/asfalterede stier rundt om den nordligste lagune i Amager Strandpark. Første runde løbes mod uret rundt og anden runde løbes med uret rundt. Når man møder modgående parkrun-løbere holdes til højre for at undgå sammenstød. Ruten er helt flad på nær et par broer og er derfor meget løbevenlig selv om det ind i mellem kan være ret blæsende. Hele ruten foregår med smuk udsigt over vandet mod Sverige eller over lagunen.”
Or, as Google Translate, puts it:
The route is 5 km long and consists of two laps on concrete / paved trails around the northern lagoon of Amager Beach. The first round is run anti-clockwise round and the second round run clockwise. When passing oncoming parkrun runners kept to the right to avoid a collision. The route is totally flat, except for a few bridges and is thus very friendly to run even if it sometimes can be very windy. The entire route takes place with beautiful views of the water against Sweden or the lagoon.
I dutifully kept to the right to avoid a collision, revelled in the firm, flat surface (as I was under instructions to run HARD!), cursed the wind, and completely failed to notice Sweden (though I did see the lagoon, the sea, and the naked swimmers).
After the parkrun, we stayed to enjoy a hot drink and chat to some of the local runners, and then we set off to explore.
Twelve hours later, with a parkrun, some Christmas shopping, a trip to Tivoli Gardens and some fine food under my belt, I decided to have a look at the map to see if I could devise a route for my Sunday morning run. The most obvious option was a run around the rectangular lakes, but how could I go for something so dull when there was a five pointed castle on offer?
I’d pretty much decided on the castle, when I spotted this:
A Cheshire Cat Grin. Seriously? Who could resist a Cheshire Cat Grin? Decision made, I said goodnight and headed up to my room for an early night.
I’m not sure quite when it occurred to me that if sunrise was at 8:36am and I was heading out at 6:30am so that I would be back in time to meet the others for breakfast at 8:30am, then I would be running my whole run in the dark. What I do know is that I had deliberately not packed my head torch because there was absolutely no way that I would run alone on an unlit trail in an unfamiliar city.
No way at all.
Fortunately, the run was purely for recovery purposes (translation, I was allowed to run very, very slowly) and there was enough moonlight to make the well-maintained trail glow a slightly different colour to the surrounding terrain. So I bagged my Cheshire Cat Grin, was back in time for a stupendously large buffet breakfast, and squeezed in a very enjoyable morning of tourism before finally heading home.