Monday / Tuesday
Me: I may be in the wilds of Yorkshire this Saturday. Any parkrun recommendations? Hilly trail preferred.
Tourist Hive Mind: Oakwell Hall, though if you’re close to the M62 it might not take *that* much longer to get to Watergrove
Me: Ooh. I’m very close to the M62 and Watergrove is very high on my wish list.
Tourist Hive Mind: Apparently Watergrove is the next nearest to a fell parkrun after Lyme Park.
Me: Next nearest by distance or next nearest “Lyme Park is fellier*”.
Tourist Hive Mind: As in Lyme Park is fellier**.
Friday mid afternoon
Friend: Where are you parkrunning this weekend?
Me: Well it was going to be Lyme Park, Watergrove or Oakwell Hall, but I can’t face the idea of Friday evening on the M1 so I’ll probably drive up tomorrow and parkrun somewhere on the way. Barclay? Panshanger? Luton?
Friday late afternoon
Me: Greetings friend-who-I-haven’t-seen-for-ages. I’m heading north tomorrow morning and running a parkrun on the way up. Luton is one of the possibilities but I’ve tagged it as a “liaise with friend-who-I-haven’t-seen-for-ages” one. Are you up for a parkrun at such short notice?
Friend-who-I-haven’t-seen-for-ages: Yes! That sounds fabulous!
All of which found me at a flat***, tarmac parkrun in the wilds of Bedfordshire that’s about as far from felly**** as you can get, catching up with not only my friend, but also a fellow tourist (who came bearing cake and balloons for the six parkrunners running their 50th parkruns and the parkrunner running his 10th), and a runner I first met at Thunder Run way back in 2012.
There’s a lot to be said for last minute planning.
* Yes, fellier is a word!
** See! If it wasn’t a word would other people be using it?
*** Off-flat. Like the hint-of-a-tint off-white paint that you can buy. Though you do run the rise four times in the three and a smidge laps of the course.
**** Felly is a word too.