I can admit immediately that my initial plan to follow up on my Parkrun streak from Ireland with three Parkruns in England failed. There was no way I could get up and pack my tent at the break of dawn after a busy WIMA rally and farewell dinner followed by a rock concert by Thor, the gods of rock (that is what they call themselves, and I’m inclined to agree).
The first weekend in England we headed into Stoke-on-Trent and Hanley Park. Parking possibilities there were excellent and the park offered a challenging and rather complicated combination of loops before the beautiful home straight by the pavilion. But before we got started, the Parkrun organisers had to deal with a medical emergency and an ambulance was called in. Someone had collapsed and needed medical attention, which the team saw to with impressive professionalism. With a mere 20 minute delay, the rest of us were sent off running.
After the rather small Parkruns in Ireland, this one felt gigantic, probably about 250 runners. We did not stay for Parkrun coffee, instead we returned home to Christopher’s parents for a brunch consisting of rice and stirfried veggies that his mum prepared, yum yum.
The last Parkrun, in Ludmoor Park, Weymouth, was one I had looked forward to for a long time as my friend Sheonagh was going to join me. I’ve done this Parkrun a few times before when I was house-sitting and she was away riding motorbikes in Africa, but we had never done it together before. In the three years since I last ran, there the gathering had grown to a shade over 400 hundred runners and we all set off like a colourful snake through the park. I think this is the largest Parkrun I have attended.
For this outing I had swapped my motorbike for an e-bicycle. After the run, we returned home for coffee and toast with homemade marmalade in the garden. Then off to the beach. A grand finale for my Parkrun tourism!
Next time will be with my Sudbury Court mates in December when Christopher and I are going to London for a cultural weekend.