Lapping up Parkrun

8 o’clock on a beautiful April Saturday morning, so of course I’d love to get up and go out running. Particularly when husband, who had been planning on going out cycling, decided he didn’t feel well enough and was going to stay in bed. Humpf. Black cat had been meowing at me, and walking all over me, for nearly an hour so the chances of going back to sleep were minimal. I got up.

Cats fed, me fed, running gear on, bar code found, car park money found, IT’S 8.45 AND I’M GOING TO BE LATE! Fortunately it’s a short sprint from the car park to the start, so I took that as my warm up and arrived just as the race director asked everyone to move to the start line.

There were a few more runners today at Chippenham’s second parkrun than at the pilot event two weeks ago (155 rather than 30) which made it a little more crowded at the start. However it was all good natured and friendly, and impressive to watch a group sprint away from the rest of the pack.

The route follows 2 short laps around the park which takes in a short slope up the side of the mini golf, along the top of the park and back down to the start. Then a short run along the river, another 2 loops around a wilder section of the park, and back along the river to the finish. As I set off on the first loop of the second section I heard the call “faster runners coming!”, and a group of speedy guys flew past. Some runners find it depressing to be lapped but I always love seeing just how fast and smoothly some people can run.

Grimly Determined - but thumbs up!
Grimly Determined – but thumbs up!

As I completed the first loop and started on the second I suddenly found the (running) boot on the other foot as I lapped the back markers. I was reminded of my daughter, as I passed a teenager, head down, sullenly trudging along. A few metres ahead I presumed was her Mum, patiently waiting whilst uttering encouraging “come on dear’s”. I smiled, knowing exactly how she felt.

Parkrun truly does seem to be for everyone, and I’m very grateful to the people who set up Chippenham’s parkrun, and to the ever smiling marshals and helpers. I apologise that again my barcode wouldn’t scan and promise that I’ve ordered a plastic version for next time.

6 thoughts on “Lapping up Parkrun”

  1. I am also grateful for parkrun being all-inclusive. I am usually one of the back markers.

    That’s a good number for a new parkrun I think too! It’ll gain speed quite quickly too I imagine.

    I laminated my barcode, and that seems to have worked – just a thought.

    1. This was the barcode that I’d covered in sticky back plastic, which worked fine at Swindon parkrun last year. Must just be me – plastic card version now ordered!

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