Sunday 20 November 2011

Riddlesdown parkrun twenty one (rdp21)

The change in seasons is well under way. It is feeling very autumnal at the moment, but you can tell that winter is soon going to push autumn to one side and stamp it's frosty authority over the land. For the time being, at least, autumn is clinging on.

mr and mrs7t at the back (photo: Chris Hall)
During our journey from Kent we had to put the fog lights on as visibility was down to less than 100 metres in places. The fog must have been confined to the outskirts of London, as upon leaving the M25 the clear skies and sunshine that had been forecast suddenly came into view.

As regular readers will know, my running has had a set back over the past few months. I have resumed some easy training runs but things are still a long way from being back to normal. I certainly think racing is off the cards for the rest of the year. The good thing is that it has made me focus more on the other aspects of parkrunning, which I briefly touched on in last week's rdp post.

1.6km done (photo: Chris Hall)
Today I was taking part in my twenty first Riddlesdown parkrun, while mrs7t lined up for her third. Before that I bumped into a parkrun virgin, we walked from Warlingham school to the start line together. His name is Trevor, I hope he enjoyed his first experience of parkrun. I didn't manage to catch up with him after the run, but maybe I'll bump into him next week to find out how it went.

I am really enjoying the conditions at the moment. Most of the course is the same as it always was, but certain sections are a little muddy and the trees are shedding their leaves throughout the trail section. This covers the rocks and roots that protrude from the trail, making the section a little more challenging. A few of the corners are now pretty slippery so care is required at these points. During the summer months you can get away with normal road running shoes, but now that those days are a distant memory trail shoes offer much better traction.

my new favourite photo of myself running (photo:Nicki Clark)
After handing the citrussy lady over to Nicki for safe keeping, we lined up at the back of the pack again, safe in the knowledge that we could cruise along for the first kilometre without getting in anyone's way. At the 1 kilometre point mrs7t took her first walking break while I continued on at my easy pace. Even when running at this pace I can't help picking out people ahead to catch and pass, I guess it's just in my blood to want to race.

At the end of my run the citrussy one reached out for me and sat in my arms while we both gazed back along the course waiting for the first sight of mrs7t. After a few minutes we decided that it would be a good idea to go and find her so we could accompany her to the finish line.

we found her (photo:Nicki Clark)
37 minutes and 30 seconds after the start of the parkrun, mother and child were reunited. It must feel like a lifetime to our baba, but she is quite content to be perched upon Nicki's shoulders, with only the occasional dropped lower lip, while we run.

mrs7t entering the final straight (photo: Nicki Clark)
We eventually arrived at the good companions pub for coffee (instant again), we made a donation to children in need and had some delicious cupcakes made by the Halls in return. The conversations swang from general running to arrangements for the new years day parkrun to Janathon and then to child birth and other non-running subjects.

We meandered out of the pub at about 1.15pm and began our journey back out into the depths of Kent, happy that we had been part of another RDp but sad to be leaving our parkrun family for another week.


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