Saturday 9 August 2014

Dartford parkrun 3 - puddles, stanchions and snails

The week leading up to Dartford parkrun event 3 was dominated by signage. I had ordered some additional arrows which couldn't be delivered as a signature was required. So I had a frantic dash down to the post office just before closing time on Friday to sign for and collect said package.

the snails were out in force after the previous night's rain

I had been thinking of different ways to make the best use of these new arrows and in the end decided to run over to Halfords to pick up some industrial strength velcro, which I spent Friday evening attaching to the stanchions and to the backs of the new arrows.

Saturday morning came around and I had to carry 13 stanchions and a bag of the new arrows over to the park - I really need to find a better way to transport these. I refuse to drive the 1 mile to the park so I plan to pick up some kind of bag designed for skis/snowboards in order to make the Saturday morning walk (or jog) over to the park a little more pleasant.

runners preparing to start

I met Richey (ED) at the park and we got to work setting out the course, using the extra arrows where necessary. It all went to plan and before we knew it we were over at Dartford parkrun HQ. 9am rolled around and the run got under way. I was doing my usual task of running and then barcode scanning, so I headed off fairly near to the front of the pack.

We had had very heavy rain the night beforehand and I wasn't sure what to expect on our grass and trail section. It turns out that it held up really well and the trail shoes I had opted for were not actually required. There was one huge puddle to filter around towards the end of Jagger's Leg, but there was just about enough space for the runners to squeeze around without soaking their feet. We also made an attempt to play some music at stones corner, but the speaker we used was very small and unfortunately didn't project the sound very well.

jagger's leg complete with plenty of water features

At the end of the run I grabbed my volunteering vest and barcode scanner, and got to work on scanning runners as they finished. Despite the rain of the previous night, the morning was actually really bright and sunny, which meant the barcode scanner had a little trouble, but nothing a nice bit of shade didn't sort out.

After this, I ran off to collect some of the signage and cones before heading back into the Dartford Harriers clubhouse. When I arrived there was a lovely cup of tea awaiting me and the results had already been processed and uploaded. Everything had gone absolutely according to plan.

marshals (lime, mick and dani) on stones corner

My result came through a little while later and I was pleased to see that I had just about managed to squeeze under the 19 minute mark for the first time on this course, which was nice. Another parkrun done and dusted and time to get on with the rest of the day, which was mostly spent in the Dartford Central Park playground.

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