Monday 18 August 2014

Dartford parkrun 4 - introducing parkrun to a friend, the future parkrunner, and her proud dad (me)

Regular readers of the blog might be disappointed not to be reading about the inaugural Folkestone or Woking parkruns. I too am slightly disappointed at not being able to run at one of these venues this weekend. However, I have found a new love in my parkrun world and that is Dartford parkrun. I can't bear to leave at the moment, so the touring side of parkrun, and the venue blogs, are on hold indefinitely.


So with that off my chest, let me tell you about Dartford parkrun 4. It started in the usual way - I arrived at just after 7am to begin setting the course up with Richey. The signage modifications have settled down and I think we're pretty much there with what works. The one remaining issue for me is the transporting of the stanchions (which currently live in my garage) to and from the venue.

I refuse to drive 1.5km to the venue so end up run-walking with them. It's not ideal, so we are currently looking into the option of using a storage container in the park. It has been offered to us but needs a little work before it can be used. Hopefully we'll get this sorted soon and I can be stanchion-free for my warm up jog and journey home in future!

the reverse view of the medieval bridge [photo:7t]

Something that was a little different this week (and will hopefully be a regular thing) was that my friend (who is the wife of one of my best school friends), Marie, was kind enough to come down to the park with her children, Jack and Caitlyn, to help as volunteers. The plan was for her to be a marshal, but due to the overwhelming response to a last minute volunteer appeal, we had enough people to fill those roles and Marie unexpectedly became the funnel manager. I'm extremely grateful for her help and I hope she comes back to volunteer some more in the future.

I ran the 5k (which featured a hi-five from Jack as I finished my first lap) and then took up my volunteering role as a barcode scanner again. It really seems to work well and barcode scanning has been my favourite volunteering role for a long time now. Once everyone had been scanned, the wonderful Tessa took the scanner and processed the results - which would have been done in lightening time if it wasn't for the computer deciding to update itself after being switched on!

mick (aka matt jagger), matilda, and me in a 'may' sandwich [photo: richey]

Something else that I have been unable to shut up about is what my daughter did post-run. We were in the Dartford Harriers clubhouse and she went out onto the track ans started running laps. Bear in mind that she is still 3 years old (but only just). She seems to have an incredible natural ability to pace herself and slowly worked her way around the 400 metre loop.

When she had finished one of her laps, I asked if she was feeling ok. Her response was to get down into the 'starting position' and shout 'AGAIN' - which was my cue to say 'ready, set, GO!'. And off she went at an amazingly steady pace once again (I think she did about 7 laps in total). She is four years old this week and will be able to finally register as a parkunner. I was worried that she might find her first junior parkrun (planned for next weekend) a little on the long side. However after watching her display on the track, it looks like she will be ok with the 2k distance -  although I expect she'll take the odd walking break.

at the dartford harriers athletics track

It had been another successful event. As a bonus, I ran another Dartford parkrun personal best, which means I have run faster every single time I have run at the event. It's nice having the streak of personal bests but this must surely be the last one of this streak. I can't imagine how I could lower it any further in such a short timeframe.

And just to finish off the post, here is a photo of me with some of my SLGR team mates who were at Dartford parkrun event 4.


Once everything had been sorted, we headed over to the playground with Marie, Jack and Caitlyn to let them enjoy the rest of the sunny morning in Dartford Central Park.
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