Sunday, 14 September 2014

Dartford parkrun 8 - branches, waiting for windows to update and stanchions hitching a lift (oh, and pigeons!)

Arriving at Central Park at just after 7am, I distributed the stanchions around the course and then arrived back at the library to meet Richey (ED) at 7.30am on the dot to start placing the signage in the right places around the course. I had to move a large fallen branch from the course and some broken glass I had spotted earlier had been swiftly dealt with by the council staff that were tidying up the previous night's litter. There was also a moment where me and Richey watched in disbelief as a pigeon repeatedly whacked another (smaller) pigeon with its wing. The thumping sound of each strike was quite unsettling.

wild flowers... couldn't drag me awaaaaay [photo: 7t]

As run time drew closer I spotted and chatted to a number of my running friends that had joined us for our eighth event, and then my attention turned to packing the purple bumbag with my scanner and volunteering jacket. With the clock now just about to reach 9am, Richey called the runners to assemble between the two trees.

torn and frayed [photo: 7t]

As we headed off down the opening straight, my mind was on the slightly disappointing run I had last week. So I started ever-so-slightly slower than I had seven days ago and hit the first corner just behind the lead pack. A comfortable place to be.

before the run [photo: richey estcourt]

I headed around the first lap and gradually passed a couple of runners that had gone out a little too fast. As I approached the end of the first lap I was in sixth position and moved into fifth. I was much happier with my pacing this week and was pleased to not be in the position of being overtaken towards the latter stages of the run.

like it or not, this is my running face (i'm hoping it was lap 2) [photo: richey estcourt]

I remained in fifth place throughout the second lap and although I was gaining on the 4th placed runner, I crossed the line and collected finishing token number five. After a quick breather I got my scanning equipment ready and joined Tessa in scanning the rest of the field of 125 runners. All signs that we had been in the park disappeared in record time and we were all soon sipping on freshly brewed tea in the Dartford Harriers clubhouse.

start me up... [photo: 7t]

I wanted to upload the results again so we got the laptop up and running... I say 'up and running', we turned it on and it began updating itself, this is despite it already going through this process the previous evening. About 45 minutes later it was finally ready to be used and the results were swiftly processed and sent off to parkrun HQ.

goin' home [photo: 7t]

The stanchions are still awaiting their new home in a storage container within Central Park, so for now they hitched a ride home in my daughter's buggy which was much better than carrying them through the streets of Dartford! Eight events done and I'm absolutely lovin' it.
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