Our main reason for being in this neck of the woods was that New Cross Fire Station were having an open day and we had decided to go. The fire station is only five minutes away from Hilly Fields (by car). It was also Hilly Fields junior parkrun's first birthday, so it just all tied in very nicely.
We arrived at Hilly Fields and wandered over to the parkrun meeting point. As we were walking across, Matilda said to me 'Papa, is this the place were I fell over and hurt my knees?' 'Yes' I replied. I could tell she was now a little apprehensive about running here, but I assured her that I'd stay with her during her run and hold her hand if required.
As we reached the start/finish area, I was immediately hit by the community feel here - somehow it feels so different to anywhere else. The park has a bohemian vibe to it and this seems to extend into the junior parkrun.
The run briefing and warm-up took place in the usual way and we then lined up at the back for the run. We headed off at a nice slow pace and started to play some games. Firstly it was The Hobbit - I was Thorin Oakenshield and Matilda was Smaug the Dragon.
We played this until we got about halfway around the first lap, at this point we switched to Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom, playing the scene where they are running away from the large boulder. Matilda managed to get away from the boulder thanks to her new, super speedy running shoes.
After this, we reached the 'hilly' part of Hilly Fields which is a section of 200 metres or so uphill back to the start/finish area. She put in a good effort up this hill, but at the top she started complaining of a pain in her right calf. I gave it a quick massage but it didn't help so we mostly walked the second lap. However, lap two did include a section of hopping which we dubbed 'parkhop'.
She manage to put in a good effort for the last 100 metres and as she reached the finish line, she stopped. She won't tell me exactly why, but the word on the street is that she was checking that the timer (Adele) was doing her job properly.
With her barcode scanned and Hilly Fields junior parkrun birthday cake in hand, we headed off to the playground while Matilda's mum picked up some breakfast and drinks in the cafe. We spent a good deal of time in 'Pistachios in the park' cafe drinking their great coffee (it really is worth visiting for the coffee alone) and reading some of the cafe's children's books.
Another visit to the playground and then it was time to head over to New Cross Fire Station (apparently, it's the oldest operational Fire Station in Europe) for the open day, which was fun.