Hi buzzers, just a quick one about last weekend's parkrun. Having been working away from home these past five weeks the weekends with Jenny at home have been very precious. They have usually included two 5 k runs; a parkrun on Saturday and a Great Run Local 5k on Sunday. We take turns running with Bella our (soon to be one year old) dog who loves running! With so many parkruns to choose from in Manchester it's so easy to be up and out of the house by half eight and still be early at the start line with a big bunch of friendly, enthusiastic runners. Last week we decided to try a new parkrun (for us) at Stretford but on route we found out it had suffered a last minute cancellation so we set a new course for an old favourite, South Manchester. This parkrun regularly had numbers in the 4 or 5 hundreds and is run by a particularly dedicated set of marshals so we were confident it would be on. As we approached, snow began to fall quite heavily. Bella had never seen snow before so when we got out of the car she was super excited. When she wears her harness she knows that means a run is imminent and when she sees other runners gathering she can't contain her eagerness to get running! But as we got to the start line we were told they had unfortunately had to cancel. This was a big disappointment. But Jenny and I were ready to run, Bella was more than ready! As some runners jumped in cars and raced off to another nearby parkrun they hoped would be on, we decided to stay where we were and go for a run anyway. We let Bella off her lead and she charged around in the snow, leaping up, catching snowflakes in her mouth, she was having the BEST time! We were loving it too; both of us are not at our fittest right now so for various reasons it was lovely to just have a gentle run together in the snow.
It was a bit like being at school in the holidays, there was an excitement and a sense that we could 'break the rules', we decided to run the course in reverse, just because we could! What struck us was the amount of other runners who had also decided to just run! There must have been easily over 100 people. We had to put Bella on her lead so she didn't cause any trouble as it was hard enough running on some icy bits without a dog tripping you up! And perhaps we shouldn't have gone the wrong way as we were often against the tide but everyone was in fine spirits and people chatted away to each other as they enjoyed a more leisurely than usual race. We joked with one person who had taken up the position at a tight bend that is usually occupied by a friendly, luminous-vested, volunteer, saying "thank you Marshall " as we passed. We finished our 'race' just short of 5 k in a modest time but I can honestly say it was one of the most joyful and uplifting runs I have ever been on! We agreed that had we stayed in bed (as was so tempting at 8.20 on that cold Saturday morning) we would have missed something very special.
That afternoon we went for a wonderful walk in the snow and on Sunday the parkrun was on so despite the frosty paths Bella managed to knock 40 seconds off her PB which is fast approaching my own, soon she will need to find a faster running partner!
I love parkrun and I love that spirit so many runners have, that of " nothing can stop me running, nothing!"
Happy running everyone!
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