Gladstone parkrun- parkwalking

My friend Branka was keen to do Gladstone parkrun, and when I looked at the route and saw all the photos, it was added to my list too as it is in a very pretty park.

The day we chose to go was the day before I was running a 10 mile race, and Branka was going to parkwalk, so I decided to volunteer as parkwalker as well so we could walk together (and I could not be tempted to run the day before a race).

I am not sure if anyone had done that role there before- it wasn’t on the roster for the weeks before and I couldn’t see any photos on their facebook page for example, and it did take a bit of emailing to hear back from the team.

We arrived nice and early to am empty park, and ended up chatting to a couple of tourists for a little bit, as they had on some With Me Now gear too. Once the event team turned up, we got our bibs, and then I had a rather disappointing conversation with a marshal, who said to me “you’re not going to walk really slowly are you?” She continued to be negative about walking at parkrun, basically saying it was ridiculous that people were walking and not running, and that if people wanted to walk they should go to one of the health walks held on other days in the park, and that if people were walking to get fit they needed to walk quickly. I said something to her about how parkrun are encouraging walkers, but she then decided to walk to her marshal point so the conversation ended then. The RD was really welcoming, and I didn’t want to bother him with that issue at the time as he was very busy sorting out everything to make the event run smoothly. It did really surprise me, and I think if I was new to parkrun it would put me off. I have been going long enough and have enough confidence with it to know that I can walk, but I could see how one comment like that would put off someone from ever returning.

The first timers welcome continued in that theme a little, with the person telling us about how they have some of the fastest buggy runners, and VI runners, mentioning a few records, and then the main briefing was super quick before we started.

The park is really pretty, with lots of lovely tree tunnels, views of the Wembley arch, various art instillations and memorials. We had a lovely time walking together, and were not the only ones walking. On the second lap we chatted to one of the marshals who wanted to know about the bibs we were wearing. She said she had an injury and couldn’t run, but would like to walk, so we encouraged her to volunteer as a parkwalker- hopefully she will on future occasions.

There were a few marshals still out on the second lap, but also some of them had gone- we could see a few up ahead and had to follow them, and work out where we were. It isn’t the easiest course as you can see above- a sort of butterfly shape but there were plenty of path intersections to cross. We were ahead of the tail walker the whole time, so this wasn’t good as the marshals shouldn’t stand down until the tail walker has passed.

Even when we finished there was still no sign of the purple pop up, so we had selfies in our parkwalker bibs and then one by the Gladstone park sign instead.

An enjoyable 109th different event, and definitely a memorable one!

Selfies without the purple pop up to prove we were there!

I did enjoy the course- it was undulating and would be tough to run, but none of the paths seemed super steep and none of the hills went on for too long. I did email parkrun HQ about some of the issues so they said they would contact the team.

Breakfast catching up on the live t-shirt reveal, my new giant cup and a picture of the parkwalker bib from Gladstone facebook page (my collage cropped me out but I am there!)

Once home I watched With Me Now live as they unveiled the new v1000 t-shirt (a With Me Now yellow colour!), having tea in my newest DLP purchase, the biggest cup ever!

Visiting B&B, pizza for dinner, mega latte and the Moonwalkers

Then we were off to London for the afternoon, to visit Bird and Blend (a vegan creme egg mega latte was mine!), but mainly to go to The Moonwalkers, a brilliant show/ experience about all the people who have walked on the moon, narrated and produced by Tom Hanks.

Do you walk at parkrun? Have you been a parkwalker?

Loading Facebook Comments ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *