Panshanger for Mel’s 200th… with Mel being elsewhere

A while ago Mel in my club had mentioned her 200th parkrun was coming up, and had arranged for everyone to head to Panshanger to celebrate. I’d mentioned this to Dad, and he was happy to come over this way, and on the day my brother also came along too.

Sunglasses on as it was a gorgeous day! Check out the start and views from the run.

I never know what time I need to leave- if I was running there it’s a couple of miles so I’d leave around 8:15 to give me plenty of time to walk, not panic about missing the start etc. If we drive, it’s a 5 minute drive but the parking does fill up, so Dad picked me up at 8:30 and we were parked by 8:35, right at the front of the row of cars. We sat inside for a bit chatting, and then saw our two friends Donna and Lee, so we got out to chat. I mentioned that it was a bit late for Mel and everyone else to be arriving, and Donna told me that they were all at St Albans! I had somehow missed the change of venue-oops! Our running club group has migrated from using a closed facebook group to a whatsapp channel with lots of different sub groups, so it was in the parkrun chat group but I’d just missed it. I don’t often get the chance to check my phone during the day at work, so sometimes (particularly on a Friday) I get home and there will be 40 notifications in one group, so I tend to scroll down and not necessarily read them all. Clearly I’d missed it.

Anyway, back to Panshanger. Dad’s birthday is coming up and he said he wants to try and get first in his age category before moving to a new one, so he went up closer to the front and I stayed with Tony. We had a lovely run chatting together. It was a sunny day and the park just looked so beautiful. That was my 95th run there and it never gets old. We saw the cows and calves at a distance (they have longhorn cattle there are they are good for controlling aggressive grasses which then helps with biodiversity) and I also read that they are going to be introducing some iron age pigs which are good for turning over the land and helping tree saplings. Something exciting to look out for in the future.

We took a few photos by the sign, a few more scenes from the run, and the token photo

At one point we passed a marshal (Jacqueline) who I knew, and as we ran past and thanked her she mentioned that our dad was up ahead looking strong. Good news!

Once finished we took the obligatory photos (Dad has learnt that I need a photo by the parkrun sign each time I go!) and then he dropped me off home, I had a quick shower and then headed over to theirs for breakfast. When the email came through he was so frustrated as he had finished second in his age cat (23:48- a time I could only dream of!), with the guy who was first only a few places ahead. Ah well, you never know who else will be there with you! He still has a few more weeks to give this a go.

My parkrun whatsapp was filled with photos from St Albans, where Mel had actually gone to, so it was nice to see the celebration and hear about it after even if I did manage to end up in the wrong place!

Snacks in front of the football and CWW tea

After feeling fine in the morning, once I got home I could not stop sneezing, my throat was sore and I ended up with the typical half term cold (Andy reminded me that this time last year almost the same thing happened in Norway, as I was fine for parkrun in the morning and then ended up with a really bad cold the next day). Cold weather warrior tea is always good for this. I was glad I hadn’t volunteered at junior parkrun, and just chilled at home and then packed, as after Andy got back from the football (seeing Saints at Wembley) we were off to Germany via France and the Eurotunnel.

So a good start to half term even if it wasn’t quite what I had imagined. parkrun 360 and 95th at Panshanger. That single-ton is still within sight before the end of the year.

Have you managed a mix up like that before?