This was brilliant!
Although I do not like fancy dress at all, because it was Panshanger’s first birthday, I felt like I should.
I ordered a tutu and headband from ebay, and luckily they arrived on Thursday. At least they would be easy to wear over normal running gear. Lots of people from the club were going, so we all met at the start and admired the costumes- we had Where’s Wally, a pirate, plenty of wonder women, a witch and some pink tutus.
The official start was 8.55am, but they had so many presentations (points league tables, most volunteering, most first finishers etc), as well as introducing the running elite (Andy Baddeley, who holds the parkrun record of 13.48- that drew a sigh of admiration from the crowd!)- the report is here if anyone is interested. They had an amazing three-tiered cake too. Then they did the normal start- as it was my 50th I got a mention which I wasn’t expecting what with all the birthday celebrations going on!
From their facebook page.
Then we were off!
Facebook page again. Look, it’s me! The flare was very exciting too!
I had no time aims, I just wanted to enjoy the atmosphere. It was brilliant seeing all the costumes on the way around, and it was pretty much perfect running weather, although I have had a sore throat this week and the cold air was not so good.
Because they pointed me out at the start, a few people said to me “well done” for my 50th on the way around, which was lovely. I kept running alongside a lady dressed as a bee, admiring her outfit. We kept passing each other, and in the end I think I finished just ahead of her. My time was 28.28, I like the repetition!
Afterwards we cheered more people over the line, and then queued up to what I thought was the WI stall, but turned out to be for a piece of the cake, and they also had a guest book to sign which I thought was lovely.
Love the little trainers! It was tasty too!
A couple of us took a photo by the banner (some had rushed off by this point), and then went to get a warm drink (and were photographed surreptitiously while we were waiting). Of course I then went to the WI stall and got a piece of delicious ginger cake (which I ate on Sunday).
It was such a great start to the weekend. I didn’t get home until so much later because lot of people were hanging about a bit, and it just felt like a lovely community event. What I also love is that they celebrate the taking part- I know that if you are faster then you get more points, but actually it is more about being there consistently. They celebrate junior runners, and encourage activity in young people. Also, one lady had volunteered so many times- she was manning the cake stall but was called over at the start- the volunteers are what make it such a special event and I love that they are celebrated just as much as the speedy runners.
When I finally got home, as well as my results email I also had an email saying I was now in the 50 club! How exciting! I didn’t even know they did that!
Here’s to many more parkruns!