Egged on at Eglinton
This morning, the weather app informed me that it was going to be wet regardless of where I travelled to on my park run tourism quest. I decided therefore to venture to south west Scotland and the Eglinton parkrun, held near Irvine, in North Ayrshire. At another unknown, (to me) gem of a public space.
It was dry when I left home and then for the next ninety minutes the wind screen wipers scrolled through the full range of movement from an occasional swish to frantic action mode. It was going to be a wet run.
I was there in plenty of time and waited in the car, looking out at the rain to the parkrun course out there beyond the trees.
With 09:30 not far off I jogged across towards the start point with one of the regulars, they are a friendly bunch, these parkrunners. Through the trees, the hi viz waistcoats of the volunteer team acted as a guide to the muster point.
Where though, were the runners?
They were sheltering under the limbs of the trees, hoping to evade the falling rain. Reminded me of a flock or herd seeing shelter from the elements. What is the collective noun for parkrunners?
A barcode of parkrunners, perhaps?
Mud and puddles waiting to suck in those pretty running shoes and splatter those oh-so-prized club and apricot tops.
After a thankfully short briefing from the race director we were off along the park trails, across a few bridges and down some bits and up others. All the time the greenery whistled by, it was very hard to ignore but the underfoot conditions meant you needed to concentrate of the path. Some excellent shouts, (in addition to the usual egging on), from the marshals today, warning the parkrunners of particularly slippy, slidey, difficult sections.
It wasn’t cold, just very wet – the kind of wet that means puddles are for going through, not avoided as it makes no difference to the state of your feet. It was funny though when a friendly runner chugs along, says hello and stays with you for the companionship of the run. No problem with that, another friendly side of the parkrun experience. He was however a solid individual, a small tank in stature and what do small tanks do they go through muddle puddles with accompanying splatter? The spray he splashed was similar to the effect that the aforementioned small vehicle would have upon you if you were standing on the pavement as it drove by.
It made me smile.
The finish was a sharp up followed by a steeper down and as I was feeling suitably gallus I let the breaks off on the decline right thorough the flat straight and the finish beyond
A great run, with 127 very welcoming folk taking part, lovely setting, great volunteers and the weather was the proverbial icing on the cake.
Parking, toilets and coffee all there. Finally, my stat-geek inner self was happy as I ran faster than the course average, (that’s what I meant to say in the video, not the record, if only!), time at 24:40, for number 117 at venue 38.