A chilly, damp, dreich day met my bleary eyes this morning but at least the above zero temperatures meant no scraping ice from the car. I didn’t have the room for that this morning as a time gobbling, warm bed was more enticing than stepping outside.
I eventually moved, dressed and jumped in the car. Off I toddled to the Cramond foreshore and the starting point of the Edinburgh parkrun. The signs were that I would be joined by many parkrunners this morning.
Weather was dry and not too cold.
Underfoot conditions were of the non slippy variaty.
There was an increasing and engaged chatter on the web waves in the days before Christmas Day parkrun.
Warnings about arriving early and parking sensibly were in abundance. No leaving the sled parked across several spaces and having the reindeer grazing untethered was a No, No!
I managed to get there in good time but it was obvious with the number of pedestrians dressed by “Santa & Elf”, tailors to the discerning Xmas parkrunner, that today was going to be popular. I parked the car a bit further away, not because I wanted more steps to add to a new Santa delivered pedometer, more the fact that there were a large number of cars disgorging several more parkrun folk than is the usual.
Approaching the starting point from the east, the sea of parkrunners spread out along the promenade like so many free range Christmas ready turkeys with a conversational gobble to match. So I added to the chatter.
At the allocated time off we sped like a huge group of shoppers who have realised the doors are open for the Christmas sales. Hundreds sped along, garish Xmas jumpers of all shapes, sizes and patterns. For one day only this clothing choice pushed the various official parkrun merchandise T-shirt’s and vests into second place on the running wardrobe most popular wear table. Throw in the Mr and Mrs Santa uniforms, snow folk of all genders and more elves than you see in the Harry Potter franchise and hopefully you have an idea of the scene.
As I ran along it was obvious that due to the amount of parkrunners today the finish funnel would be reminiscent of yesterday, where at so many supermarket car parks folk waited in a line to exit. Today at the finish we had a long queue as people patiently waited to cross the spray painted line marking the end of the 5km course. This was before they have even entered the funnel to collect their position token and leave the orange walled exit route.
The marshals, (as all the volunteers do at any time of the year), did a sterling job in keeping those finishing moving up the muddy finish funnel. The queue slowly snaking its way towards the point were they collected their finish token. It was all a tad busy and a bit claustrophobic but that’s what happens when you have the number of parkrunners an event has on such a special day.
Once my barcode/position token combo had been scanned I joined the funnel managers to assist in encouraging the queue to keep moving. What struck me today, perhaps more acutely than a usual Saturday parkrun morning was the sense of bonhomie amongst all those assembled. Seasonal salutations, laughter, sweaty, tired but still smiling faces and a palpable sense of achievement regardless of what the clock said, the number of minutes and seconds you covered the 5km in this morning.
“I did it!”
Even the dogs looked chuffed.
I’m not sure how many dogs there were today but 869 human beans promenaded along the foreshore at Cramond.
Enjoy redressing the calorie deficit you engineered this morning and have a lovely Christmas Day, see you next week.