South Hampshire Longest park run and a bouncident

It’s been a funny weekend.

It started on Saturday at Royal Victoria Country Park where I was volunteering and looking after 4 children whilst Denise, Kerry and Helen ran their first parkrun to raise money for Help4Harvey.

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Just before the end of the first lap, Helen slipped and ended up badly spraining her ankle and was rushed off to A&E. Denise and Kerry did really well though and finished in about 46 and 49 minutes respectively. Most importantly, they raised £250 for Harvey.

On Saturday afternoon, I took Daniel and Connor to Fleming Park so they could ride their bikes. Halfway through the ride, we stopped off at a playground where the boys had lots of fun on a submerged trampoline running, bouncing and jumping off. They wanted me to do it so I did. Each time I started running to it, Connor would grab my legs.

On my only attempt where I got to the trampoline, I bounced and Connor ploughed into the side of me and I fell landing on both wrists before falling to the ground where I was joined by Connor who playfully bundled on top of me. Children!!

My first concern was the grazing on both hands. That certainly hurt and, at the time, I didn’t notice any other pain.

It wasn’t until I was subsequently pushing a trolley around the Asda Hypermarket in Chandlers Ford that my wrists ached quite badly.

Being a man, I grinned and bared it rather than going straight to A&E. in fact, I drove home with some difficulty and tried to get on the best I could.

After an evening of RICE, I went to bed with both wrists on ice in the hope that sleep would cause a dramatic recovery. My main thoughts were that next weekend’s triathlon was in jeopardy. 😦

On Sunday, I woke late. I didn’t want to get out of bed and the pain in my wrists hasn’t subsided. I decided that a trip to A&E was called for so Denise and the boys dropped me off.

I was seen by the emotionless Triage nurse (who most likely thought I’d sustained the injury during a drunken evening the night before) in a few minutes and then enjoyed the ambiance in the waiting room before being properly examined by a nurse. Having poked and prodded my arms and hands, the nurse declared that my wrists weren’t broken and most likely sprained and that should be rested with painkillers for several days. The nurse said that competing in the triathlon should be possibly but would, mostly likely, be painful.

I rang Denise who picked me up and spent most of the day avoiding washing up and mowing the lawn whilst wearing a pair of snowboarding wrist guards. As it turned out, they were Denise’s pair which explains why they were so uncomfortable to wear and added chaffing to the pain in my hands!! Great!

Sunday was also the day of South Hampshire’s Longest park run. This is an event that I’d ‘organised’ consisting of the opportunity to complete up to 7 5km runs at 6 different parkrun venues in one day.

I’ve put ‘organised’ in inverted commas as it wasn’t much to organise other than to decide on a structure for the day in terms of which venues to visit and in which order and, if necessary, get permission from each of the parks to do this. As it turned out, some of the parks weren’t too keen as they are typically busy during the day on a Sunday. However, having sought clarification from HQ, it was clear that the event was very informal with no need for volunteers, marshals, timing etc, etc. Due to this, I ploughed ahead and defined the order events would be visited in with the schedule shown below:

Eastleigh 9am
Winchester 10:30am
Queen Elizabeth Country Park 12 noon
Havant 1:30pm
Netley Abbey 3pm
Southampton 4:30pm
Eastleigh 6pm

I had hoped to attend a few of the events during the day but the accident (or bouncident) meant that driving was challenging and, as most of the morning was spent in A&E, it looked unlikely I’d make any.

Fortunately, Daniel has his swimming lessons at Fleming Park on a Sunday at 6pm so as Denise had to drive, I asked whether she’d mind if I went over from the Leisure Centre to the Old Golf Course to watch the runners in their last event of the day. I was both a little surprised and pleased when Denise said yes (thankfully I asked when her mum was there as her parents had popped over for lunch).

So, at 5:30pm, we left for Fleming Park.

As I walked across the playing fields to the parkrun venue, there were about 15 people waiting at the start. More arrived shortly after I got there and it was great to see lots of familiar faces. Several shook my hand before noticing the wrist guards so it was a painful experience saying hello! :-S

I’d taken a camera and took about 100 photos as the runners enjoyed the course.

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It was great to have been able to get to the last event. Most of the participants most likely didn’t have a clue who I was or that I’d had a small part in each and every one of their own home parkrun events over the last 4 years. In fact, it’s probably no exaggeration to say that without that involvement as either (one-time) Event Director (Eastleigh, Netley Abbey and Southampton) or having been involved in the ‘selling’ of the parkrun to the major stakeholders (e.g. councils and park management teams) and the subsequent setup of the events (Winchester, Havant and Queen Elizabeth), 5 of the parkrun events may not exist. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions on that.

Anyway, I’m really proud to have helped bring parkrun to each of those communities as well as now supporting each of them as the Hampshire parkrun Ambassador.

It was great to see 30+ enjoying the day and to have 19 or 20 complete all 7 runs (35km). The latter all looked both remarkably fresh (although parkrun fresh) and very pleased to have completed all events. Well done all.

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Hopefully, the event have some of the participants the opportunity to try out courses they’d not had the opportunity to try before.

I hope to be able to organise the event next year. Or maybe organise a similar event later this year.

In summary, it’s been a weekend of ups and downs. The highs were seeing Denise and friends complete their first parkruns for Harvey and getting to the finale of the Longest Day park run.

As I type this at 4am, my wrists are feeling better. That is better than I’d hoped for. 🙂

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