This weekend was filled to the brim with parkrun.
On Saturday, Daniel and I attended the 1st anniversary event of Southampton parkrun along with 511 other runners. With a total of 513 participants, this blew the event’s attendance record out of the water and was the UK’s 2nd largest attendance of the weekend. In fact, it was the 3rd highest attendance worldwide over the weekend behind Bushy and Newy in Australia who had 519 runners. If that wasn’t enough, the attendance record was the 6th highest recorded UK attendance ever and one of the 10 largest attended running event in the UK over the weekend. Wow!!
As always, the event was extremely well organised by Run Director, Tamsyn Smith, along with the many volunteers.
Daniel and my run weren’t perfect with Daniel getting a stitch after about 3km. Hmmm! That last minute apple before we left home wasn’t a great idea in hindsight. Never mind. As always, he finished ahead of me and got a course PB in the process.
Although the event team had organised a celebratory picnic, we had other plans so dropped into the cafe to help untangle some results processing issues before heading off. In reality, we missed all the unpicking of issues caused by runners crossing the finish line after only one lap, etc, etc.
On Sunday, Daniel, Connor and I went to the Junior parkrun in Bushy Park, Teddington. The event is currently held monthly and is only about 75 minutes drive away from home. As the run of 2km only takes about 12 minutes, we organised to make a day of it with some extra activities thrown in after the parkrun.
I’ve been to Bushy Park before (for their last anniversary) so was familiar with the layout. However, that didn’t stop us struggling a little to find the start/finish area. Anyway, we found it eventually thanks to the course map and Google maps!’
When we got there, a few children and parents had arrived and the finish funnel was taking shape.
As the boys played with some sticks, I spoke to the Event Director, Peej, about Junior parkrun, Chrissie Wellington’s influence and my hopes to set up an event in the Southampton/Eastleigh area.
Just before the start, I spotted Danny Norman in the finish funnel and had a chat with him and ‘The Imaginary One’.
After a warm up followed by a shuffle back to the right side of the start line, we were off. Connor complained of achy hips after about 250m and we struggled on to about 500m. Daniel was keen to carry on though so we watched as he ran off into the distance.
The course is an out-and-back with 1km in either direction. We waited for Daniel to see us at the 1.5km mark before he headed back to the finish funnel. Connor and I then ran/walked back to meet him.
Daniel enjoyed the event especially running with other kids. It was great that he’d completed most of the run by himself and had the confidence to get scanned. It was also good that he’d not felt the need to hold my hand all the way (impossible as I wasn’t there for 75% of the run!)
Daniel was keen to do another parkrun and have one much closer to home. Result.
Once the run was over, we spent the rest of the day walking, swimming in the Hampton Open Air Swimming Pool with hundreds of others and cycling in and around Bushy Park. Lovely!!