Daily Archives: September 15, 2018

Barnsley parkrun 400? and a car boot sale too you say? Bring it on!

Digested read: went to Barnsley parkrun for some parkrun tourism.  SoYo9 done.

Oh, you want to know more about Barnsley parkun?  Well, it just so happens that you are in luck.  In order to prevent you from experiencing frustration, and to save your temper, trouble and money (maybe not money actually – though free parkruns for life by way of apology if you think my account erroneous) I can tell you all about it from my recent sojourn out.  Read on for the unabridged version, the findings from my morning’s scouting party if you will.  See how handy proximity to a car boot sale is for visual aids?  Amazing eh.  Genius even, I’m sure you’ll agree.

save yourself trouble

 

Unabridged version:

Re-invigorated by taking a jaunt to experience the delights of Doncaster parkrun last week, I was sufficiently motivated to shift my backside to Barnsley, pass through the metaphorical back of the wardrobe, and dive into the Narnia that is Locke Park, Barnsley.  I won’t lie there is some strategic drive that made Barnsley parkrun my destination of choice for this weekend.  Specifically, once I’ve ticked off Barnsley, I’ll have achieved the full set of the SoYo9 (South Yorkshire 9) parkruns, which means I get my name on a list alongside other parkrunners, on the strideandtested website – (make sure you choose the right collection from the search box on the left hand side if you are having a nosey) – what greater recognition could there be than that? (Rhetorical question, no answers on a postcard please).

SoYo9 club
A list of all the heroes that have run all 9 South Yorkshire parkruns.
The SoYo9 club currently has 176 members (as of 12/09/2018)

To be fair, I wasn’t regarding attendance at this event as requiring any great urgency, until a little stalking of the Barnsley parkrun facebook page revealed that this particular Saturday would be their 400th event.   There was excited chat in the build up, promise of celebratory cake, a sea of parkrun tops and maybe even some running for the especially keen.  Well, if they are having a party anyway, would be rude not to rock up and help it go with a swing surely?  No mention of fancy dress or giraffes though, which might just be a typo on their part I suppose… does seem a surprising omission otherwise.  I mean can you properly celebrate without?  I may have to find out for myself…

400 event

I did have a moment’s hesitation, when I found that there was to be a car boot sale in the park on the same day – I was worried about parking at an unknown venue.  What if I missed the start endlessly driving round and round Barnsley in search of a parking space?  When I mentioned it to a triathlete buddy of mine, who was debating about making the same foray out, her response was far more appropriate.  ‘A car boot sale you say?  Game on!’  She is right of course.  This should not be seen as an obstacle to attendance, but rather an added incentive to get my arse over there.  I’m also well overdue for a rummage, and this could be my opportunity to buy a broken food mixer or restock the shelves I’ve worked so hard to empty through rigorous de-cluttering associated with a recent house move by making impulse buys of heaps of second hand books.   Heavens!  I might even pick up an almost complete musty set of Encyclopedia Britannia.  What a boon to my bookshelves that would be!  Hence, Barnsley parkrun?  Bring it on!

In advance I learn that this is another three-lap course. Oh.  Not overly keen to be fair.  However, it will help make me mentally strong to do another three-lapper.  There are good instructions on the website, but I prefer a postcode these days.  Still, I was pretty sure the Friends of Locke park advice would get me there safely:  ‘Locke Park Car Park is off Keresforth Hall Road, S70 6NF -follow signs.’  I’ll probably head off the night before anyway, as I really, really hate being late, so that should allow enough time to find it.

The course looks like this apparently:

Barnsley parkrun course

Inexplicably, there is no explicit mention of elevation.  It must be flat then.  Clearly those people I met at Doncaster parkrun last week were spreading misinformation when they tried to warn me it was hillier than most.  I mean, they thought they had a hill at Doncaster (bless) when by Sheffield terms it was actually just a speed bump really.  Don’t tell any Doncaster folk I said  this, wouldn’t want to offend when they were so friendly and welcoming, it’s not their fault they don’t encounter the hills we Sheffielders have become accustomed to.  If it was that lumpy I’m sure a thoughtful Barnsley parkrunner would alert newcomers to this consideration with at the very least a flashing warning gif of somesort, alongside the other information about it all being on tarmac paths.

Unless they subscribe to the view….

upward flat

shudder. … No surely not. I was fretting for nothing!  I do have a tendency to catastrophise, it is not a good quality.  If anything, it will probably feel like it’s downhill all the way.  A pb course.  Yep, that’s more likely.  Positive thinking, and breathe.  I felt better already.

I also read in advance a really lovely post about the pleasures of parkrun.  Might have got something in my eye reading that.  It’s worth reflecting on what parkrun means to many of us, and how it is often not the individual run achievements or pbs that stand out (which is just as well as my last pb was years ago, literally) but shared laughs and adventures along the way that stick in the memory.  Aw.

Anyway, the runes were looking good.  Seems like a friendly lot, there are toilets at the start, and a cafe at the end.  What’s not to like.  … Game on indeed.

So I got up at stupid o-clock.  Couldn’t sleep anyway.  Porridge breakfast, tomtom on? Check.  Barcode wrist band on?  Check.  Volunteer milestone top on?  Check.  Good to go.  Don’t worry I wore other running stuff too.  I’m not that minimalist when running, or indeed when out in public more generally.   You can open your eyes in safety!

The drive from Sheffield to Barnsley was actually really quick, especially as I left crazily early and the roads were deserted.  About 35 minutes, tops.  There are even proper brown tourist signs to direct you to the park.  Easy peasy, easiest one to find and park up of all the tourist runs I’ve done – which granted isn’t massively many, but is up to 18 or so.  I think the record is a few hundred, some parkrunner who has opted to do a new parkrun every single time out.  Must check that out actually, that’s quite amazing…

Where was I?  Oh yes, very easy to find, and a pretty spacious car park too.  In normal circumstances it ought logically be extremely easy to park but this was the most popular parkrun ever, and it was heaving, even though it was barely 8.00 a.m. (I told you I hate being late).

Naysayers might possibly think this busy-ness attributable to the carboot sale, but hey, surely Barnsley parkrun’s 400th ought to trump that!

I managed to get one of the very last parking places in the car park ‘proper’ but in fact, the Friends of Locke park were doing fine work directing cars to the overflow car park on grass for the car boot sale.  It was all running very smoothly.  Although there was quite a queue to get in, even at this early hour.

As I had lots of time on my side anyway, I took advantage of the opportunity to nip back to the co-op I’d passed earlier to get my Saturday Guardian.  Saturdays are incomplete without it, but I thought by dint of my parkrun tourism I might have to forfeit it.  Reader not so!  Huge relief all round.

Back to the park and the next challenge was to find the start for parkrun.  Because I was ridiculously early, there weren’t any other obvious parkrunners around.  There were loads of people, but many were carbooters, laying a false trail by heading over for the scrum for choice bric a brac.  I soon got wise to that.

For the record, Locke park is surprisingly lovely. It’s a mature park, seemingly well maintained.  I’d never been before so was constantly amazed by the various follies I stumbled across round every turn – from huge random towers to Grecian columns.  Very fine indeed.  Around at least one side of the park was a spectacular stone wall, this was an expensive proposition when first established.  Very impressive boundary.  Formal rose beds are hidden away in little secret dips and troughs, there was a football pitch, adventure playground – even a bowls court. And yes dear reader, the promised loos open for business too!  Phew.  Feast your eyes on this smorgasboard of visual and sensory delights and you’ll get the idea.

At one point on my journey across the park I came across an early bird parkrunner and his entourage, although I didn’t appreciate it at the time.  I learned later he had started at 7.30 a.m. and would continue until all three laps were done, returning to be cheered through the finish after a mammoth 2 hours 42 minutes on course.  That’s real dedication.  Inspirational is an over-used word, but you know what, it blooming was.

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I rather regret now that they didn’t properly photo bomb my tower shot, would have been a suitably grand backdrop for the occasion.  Oh well, no worries.  I learned from one of their number that from time to time the tower is open to the public.   Good to know. Unfortunately, they couldn’t quite remember when.  Was it third Sunday in the month, only in months with an r in them every other leap year.  Something like that. You can probably find out on the Friends of Locke park website to be fair, but I like the element of surprise when you roll up at these events.  Shame to spoil that by doing research in advance eh?

The park isn’t huge, but it seemed big because I didn’t know where I was going, and because, yes dear reader, I cannot tell a lie, you couldn’t see over the lumpy bits without climbing up them first.  It was giving an impression of being unexpectedly hilly indeed.  Slopes that looked gentle, went on and on in a continuous upward spiral.  Harder than you might think.  It’s always a bad sign when you are puffing before you’ve even made the start line.

Just as I was wondering if I’d ever locate the start, I espied a marshal who pointed me in the direction of the cafe and adventure playground.  Hurray.  It was a great play area, all train themed.  How charming!  I found out later this was not by chance, but because the land was donated by the widow of a guy who made his money through railway engineering.  That explains the mini railway station and finger tracing of a steam train…

but not the half excavated dinosaur remains.  They must therefore be for real.  Who knew?  How exciting!  The Whitby Jurassic coastline has nothing on Barnsley it would seem!  Cool.

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Always good to have found the start.  Next thing was to find the loos.  So the good news, for parkrun tourists, is that there is a loo.  The bad news, is that the facilities are not that ample.  There was basically one unisex loo and one ‘mothers and babies’ one.  And I thought Sheffield Hallam parkrun had uniquely poor precautionary pee provision.  But at least we have ladies, gents and a disabled.  An abundance of pee places by comparison.  When I arrived there was a solitary guy waiting.  He was coy about using the mother and babies, so directed me there.  Whether that was because he thought I was either a mother, or a baby or in possession of the latter I’m not sure.  I decided though to shamelessly exploit his chivalry.  Never pass up a pee opportunity, that’s my motto.

The loo itself did look a bit like a crime scene.  I mean it was clean enough, but it had that utilitarian look that you associate with horror film set in asylums, white tiles, chipped piping and a rather alarming section of burnt floor.  Best not think about it too deeply.  All functional though, and toilet paper too so top marks for that. Yes, I’ve taken a photo of the interior of the loo.  I got quite blasé about taking such shots whilst living and working in Cambodia, it’s informative for those that come after, and I’m over being self-conscious about such postings these days.  I draw the line at taking a selfie in situ though, that’s more of a niche area I don’t go into.  By the time I emerged, there was a queue. Nicely timed on my part then. Hurrah!

There was still ages before the start, so I did some pootling about, admiring both the vegetation – some nice fancy planting there

and some running club top spotting as the great and the good, the gregarious and the gauche, the gallopers and the gallumphers all began to assemble.  In my explorations I found many a marvel – not least the local innovation of a PB bell.  I haven’t had a pb for many years.  I suppose as this is my first time on this course, technically today might count as one, but that also feels disingenuous, exciting though the prospect of proactively initiating my own parkrun ding-dong undoubtedly was.

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I was wondering at what point I might espy someone I knew.  Actually I didn’t really.  I did see a fellow Graves junior parkrun volunteer, so we chatted briefly. He’d apparently coerced encouraged a number of his work colleagues to sign up for the Sheffield 10k next weekend, so they were having a Barnsley parkrun pre event run round, which was good.  I lingered til the rest of his buddies arrived, and as we lingered the volunteers constructed a finish funnel around us, which amused me.  Then I left them to catch up and talk tactics and continued with my ambling about slightly self-consciously.  There were some Valley Hill Runners in evidence.  I really must pluck up the courage to go and say hello to them sometime.  I feel that this is the running club I’d have joined if I hadn’t discovered Smiley Paces first.  Plus, one of their number did the Dig Deep Ultra a few weeks back, and I wanted to swap tales, but I don’t know which one it was.  Gawd it’s hard being me.  I mean, I know they are always super friendly but I still feel it’s a bit forward to bundle in when they are all communing with one another.  I should get into the habit of carrying cake with me, that’s the way to their hearts I understand, well, chip butties more specifically, but they don’t travel all that well.  The chip butties I mean, not the Valley Hill buddies, just to be clear.  Barnsley Harriers too of course, always a pleasure, everyone knows how lovely they are 🙂

As people gathered, the lone parkrunner came through finishing his first lap to much cheering from those assembled, and continued on his way.

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Then there was a megaphone announcement. Much excitement, must be pre-run briefing!  Not so, it was to announce a 10 minute delay to the start as there was a mahoosive queue of cars still waiting to come in

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Now that’s completely fair enough, but obviously it played havoc with my precautionary pee plans.  I decided I’d have to fit in another one now.  I threw caution to the wind, and by passing the asylum loo, sneakily snuck into the cafe to use their posh loo, which was very nice thank you for asking.  As I emerged, a queue had magically appeared there too (maybe I have some sort of leadership qualities in this area, makes you wonder).  Walking past them was a bit like having a guard of honour lining my way.  When I commented on this, the little group of women spontaneously broke into applause, one even shouting ‘well done!’ and it was surprisingly cheering.  Who doesn’t like to be greeted with adoring clapping crowds as they go about their business?  Thank you my people.  Much appreciated.

I ditched my fleece, and stuffed it into my back pack, and my backpack into a Tesco bag for life I’d brought along for this purpose.  The unofficial bag drop was to stuff worldly goods under one of a couple of handily positioned picnic tables. They were groaning with more cakes than I’ve ever seen in my life.  Wow!  All dietary needs catered for too you’ll be pleased to hear.

After another 10 minutes or so, one of the RDs took up the megaphone and a vantage position on one of the benches too.  He explained about it being the 400 th Barnsley parkrun, which is indeed amazing, but then said he was going to start on a more serious note.  He announced that a fellow runner, known well locally and a Penistone Footpath Runner  had died in completely unexpected and, by implication, unsettling circumstances earlier in the week.  In his memory it was suggested that those assembled offer one minute’s applause.  I’ve not participated in such a gesture before.  It was quite moving.  Obviously, I don’t know the runner or what happened, but it felt like a very genuine symbol of solidarity with those who did.  Applause is better than silence I think, silence can be a) awkward,  and b) too often broken.  However, I would add that one minute is actually quite a long time to have to clap for, the wise amongst us paced themselves for this task.  It was maybe a brave decision to make such a tribute as part of a day of celebration, but it seemed to me at least wholly appropriate, and very genuine.  Also, very sad.  I was looking around at the sea of Penistone Footpath t-shirts in amongst all the parkrun apricot and milestone tees and wondering how they must be feeling.   I hope it helped to have the loss acknowledged.

Then there was the official run briefing.  It was astonishing to look around and see how big the field was.  I stole this photo from someone else who posted on the Barnsley parkrun facebook page because it’s better than my shot, gives more of a sense of how many are there, also I’m in the throng, which is novel.

HH group photo

I was expecting this to be quite a small parkrun, I think normally it is.  Today the Barnsley parkrun turn out was a record breaking 343 people.  Therefore, by dint of my presence  I must officially be a record breaking parkrunner just for being there, just as I am a record breaking marathoner for having the misfortune to run London on the hottest ever marathon day.  The latter is not a record I would have chosen willingly, but sure, I’ll capitalise on it now it’s happened.  Not good though people, really not good.  To be part of the Barnsley parkrun record breaking gang, that was undiluted fabulousness though.  Hurrah!

First the run briefing, then the migration to the start, which was just a little distance away from the finish funnel.  I bimbled along behind everyone else, happy to just plant myself in the back somewhere.

I took the opportunity to take a shot of the timer start team as I made my way along:

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I tried to do this by stealth, but they were too eagle eyed for me to achieve this, so I went for the posed photo instead.  That was what they looked like from the front, this is the view from behind.  What a lot of runners eh?

BP start photo

Then I looked up, and realised to my absolute horror, that the run was going in the opposite direction to that I’d anticipated, and I was in danger of being right at the front of the pack, where it could be pretty much guaranteed I’d be trampled by speedier runners as the parkrun got under way.  Phew, realised just in time, I pushed my way hurriedly through to the back where I belonged, in amongst the buggy runners and barkrunners.  (That pun has never been made before people, remember you heard it here first).

Time for quick selfie though, obvs:

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Only looking moderately manic on this occasion.

I didn’t hear the cry for off, but off we all went, me trundling along behind.  I may have missed the start, but a handily placed Barnsley parkrun photographer did not.  Check out these of the parkrunners underway.  Aw, aren’t we lovely, all enjoying parkrun in our own way.

I really wasn’t feeling the lurve for running this morning.  I was tired from insomnia, and still a bit achey from a woodrun drills session on Thursday.  It’s shaming really, I ought to be able to do that and a parkrun in a week without my batteries going flat.  I really do need to get back to basics and work on my form, even think about maybe some interval training to pick my speed up. However, today was not the day.  Today was for bimbling, photograph taking and enjoying a spot of parkrun tourism.  It’s supposed to be fun remember people, otherwise, what are we all doing out there on a Saturday morning.

It was pretty busy out there, being at the back it was a slow start. I overheard another runner exclaim delightedly to his running buddy ‘I am doing just great at this pace, I can do this!’  Not sure how long he got to do that for, before being compelled to shift himself as the field opened out and people started to overtake and settle into whatever their preferred pace was.

I was all eyes (well both eyes, I’ve only got the two) agog, taking in the scenery.  It really is a scenic run, despite the three lap thing, there’s loads of interest. I got a bit distracted trying to get some shots.  Now, I’m not a photographer, and I was running as well, so they aren’t maybe the best quality you’ll see, but hopefully they’ll capture the mood, and the sense of occasion.  I think the phrase you are reaching for is ‘good in parts‘.

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First time round, I tried to get a photo of each of the marshals too.  Mixed success, but thanks to all of you high viz heroes.  Some phenomenal motivational clapping, cheering and helpful directional pointing going on out there on course today.  Give yourselves a high five to go with your high viz. You’ve earned it!

The second lap, I was more struck by some of the landmarks on route.  The appeal of some might not be immediately apparent to the untrained eye, but I was strangely fascinated by the municipal toilet buildings.  I couldn’t work out if it was because they made me feel weirdly nostalgic for a time when that style of building was state of the art sixties (I think) utilitarian chic, or because it made me inwardly shudder because of it’s rather faded and rough looking exterior.   I still think it’s as interesting as the stylised columns in its own way.

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Then there were the little details along the way.  The ‘no pain no gain’ t-shirt from the Penistone group I think, and I like the juxtaposition of the defibrillator next to the ice-cream sales sign.  Or is that just me again?  Oh well.  Don’t forget the parkrun code. You are obligated to respect everyone’s right to participate in their own way, my way might be idiosyncratic, but it’s essentially harmless, and I needed to make my own entertainment en route to distract me from them there hills.

Because dear reader, there was a great deal of hill.  It was deceptive, the gradient looked pretty forgiving and gradual, but it just went on and on.  The downhill bits were short and sharp by comparison.  I think Graves and Castle both have sharper more intense hills, but this run definitely has more constant heaving of yourself heavenwards.  This is not my forte.  To be fair, I’m not quite sure what my running forte is, that’s unfinished business, but it’s definitely not going uphill.

Inevitably, I got lapped early on.  The plus side of this is that you get to see the faster runners.  Oh my, they were working hard.  It may be a run not a race, but some of them were most certainly going for it.  Those that had the breath to spare shouted encouragement on the way past.  I sometimes wonder how fast I could run if i really pushed myself to that extent.  Maybe next time I’m on a flat section somewhere unobserved, I might give it a go, today was not the time or place though, also I might not give it a go, I quite like just having a slow and steady cruising setting I feel I could maintain for ever if need be.  Then again, it would be a new and interesting challenge to see if I’m capable of upping the ante.  We’ll see.

Here are some faster runners, rushing past in a blur:

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or maybe I was running so fast the camera moved as I was clicking the shutter.  It will be one scenario or the other, I forget which.

By the time I finished the second lap, I had to continue to run past a rapidly filling finish tunnel.  Although it was definitely an inclusive and friendly parkrun, overall I felt they were speedier parkrunners on average than other parkruns I’ve visited.  I was in the last few trickling in, normally there is a bit more a buffer between me and the final finisher.  Not that it matters, everyone crossing the line was celebrated equally.

For the record though, here is the finish funnel in all its glory, as I ran by:

The final lap I did pretty much solo, apart from the cheering volunteers.  It was OK though.  I ought to have tried harder going up the hills, oh well, there’s always next time…  Passing each marshal for the last time, I held back from saying to all but one ‘no offence, but I’m quite glad I’m seeing you for the last time this morning‘ which fortunately did engender a response of laughter rather than a look of horror at my rudeness.  Phew.  Eventually, there was the down hill finish, the incentive to sprint past the railings to the finish funnel beyond. There was quite a crowd, queuing at the coffee shop and making the most of the bountiful supplies of cake, and many cheered and clapped me in.  I felt quite the celebrity, that was two lots of being cheered within the hour if you count my toilet exit walk which clearly I do.  I always seem to be able to muster a final sprint, I think it’s born of fear they’ll move the finish further away if I don’t get there sharpish!

BP unexpected sprint finish

Thank you nice finish token dispenser.  Then through the funnel to the barcode scanner.

Then, well ohmygawd, it’s taken super-human strength of will not to blurt this out at the start, but at the moment my finish token was scanned, I bore witness to possibly the greatest innovation I have ever seen at a parkrun.  No really, and dear reader, I’ve seen the double funnel finish at Bushy parkrun, so I speak with some authority on this topic.  It was a barscanner cosy!  Lovingly knitted, each scanner had it’s own bespoke garment.  Genius.   Complete genius.

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I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm for this item, marginally coveted it even.  Anyway, this turned out to be a good thing, as I got chatting with the barcode scanner and a recent barcode scannee, and that was entertaining, which is the main point of parkrun.  I was going to say after the running bit, but we all know that’s a lie.  Nice to meet you my new parkrun friends, you were awesome (then again, all parkrunners are, so not unique in that respect, but isn’t it grand to be acknowledged as awesome all the same).  Told you I’d see you again in cyberspace!  (Enthusiastic virtual wave coming your way RIGHT NOW!)

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So they were my new best friends ever, but I abandoned them in favour of this star offering.  Anyone would have done the same, check out this cool dude, similarly decked out in his fifty milestone top.  Ben apparently.  There are a few celebrity parkrun dogs out there as you know. Graves has Lily the wonder dog with her very own portrait in the Graves park Rose Garden cafe and a 100 bandanna, I’m sure there are other barkrunners in abundance all over, but this mutt was special.  Oh, and he had a companion human along with him too, but it’s pretty clear who the star attraction was I think we can agree.  And he has his own barkcode too (sort of) long story.

So there we are, another parkrun done and – good news  people, my SoYo9 in the bag. Look, you can see it was 🙂

Soyo9

Just the quest for coffee remaining.  There was a bit queue at the cafe, but it did look like it did decent coffee, and I wanted to stay at the finish to cheer the final finisher home.  Quite a few people were doing likewise, well, all that cake wasn’t going to eat itself now was it.

The cafe queue was not fast moving, but the coffee was good.  It was also an opportunity to talk to other parkrunners.  My first conversation was around how taxing it was to choose coffee in these days of multiple choice offerings and extras.  I went for the flat white.  Whilst waiting for that, I got into conversation with some llama people.  I mean, they weren’t actually related to llamas as far as I know, but just people who appreciated them.  People who appreciated them sufficiently to have some re-useable coffee cups adorned with their likenesses.  Also, if I am to believe it, matching underwear too, though not in use today because sometimes going commando under running gear is preferable.   All I know is I was very impressed.  Home bargains too apparently, I’d had them down as more erm, frankly exclusive bit of merchandise, but this is a result.  Would it be too stalkery to source my own I wonder? Anyway, apart from swapping anecdotes about alpaca noises, we also swapped tales of parkrun tourism and fantasy destinations.  we both have our eyes on the one involving a ferry, unfortunately I can’t remember quite where it is – Shetland Islands maybe?  One day though dear reader, one day…

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Cheers alerted us to the returning final finisher hero so we joined the crowd to welcome him in.

Then we checked out what cake was left.  I had a slice of lemon cake, I felt a tad guilty for not having brought anything to share but then again there was mountains of the stuff, and I didn’t let the guilt get in the way of actually eating it.  Very hospitable crowd at Barnsley.

More chit-chat with one of the regular RDs, I expressed enthusiasm for the minions barcode countdown, but agreed not to let the compliment go any further, it would be our secret.  She was also able to fill me in on some background about the park and its history, which I learned is handily outlined on some of the signs near at hand, and explains the recurring train motifs.  Nice. Good to have local tourist guides when you are doing parkrun tourism jaunts.  I thank you!

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and then that was it, all over for another week.  I’d say a hit though.  I’d recommend this parkrun.  Very friendly, interesting park, good facilities, fine coffee and surely the innovative barscanner cosies alone are worth the trip?  Oh and the elevation – well, according to my Strava 328 ft, but it felt like more to be honest.  Then again, it always does.

Back through the park, few more scenic sights, and the delights of the secret alphabet steps within a little hidden grotto somewhere.  Isn’t that lovely.  But what were those weird cardboard circles on the grass about?  There were thousands of them.  Really, all in one big patch, like finding a mound of roman coins or something, only these were worthless, soggy and cardboard circa 2018 as opposed to a valuable, solid gold cache  circa 2500 BC.  Am I being naive here, is it a thing?  An installation art homage to the millstones of the peak district perhaps?

and a final browse through the offerings at the car boot sale.  I was amazed how much that had thinned out by now though, clearly with car boot sales, it’s the early bird that gets the proverbial worm – or chintzy home furnishings / choice knick knackery in this case.

One thing that made me smile was an overheard conversation as I wandered through.  One of the stall holders was on the phone talking about the car boot sale.  She was explaining how a bit after they’d set up there was suddenly this sea of people storming towards them off the horizon, and she had a moment of thinking ‘my we have an unexpected rush on‘ before clocking we were ‘some sort of runners‘.  Fair enough.  I love that though, the thought of several hundred people (343 to be precise) racing to get to the bric-a-brac ahead of everyone else, and the rising panic of the car boot stall holders watching it draw closer like pyroclastic flow.  Love parkruns, always a micro adventure in waiting, wherever you rock up.

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Bye bye Barnsley, thanks for the hospitality.  Hope to see some or indeed all of you again sometime in the future. I’m sure I will, it is the parkrun way.

🙂

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Oh, and back to post parkrun ding-dongs, here are some photos of people who did get to ring the PB bell, photos courtesy of the Barnsley parkrun facebook site, thank you people, and well done all!

For all my parkrun related posts click here.  Or don’t.  You’ll need to scroll down for older entries.

Happy parkrunning til next time.  Feel the parkrun love and joy!

 

 

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