Another place for parkrun tourism? Fun and frolics at Crosby parkrun

Digested read: parkrun tourism took me to Crosby, sun, sea sand, what’s not to like?

Undigested read:

Crosby parkrun is on a beach!  How cool is that.  The best thing about running on a beach in the sunshine is that you get sand in your shoes so when you come home the memory comes with you.  Nice.  Very exciting.  So exciting in fact, that for some it can be overwhelming it seems.   Fair enough, we all need to know our limits.

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Before I get stuck in though, I feel compelled to offer up a bit of a warning.  Just to let you know that this is an arching tale, and has a forlorn bit early on, but then everything perks up and all ends happily – mostly.  So don’t be sad.  Life is too short. Without the lows, you wouldn’t get the full benefit of the highs.  Imagine a seesaw horizontal.  That’s right.  Pointless!  Safe and predictable perhaps, but entirely devoid of joy.  In fact, basically a plank.  Where’s the fun in that? Whereas if you embrace the potential of a see-saw you can have this much fun! Only in colour! Quite.

So I was enticed to Crosby parkrun to join a fellow parkrunner who was doing his 100th different parkrun.  That’s quite some touristing, and a good excuse for me to try a new parkrun.  Leaving aside the fact I nearly went to Corby parkrun – which I’m sure is lovely but lacks a coastline – Crosby appealed a lot because it’s by the sea, you get to see those iron men statue things and I get a ‘c’ for my pirates challenge , by going to an actual sea parkrun for one of the seven seas. (Pirates! – Run seven Cs and an R – say it out loud).  Hurrah.  Those Running Challenges have a lot to answer for, but what can I say, I blooming love it, chasing down virtual badges works for me!  The respectable face of sticker charts for grown ups.  I’m a long way off nabbing this yet, but one run closer for getting to Crosby…

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Living in Sheffield as I do, at a push, I could maybe have got up early and driven in the morning, but I loathe driving at the best of times and hate being late, it’s a weird drive too, unpredictable for timings.  I decided I’d go the whole hog and book a night’s B&B in Crosby and make a mini-break of it.  This is crossing into new parkrun tourism territory, booking a B&B purely to do a parkrun could smack of the extreme to the uninitiated.  Admittedly, last year I did go to Hasenheide parkrun with the pathologically friendly Tralee parkrunner (wave) but that was a bit different, because it was a full on jam-packed sight seeing trip to Berlin to boot.  It’s easier to exp lain why you are spending the weekend in Berlin to an acquaintance as opposed to Crosby.  No offence meant to Crosby there, but I think it would have to concede it’s not an obvious ‘go to’ location topping everyone’s parkrun bucket list – though maybe it will be from now on, once my account of the place goes viral.

There wasn’t an embarrassment of riches accommodation wise, but I plumped for Burbo Bank B&B, near the beach and just a mile from Crosby Leisure centre where the parkrun starts.  Looked OK.  I headed off from Sheffield on Friday afternoon, surrendering my route planning to the idiosyncracies of my satnav.  Not sure we have really evolved that much with satnav.  In the olden days, when I use one of those mahoosive AA road maps, I’d have worked out a much more sensible route.  This trip took me such a circuitous way it made Somerdale Pavilion parkrun look like a straight out and back course by comparison!  You know the one I mean – it’s the the curly-wurly one right – now that is a parkrun destination on my to do list for sure.

I somehow went to Glossop, did a massive loop round – I thought to bypass Glossop and then ended up back there again just a hundred yards down the road.  It was a grim drive, I was indeed wondering what possessed me to embark on such a road trip.  It took 3 hours ish, and was joyless.  The entire journey was accompanied by news updates re resignation of Theresa May and speculation about the blood bath to come.  And you thought things couldn’t possibly get any worse… No wonder life seemed grim by the time I got to Waterloo/Crosby.

I found the B&B, an impressive looking faded grandeur huge Victorian building from the outside with a ‘for sale’ sign outside.  It was imposing rather than welcoming judging by the exterior.  However, the welcome was warm.  Inside wasn’t faded grandeur, but recently refurbished grandeur.  Original tiles on the floor, not one, but two chandeliers gracing the hall entrance, as well as the picture of the Mona Lisa.  Not the actual Mona Lisa I think, but then again, I’ve never studied art history particularly, so I’m not really in any position to authenticate the image one way or the other.

I was led up to my room. There followed the most extensive health and safety briefing I have ever undergone.  I have had less thorough inductions when starting new jobs.  There was the caution to make sure I used the anti-slip mat in the shower.  Actually, that’s sensible, did I ever tell you about the time I was doing a course in Hastings and one of my house mates broke her arm falling over in the shower?  No?  Are you sure, it was the same course at the end of which I broke my knee? Not in the shower, but on the beach.  Long story.  We were an accident prone cohort.  Just shows, you have to take care.  Did you know umbrellas can cause terrible accidents on beaches too – even fatal ones, they can function like torpedoes when the wind is right apparently.  In 2016, Lottie Michelle Belk was killed when an errant parasol pierced her torso while she was on holiday in Virginia Beach according to the BBC website, so it must be true!

It was lucky there were no umbrellas in the B&B that I had to contend with, or the safety briefing would still be going on now.  The other hazard was the stairs down to my room, I had to be instructed to carefully pull aside a drape, ensure the light was on ‘actually, don’t worry about that, I’ll put it on now for you just in case‘ and then look ahead before negotiating the steps. If I got up in the night, no need to panic, another light would come on to help me guide my way to the bathroom.  Phew.  I had no idea staying over somewhere was so potentially risky.  Oh well, feel the fear and do it anyway as the saying goes.  Get me and my dare devil impromptu parkrun B&Bs!  Joking aside, it was a friendly and immaculately clean place, so I was happy.  Dumped my stuff and went for a wander down to the seaside.

It wasn’t a long walk to the beach. If you don’t know Crosby beach, it’s a massive expanse of seemingly flat sand, and relatively featureless apart from the wind farm or docks on the horizon.  I walked through a marine park area to get there, which was relatively deserted, apart from gulls jockeying for position on a beam like parkrunners on the line up at the start of Sheffield Hallam parkrun.

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I followed the sign out to the iron men, across what seemed to me to be quite a bleak landscape.  It was still light, but the temperature had cooled, and as there was no-one around it seemed desolate.

I’d been ridiculously excited about seeing the sea, and Antony Gormley’s iron figures, staring out on the horizon.  However, now I was there, I felt weird.  I walked out across the sand to one of the figures.  They are remarkable, and I really like the installation of the figures in the space the picture below is not my photo, but captures it well (taken it uk_anotherplace_1997_008from Antony Gormley’s website)

I stood with one of the figures for a while, and looked where he was looking, out to sea, and suddenly I felt weirdly emotional.  It was like this wave of profound loneliness came over me, the place seemed so desolate, the figures so separated from each other, immobile and consumed with a longing for what lay over the horizon that they couldn’t see let alone ever reach.  This chasm of emptiness engulfed us.  Everything seemed pointless, this excursion, human life on earth, planning for the future, any previous positivity vaporised as I was consumed in existential angst.  I think sometimes others can smell loneliness, and they back off from it as they would from a creature diseased for fear of contagion, and this is what is left.  Every figure on this beach ultimately companionless, isolated and cast out.  It didn’t matter there were other figures also gazing out, they couldn’t connect with one another or see each other, it just seemed so desperately, desperately sad.   I hadn’t expected to get that flood of emotion, it caught me unawares.  Like a punch to the solar plexus.  Feeling helpless that there is such loneliness and sadness in this world that leaves many of us unreachable, and maybe all of us feel both sides of that at various times throughout our lives, not knowing how  to reach out to others and /or unable to be reached ourselves.  How bloody depressing.  What is the point, really.  What is the point.

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I shivered a bit, and decided I didn’t want to pursue those thoughts right there right then.  I stepped back from the sink hole that was trying to suck me down to oblivion. I had a conscious reality check.  I remembered, another running buddy telling me how she experienced the amazing Phlegm exhibition The Mausoleum of the Giants in Sheffield a few weeks back.  I went and found it magnificent, uplifting, perhaps poignant, but mainly remarkable and a testament to human imagination and creativity .  I felt positive about my interactions with others in the queue and watching how people interacted with the exhibits was unqualified joy.  She for her part found it unbearably sad.  Who can say whether such artworks bring these emotions out in us or we bring the emotion with us to them.  Different day, different dynamic, maybe a different mood.  I’ll leave you to ponder that teaser as I share some images of the giants.  They made my heart sing.  I can see why they might not produce that effect in others, but they did me.  The iron men, not so much…

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My heart wasn’t singing on Friday night though.  I went to a rather grim tapas bar and had a lime juice and soda which came with a plastic straw, so then I felt like I’d personally practically held down an endangered turtle and killed it with a straw up the nostril and into its brain.  Still, at least such straws are a rarity these days.  Though it is weird, how we can all get outraged by plastic straws and rightly so, single use plastic is for the most part indefensible – yet the majority of plastic that ends up in the sea is apparently from fishing tackle and far more destructive and damaging, not to mention creatures getting caught up in nets etc, we seem able to blank out that reality.  Gawd life is depressing sometimes.  It was going to take a great deal of parkrun lurve to shift my mood.

Back to the B&B, early, ate all the free biscuits in the room and had the complementary hot chocolate.  Went through every cupboard and drawer, no rich pickings here, not so much as a Gideon bible let alone a moth-eared Reader’s Digest, but always good to have a rummage just in case.  And that was that, Friday night in Crosby.  Whoop a doo.

Then it was morning.

Headache.

No enthusiasm

Oh well, I’m here now.  I trundled down for breakfast.  I seemed to be the only guest, I was offered a cooked one, which was tempting, but contra-indicated pre parkrun, even at my leisurely pace.  I went with coffee and cereal and got a few anecdotes from the proprietor about her experiences of B&B hosting.  Incredibly friendly woman, even if she was a bit incredulous about the purpose of my visit ‘so you’ve come all this way just for the race‘ I resisted the urge to say ‘it’s not a race it’s a run’ because I felt that such pedantry would get in the way of getting acquainted.  Instead I asked her if she’d had other parkrunners come to stay.  Loads apparently, and I’m not surprised to hear this, it was a good choice.  I was even offered the option of coming back later to use the shower, but I declined, I think she might have even have done a later breakfast potentially, but I opted to just check out and head to parkrun.

It was a short jaunt to Crosby Leisure Centre, which looks like a space ship imagined from the 60s.  Maybe it actually is one, the beach would definitely offer up a suitable landing spot for a wayward UFO, and repurposing it would be the way to go if it was subsequently left abandoned.

There was loads of parking, all free, and toilets available, and, best of all, some cow buffs visible as I espied my parkrun tourist buddies.  My mood lifted, I bounced across the car park and down to the sand to join them, because it was pre-parkrun play time.   Catch ups to be had, photos to be posed for, stories to share.

The parkrun team were assembling:

The finish line was up:

I joined my tourist friends on the sand.  An extra boon was presence of mini greyhounds with their non-parkrunning attendant.  Fun times.

A great many photos had to be taken of the iron man in all possible guises and variations of the assembled company.  We posed separately, we posed together.  We took photos of other tourists.  We met some women also from Sheffield Hallam parkrun (wave) what were the chances!  Actually, quite high, this was the parkrun before the Liverpool Rock n Roll marathon (or half) the next day, so loads of tourists.  It was quite a party, and good to find out where everyone was from, and why we’d all come a gathering.  I think the iron men were cheered by being the centre of adoring attention, maybe hanging around on this beach wasn’t so bad after all, the parkrun lurve was working it’s magic.

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One thing though, those figures, they aren’t androgynous as you may have previously thought, closer inspection revealed they are definitely male.  No idea where they keep their barcodes.

I got temporary custody of Bully, the touristing cow, a great, if short-lived, honour.  Classy photo bombing action at the rear.  I reckon she’s had training in this, she never lets an opportunity pass her by.  Respect, I learned from the best today.  I had a good old go at trying to photobomb a group pic that was aiming for the run report, but don’t know if I made the edit just yet…  time will tell.

vbc my new friend

After a bit, I suddenly realised I was cutting it fine for my precautionary pee and made a swift exit from the beach just as my Sheffield Hallam compatriots had started to strike up a conversation. Fearing they’d think I was rude (which for the record I can be, but wasn’t being on this occasion) I explained my need for speed, and they were most understanding.  Didn’t want them to think I’d just made friends to get them to take photos and then dumped them as soon as their services were no longer required.  My buddies went for a warm up run.  I think that was what they were doing, it may have been just that I’d broken eye contact and they saw their chance to make a bid for freedom.  After using the facilities, which are unisex by the way – I scared a couple of men who thought they were in the wrong place.  Maybe I’m just scary…. I left my bag with other people’s clobber piled in a heap by the pavilion.  A volunteer explained it is ‘at your own risk’ but volunteers graciously magically move it to the finish line for you. This is indeed service above and beyond, I was definitely game for taking advantage of that!  Thank you fine Crosby parkrun peeps.  Excellent service, I’ll be adding some extra stars for that on the TripAdvisor review later.

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As I came back, a marshal waved me over ‘do you want to be in the photo?’  What photo?  Someone had been proactive enough to get a shot of all the tourists around – well probably not all, but a fair old net of them. I scampered over to be in the team pic.  Here we are, aren’t we all lovely!  And what a lovely marshal to co-ordinate it! And who is that waving and bobbing around so effectively in the back?  Loving your work there, loving your work.

There was still time to play with other parkrun toys. Specifically, the parkrun selfie frame.  This one had been customised by being tacked onto a proper wooden board with some nice silver holding knobs too.  This parkrun had some top personalised gear.  Do look out for Erik later on.

The sun was shining, the view astonishing, the mood buoyant.  Eventually, a call went up to head to the beach for the run director’s briefing.  And we all descended en masse onto the beach, and walking towards the sea, looking tiny on that wide horizon, like newly hatched turtles heading horizonwards.  I don’t know if that’s actually a word, but I feel it should be, so let’s just agree that it is now.  Thank you.

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They like their kit at this parkrun.  Huge speakers were set up, one looked like it had its own legs, it probably did – oh unless it was SpongeBob rocking up for his first parkrun wearing bondage gear? That’s possible…. The RD was appropriately miked and ready to rock’n’roll.

I was rather hoping he would burst into song in keeping with the legendary musical icons that have come from Liverpool, or at least in tribute to the rock’n’roll half marathon the next day.  He didn’t, maybe he was saving his voice.  Bet they could do some mean karaoke with that kit if the mood should ever seize them.

We had a good briefing though, volunteers thanked, a special shout out for tourists doing their 300th run, a special mention for my buddy on his 100th run – partly for tenacity in coming back again, after his last attempt to do Crosby was thwarted by inclement weather and cancelled at the very last minute for fear of runners being swept out to sea.  There was a birthday – ooh, and another one. ‘Good luck for the marathon tomorrow!’  Mutters of panic.  ‘What, oh, it’s a half marathon’ palpable relief moved through the crowd who’d feared a double dose of running fun might be more than they  could cope with, let alone had intentionally signed up for!  Shout out for tourists.  From everywhere basically.  Oh and ‘if anyone needs the defibrillator, that’s in the cafe‘, that’s all well and good, but I did rather get the impression, you’d be expected to go fetch it yourself, but I could have misunderstood, and anyway, whilst seemingly unconventional in approach, each parkrun has its own idiosyncrasies, and as a guest I think ours is not to reason why.  It wasn’t clear to me if they have a given procedure in the event of an umbrella breaking free and making its way down the beach like and exocet missile, but maybe that’s why one of the marshals had binoculars and could be seen constantly scanning the horizon.  No need to alarm everyone about what might happen, as long as the proper precautionary procedures are in place.

That’s it then’, he said ‘where do we go‘- oh yes.  I always forget this too, but people like to know the route before hand, I think the novel element of surprise can work quite well too.

So you probably want to know the course blah de blah?  Well, according to the Crosby parkrun website the course is described thus:

The course starts adjacent to Crosby Leisure Centre and runs along grass with views of the Mersey Estuary on the left. After a left turn onto the promenade the course has views of Anthony Gormley’s Iron Men on the right. Towards the end of the course it turns right onto the beach giving runners the opportunity to run near to the iconic Iron Men before running back to Crosby Leisure Centre for the finish line.

Only, they must have different courses according to the tide, because that isn’t quite the route we took, though near enough, takes in the same sights, but we started on beach and finished on grass.  Almost like this course backwards.  Not us running backwards, but the course in reverse.

The official route looks like this:

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but you know what, it’s one to take your time on so you can enjoy the views and not be frustrated at being thwarted by deep sand, so just follow the crowd.  Incidentally, I think Antony Gormley‘s iron men are just parkrun tourists, who got there a bit early and were hanging around waiting for the start.  A little shy about approaching others until they were properly confident they were in the right place, as opposed to just another place.  Perhaps that’s why they looked lonely and with longing out to sea, waiting for the parkrun boat to come in, that is all.

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What does this image capture if not parkrunners on the horizon?  I rest my case.

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Because, you know what, the iron men were an integral part of the course.   Honorary marshals, kitted out in high – vis and in at least one case, a helmet too.  Some were paired up with human marshals, just to buddy up and make things companionable, a small spirited stand against loneliness, hurrah!

So on ‘go’ or whatever it was, awf we all went.

It was running on sand.  Fairly compact sand at this point, but it is quite hard running on sand. It’s a lovely romantic idea, and feels nice, but it you don’t seem to go anywhere, it’s like the wet sand here and dry sand later act like Kryptonite draining the energy from your legs so you think you are running, you are certainly trying to move your legs in the required manner,  but not actually moving forward in any noticeable way.  Weird.

I was distracted as always, by the sea views, and the colourful vision of loveliness of runners streaming ahead.  You run out, past various iron men, some of whom have names,  I think the one at the turn around is Brenda, but I can’t be sure.

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until you get to the furthest one, where you turn around and run back the way you came

This means that if you are in the fun factory that is the slower half of the field, you get to see the faster runners flying back up the beach towards you, which is social.

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By the time I’d made the turn around the front runners were streaming back up off the beach.  In the distance you could make out the leisure centre.  I took the opportunity to snap some marshals as I passed them again on the way back.  Most were ready for their close up.  I like that one marshal has binoculars, they miss no tricks here.  Towards the back of the pack were some smartly clad parkrunners in matching kit, power-walking, I think stretching their legs the day before the half-marathon, but never got the chance to ask them.

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You leave the beach through deep powdery sand, that personally I think must be unrunnable, though I’ll bet some of the speed merchants sprinted over it, or just bounded across in one gargantuan seemingly effortless stride.  Then you are on the tarmac promenade.  I say tarmac, and it is, but sand has blown across in parts, so it’s a slightly unpredictable surface.

So if you look ahead you see parkrunners, if you look back you see parkrunners, if you look to the left you see iron men and sea and sand, and if you look to the right you see dunes, maybe marshals, and as you get further on, you see the front runners doubling back again through the grassy bit behind the sand dunes and back to the finish.

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Here are some runners heading homewards:

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I know they aren’t the best photos every, but I am showing willing, plus it’s harder than you think to take pics mid run and from a distance.  Will give you a bit of ‘mood music’ as to what it was like though.  Hot in the sun by the way, though I imagine a sea fret and a strong wind could change the ambience of this route pretty spectacularly creating ‘memorable’ if not actual endurable enjoyable running conditions as the sand and salt whipped up around you.

As well as the runners, there were teleporting marshals everywhere.  You’d see one on the way out on the concrete promenade, and then by the time you’d come back again on the grass higher up there they’d be again!  Must have teleported, or maybe this parkrun has a particularly high proportion of identical twins on its volunteer roster, and they are all in the habit of dressing in matching outfits.  I favour teleportation.  They clearly have the technology, they must do.  It all makes sense doesn’t it, the space ship, the lost alien humanoids staring out to see, and the ability of both kit and marshals to translocate when your back is turned without you seeing how.  It is the only logical explanation,

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See?  Definitely same person more than one location.

Then again, not all marshals did this, so that would favour the twin theory.  All marshals did however demonstrate excellent support, superb directional pointing and clapping skills, for which I would like to thank them.  Bravo to all of you for turning out and volunteering. You are superstars.

After the turn around at the coastguard station, you have a bit more tarmac and you go through a car parky bit where you get to meet Erik.  Erik the awesome.

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In fact, closer inspection reveals this to be Erik 1, so that could mean there is an Erik 2, even an Erik 3.  All equally epic. This is what all parkruns need, equipment chariots with if not actual personalities (though I like to believe they have those too) then at the very least customised designs and personalised number plates.  And I thought the X space ship at Wakefield Thornes parkrun for May the Fourth was the apex of bespoke carriage making.  I knew nothing back then, I am older and wiser now….  Still cool though:

WTP finish space ship

More being waved on by

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and then you really are on the homeward stretch.  It is basically grass, but there are quite a few rabbit holes, or just holes in general as the soft sand gives way quite quickly.  I’d been stopping and starting a fair old bit, what with taking pictures and chatting to marshals, and trying to nab photos of my tourist buddies running back the other way.  I tried to run for a bit, and then realised to my horror, my running pace was barely keeping up with the walkers right ahead of me.  Oh dear, I really do need to get back with the programme if I’m ever to actually run a whole 5k continuously ever again.

Then ‘suddenly’ the finish is in view, and the warm embrace of other parkrunners welcoming you back is made manifest with whoops and cheers.  I don’t know if it was partly because there were so many tourists and a lot of walkers at the rear saving their legs for the half the next day, but there was still a lot of support at the finish by the time I came in.  Also, they seemed to be using mobile phones for timing and scanning, I’m not sure if that was exclusively, but they have definitely embraced the parkrun app here, and it seemed to be working smoothly.  As I’m one of the very few people left in the world yet to own a smart phone, I’m still a bit suspicious of the technology, but no problems were made manifest today.  So I’ll keep an open mind.  I don’t think a defibrillator should be an app, but who knows what future AI technology is capable of. Thinking about it, if they’ve succeeded with the teleporting, I think they’ve established their credentials innovation wise.    And actually, thinking about it,  that might not even be twins, maybe they’ve also sussed effective cloning, to avoid any last minute panic in terms of filling vacant volunteering slots.  Respect Crosby parkrun, you have thought of everything!

A few people were still coming in, and oh look, the selfie sign again!  An open invitation for some more experimentation there:

Reunited with my teleported belongings, time for coffee and run debrief.

Couple of points in summary. This is quite an unexpectedly tough parkrun, because turns out, running in soft sand is really hard, even with practically zero elevation.   Still, let’s keep it all in perspective, it’s hard, but not hard hard, not like running the Great Wall of China Marathon hard for example – although granted I’ve not actually done that one myself yet, so it may be I’ve  just swallowed the hype! Perhaps, I’m just a wuss, I know I’m nesh, but talk of a course ‘Containing more than 20,000 unrelenting stone steps, many vary in height from a few centimeters to over 40 cm in height, with many of the original sections little more than rubble, and no less than 30 km of running‘ makes me a tad nervous.  Can’t knock it for firming the calves and thighs though if you did decide to take it on…

It would be good as your home run as you get so much variation in terrain over the course, plus a sprint section along the promenade if the mood took you.  Not good for hills though.

In the cafe, it was fairly small, but social.  Cow cowl themed cup cakes were brought out to mark 300 runs.  We spared a thought for absent friends. One friend in particular, you were missed, get well soon, you know who you are.  You are not only Troy’s side kick, but a parkrunner in your own right.  See you out and about soon.  We thought of you a lot.  cheery wave is coming right at you from here right now!

and a disturbing yet compelling personal buff donned to mark the 100th different run. I think I’ll just leave that out there for you to draw your own conclusions.  Sometimes, just because you can do something, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should…

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More games, my fellow tourister cleverly appropriated someone’s camera to add some little surprises for him whilst his back was turned, thus gaining the exquisite extra of having him photobomb his own stolen camera shots. Hurrah!  I just love making my own entertainment sometimes!  This parkrun tourist clearly has talent and form in this respect, I can learn much from her opportunism and wit!  Such rituals are all part of the post parkrun faffing – parkfaff if you will, a mandatory part of parkrun tourism in particular.

The cafe was too rammed to be conducive to sitting in, so we went back out for final beach explorations and photo ops.  It was a quite different place, suffused with parkrun joy on a Saturday morning.  Another Place indeed.

didn't we have fun folks

There was alas, one down side to this whole excursion.  Like I said, it mostly ended well, but, the thing is, if you will run on a beach you get sand in your shoes, and in your knickers, so the memory lingers, often trapped in orifices for longer than you might ideally wish for.  Swings and roundabouts eh?

Still, if you don’t fancy a beach, and can handle crowds, there’s a new scenic one in Nepal that’s attracting a lot of attention and is as far away from the sea as you can get at 8,848 m (29,029 ft), doesn’t appeal to me, but each to their own.

everest queue from bbc website

Meantime, there’s always a parkrun near you.  Don’t be lonely, find a parkrun friend.

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So thank you lovely Crosby parkrun people for your warm welcome to your lovely venue.  It was a super friendly and efficient team, and you laid on sunshine for us, impressive.  Also, lots of post parkrun cake.  I forgot to say, someone offered me my pick from a Tupperware container of iced buns at one point, and I asked naively what the occasion was only to be met with a nonplussed expression of incomprehension.  Then, after a pause ‘we need a reason?  But this is parkrun, there is always cake’.  Well said my friend, that’s the parkrun spirit right there!  Thank you fellow tourists familiar faces and new ones too, and thank you non parkrunning fellow travellers, grand to meet you.

I’m sure our parkrunning paths will cross and intersect again sometime, somewhere, but til then, happy parkrunning.

For all my parkrun related posts click here.  Or don’t.  It’s up to you.  You’ll need to scroll down for older entries though, and forward for new ones in time too, once there are some just so you know.  That’s amazing when you think about it, you’ll be able to travel in time.  Cool.  You won’t be able to alter the past as is always the way, but you can splash about in parkruns past with abandon.  You’re most welcome.

🙂

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7 thoughts on “Another place for parkrun tourism? Fun and frolics at Crosby parkrun

  1. Ah this is such an awesome post – definitely one to bookmark so I can re-read it when I want to remember what a great morning we had!
    Your pre-B&B H&S briefly sounds thorough 😉 I do love how quirky some british accommodation can be!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw thanks – was so lovely to see you again, and exciting to think we shall be sharing many more future parkruns I’m sure! Yes B&B was hilarious, good hilarious, but quirky indeed.

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  2. I stumbled across your blog just now and it was a very enjoyable read!
    My fiancee and I even made appearances in your photos (Marshal with the binoculars and marshal with the cute red hat)
    I did see a camera snapping away but it was all so quick I didn’t get chance to give you a better pose ha
    Glad you enjoyed Crosby beach park run, it’s a tough course with the sand and often the wind pushing you back. Whilst clapping you all across the finish line I was very inspired by every runner I saw and as nice as it is to marshal it’s about time we started running too so thanks for the inspiration

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    • Ah, what a lovely comment! Thanks so much for taking the time to read and to post a reply – you can have no idea how exciting it is when I discover someone has actually read one of my posts. You have a lovely parkrun at Crosby and were both fine marshals. I think you must have heightened status given your guardianship of the binoculars, that’s one up even on possessing a clipboard I reckon! Fine red hat sporting by your fiancee too. I think it goes without saying (though I will anyway) that you directional pointing and clapping were outstanding throughout! I’m so happy if it has made you think about having a go at the run – I myself rarely ‘run’ the whole thing, but do heave myself round in my own way. I was a runner before I discovered marshalling, which I love too, but it’s grand to experience both. Plus I think you’ll find pre-wedding parkruns are quite the done thing these days, so you can put some practice in, in advance of that! Thanks so much, happy parkrunning, and good luck in your exciting new futures together in wedded bliss! Lx

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  3. Andy Mackenzie

    What a brilliant article! I am one of the core team of volunteers at Crosby (although I was not there on Saturday) and your article has been shared with all of us. You have really captured the spirit of park run and it’s nice to read that our team of volunteers is appreciated. A shame about your Friday night bar experience – there are lots of good pubs and bars in Crosby, even more if you had taken the train into Liverpool but probably not good preparation for running the next morning! Hope to see you again at Crosby sometime.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw thank you! You have a lovely parkrun indeed, sorry I missed you this time, but it is one I’d like to come back to, maybe for the adventure of wind swept waves and winter storms (within reason). Thank you for your kind words, and yes, the volunteers were fab. I won’t judge Crosby by my bar experience, I think I just wasn’t all that adventurous, and what I will say is everyone I met fitted the Liverpool stereotpye of being incredibly friendly, so it was a reflection on my mood not the venues most probably. Plus, as you say, always have to save yourself a bit to make the most of Saturday parkrun the next day! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, and for being part of the core team that make the parkrun parkfun week in week out. Happy parkrunning ’til next time. Lx

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  4. Pingback: Well, aloha indeed to Colwick parkrun, which guarantees a Hawaiian welcome every time, or your money back! | Running Scared

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