Posts Tagged With: Polar watch

Stonking Storthes Hall parkrun – a woodland wonderland

Digested read: parkrun tourism took me to Storthes Hall parkrun  It was lovely!  Very sunny and delightful woodland trails. Hurrah!

Undigested read:

Before I start, one thing, my new polar watch is saying I am currently ‘detraining’ whatever that is.  It’s not happy with me basically, and even without fully comprehending the word, I get the gist.  I am weak, I am inactive, I am as good as inert, I’m achieving nothing.

detraining apparently

The running world is full of made-up words.  I’m still struggling with the notion of a unicup, which my Juno sports bra boasts as a desirable design feature whilst cradling my most definitely non uni boobs. It’s all very unfortunate.   I have ended up with a unibreast.  Not to be confused with a unibeast such as a unicorn.   I do not mean by this that my bust has independently graduated from a higher education institution – well not as far as I’m aware anyway, and I think I’d have noticed – though of course we have all just got back from a roaring romp round some university accommodation now I come to think of it, so maybe that’s a contributing factor? Anyways, it’s just that my boobs have been thrust together as one amorphous mass.  The bra I’m testing out is comfy, definitely, but I’m still a bit ambivalent about the whole design.  Ultimately, it’s not quite supportive enough for me, and I’m not sure a uniboob is the best look.  Live-able with perhaps, but not a look to celebrate.  No selfie here.   Instead you got to see my admonishing watch, it really does look quite cross though doesn’t it?  When I’m feeling resilient this running commentary (see what I did there) amuses me, but on other days it feeds my sense of inadequacy, this is relationship that will need work.  I daresay we’ll reach an understanding eventually. It’s just complicated. Like active wear hard to resist wearing it all the time with its forgiving elasticated waistlines …

"Excuse me. I'm a running watch, not a watch TV and eat junk food watch."

Re my watch, I think it’s basically really unimpressed with any sofa based time, and only really happy if I’m actively cavorting around in some way. It was quite pleased with me earlier, confidently telling me I’d exceeded maximum training just after parkrun,  I felt epic!  High five to me.  But now we are a few hours on and it seems I have once again fallen into disfavour.  I do like this watch, but I sense it’s perpetual disappointment with me.  It seems to sigh with an unspoken and yet still audible inside my head mumble of ‘it’s not that you’ve let me down, it’s that you’ve let yourself down‘ and don’t I know it. Really need to up my game.  Later.  Tomorrow maybe.  Now is the time for drinking tea and posting about my latest parkrun adventures, because today at Storthes Hall parkrun was especially epic, and I bet you can’t wait to hear all about it!

The great thing about parkrun tourism, is that you get to meet some great people.  Specifically, when I was at Frickley Country parkrun a couple of weeks back, I met a well established group of parkrun tourists from the Yorkshire area, who get together fairly regularly at different parkruns all over the place. They were full of ideas of fabulous places to add to my parkrun tourist ‘to do’ list, which is already quite long.  They even have a timetable for target venues.  Plus, one of them tipped me off about a relatively new event that I hadn’t heard of before, where she is one of the core team.  Whilst descending en masse at inaugural parkruns is generally agreed to be unhelpful, rocking up a few weeks down the line to support is fine and dandy.  So it was there was a plan afoot to all hail to Storthes Hall this weekend. Yay!  Turns out, this is a proper traily one too  apparently, it’s not that far from Sheffield really, and another part of the world I’ve not really explored. What’s not to like. Plus, coffee available afterwards.  Sounding good.

Course wise, the official Storthes Hall parkrun course blah de blah says:

Starting at the bottom of the field below the Stafflex Area, Shelley Community Football Club, the course goes anticlockwise round the edge of the field, before going into the woods. There are three clockwise laps of the course through the woods before coming back out into the field and finishing by the oak tree. The course follows the main paths straight on from the field, right along the wall up to Wood Lane, along to the perimeter of the old hospital and then back around the edge of the sports fields without leaving the woods. The course will be very muddy in winter or after periods of heavy rain.  Unfortunately this course is not suitable for buggies.

Important note: As this course is on private land, whilst it can be enjoyed with us every Saturday morning at parkrun, please note that freedom runs are not permitted.

and it looks like this:

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So the good news is trails and mud.  Hooray. I much prefer running off road – well I say that to myself now, in advance of running, but obviously I reserve the right to revise my decision if I do too many face plants on the way round.  Less good news is the three laps issue.  Not a favoured course design, but hey ho, all parkruns are magnificent in their own way, just need to keep an open mind.

Reading up on the ‘how to find us’ was a bit confusing, there is a nearest workable post code of HD8 0WA but it tells you to then look out for marshals and also to allow 10 minutes to walk to the site. That’s fine of course, but how will this fit with arriving paranoically early? Oh well, all would be revealed.  Parking seems to be in the student village NOT the football club.  It’s helpful that there are such seemingly comprehensive instructions, hopefully no last minute surprises

plus, to keep everything sweet, you are politely told that

Facilities: Shelley Community Football Club kindly offer us the use of their changing rooms, toilets and cafe. Please look for the signs which will clearly tell you which rooms you are allowed to use. Please respect this facility by wearing clean footwear only in the changing rooms and the cafe. We request bringing a pair of clean shoes and a bag to store your muddy shoes in. Otherwise, please leave all muddy footwear outside or do not use these facilities.

Extra pre parkrun preparatory packing required.  Cue go off and rummage for spare footwear and bag in which to keep mud laden ones the night before.  If there’s one torment worse than a parkrun lacking facilities for a precautionary pee, it is a parkrun having such facilities but finding yourself denied them on account of not observing the dress code.  It’s fair enough, but forewarned is forearmed. This is clearly a parkrun where you must not only #dfyb but also don’t forget your clean shoes and muddy trainer bag.  I’m on it!

So I was all ready the night before, cow bob also laid out for its inaugural outing alongside my barcode wrist band and charged up satnav.  The day dawned.  Such a relief to be heading off in daylight.  It’s not that far in miles from Sheffield, but did take an hour. I was chugging along the A629 which was clear, but has frequently changing speed limits so you need to keep your wits about you.  Navigationally, the satnav worked fine, and the instructions were all accurate, you just have to believe in them.  Once I turned off towards Storth Hall it was quite exciting – reet nice out!  Here’s my en route shot:

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Others were also progressing to the site of our target parkrun, and taking their own en route selfies to confirm their attendance in due course:

all making our way to storthes

I might have gone for a selfie shot myself, were it not for four critical factors:

  1. my arms aren’t long enough
  2. I don’t have a smart phone so can’t see what I’m doing
  3. uniboob issues
  4. cowbob also deeply unflattering …

Mind you, I did succumb later, which was ill-advised perhaps, but also inevitable.

I was on the right road, and passed some very grand iron gates, which I presume go to the original stately home Storthes Hall, and then ended up at a very grand looking entrance which at first I thought couldn’t possibly be right, it looked more like a posh corporate wedding venue than student accommodation.  I approached the artificial barrier with caution, but it raised itself as if by magic, so I inched forward figuring it had to be the right place.  It was, but if you are following in my wake, it might help to know that the days of disintegrating HMO hovels in which to warehouse student are it seems a thing of the past. This is seriously high quality campus/ conference facility style facility.  The entrance looks like this:

I was pretty early, it was about ten past eight, but was quickly reassured by the sight of a hi vis volunteer carrying a helpful sign, which was encouraging. Also, note this marshal carefully, because she transforms her look and then reappears in a different – but equally cheery and helpful – incarnation later on. These high vis heroes, they have super powers!

She, and some other car park marshals pointed me to the parking area next to the imaginatively named ‘The Venue’ where visiting parkrunners could park.  There seemed to be a reasonable amount of parking, but not absolutely loads.  I parked up fine, but not sure what you would do if it was full.  The location is pretty spectacular, it helped that the sun was shining and the air still.  I don’t know what I was expecting exactly, but nothing as fabulous as this.

I love parkrun tourism, but I always have a bit of momentary angst at arriving at a new place.  Even though in my experience all parkrunners and their ilk are pathologically friendly, I still harbour some fearfulness that I will stumble on the exception that proves the rule.  My social awkwardness will be made manifest as I fidget self-consciously at the outside of all the fun, berating myself for even thinking of venturing out inwardly quaking at the challenge ahead of not just a parkrun but the associated interactions that might surround it. Aaaargh.  However, pleased to report (spoiler alert) that once again this was a magnificently friendly gathering. Plus, good news, at around the same time as I arrived, I saw another couple of vehicles pulling up, squashed full of cow cowl adorned fellow travellers.  Was it? Yes it was?  It was reassuring to hear one holler out in recognition. Yay, this was my new parkrun tourist buddies.  It was actually really good to rock up and see some familiar and friendly faces.  I did some faffing with cow bob and backpack sundries and then we all emerged at around the same time to try to locate the start. Fortunately there were some helpful and pleasing signs to show you were in the right place – that big sign relates to The Venue cafe which opened for post run refreshments especially for parkrunners, and which was rather fabulous.  In the circumstances, we’ll overlook the capitalisation and what appears to be perilously close to a space between the letters K and R in the signage.  Shudder (#aowalc)

You’d have a job getting lost on the way to the start, there were signs, arrows, and helpful marshals pointing the way.

Is the phrase ‘helpful marshal’ tautology I wonder?  I’ve yet to meet an unhelpful one.  Anyway, where was I?  Oh yes, the signs help, however, it is a good 10 minutes by the time you’ve faffed and gazed about, and in my case succumbed to taking an unfortunate selfie along the way, so they aren’t joking when they warn you need to allow a bit of time to get to from the car park to the start.  I daresay as with all running related challenges, you could cover the distance quite a bit faster if you put a wiggle on, but that tends not to happen in my universe.

See what I mean about the cow bob, really don’t think it’s helping me out in the selfie department.  This might be its first and last outing.  It’s a dilemma though, because, unflattering as it seems to be (on me – other people rock it with style) it is a brilliant identifier, so we’ll see, maybe it’s just because I have a ridiculously sized head it makes it sort of pop off me upwards, perhaps with a bit of stretching over time, it will become me a little more. Hard to imagine it will get worse…

You follow the path down, and end up at a little handy hut, where a gaggle of volunteers had already assembled.

Here you can meet and greet others, throw a stick for the border collie who was auditioning parkrunners for a ‘job for life’ as official stick throwers – stamina and a resistance to repetitive strain injury seemingly the main requirements – and, where applicable, leave your tourist cow Bully for safe-keeping.  Then, you could either head off down towards the starting field,

or, if you are me, follow your nose to the Shelley Community Football Club building to make use of their loos pre-run.  Excellent facilities, though, FYI, one of the loos in the women’s toilet had a very broken toilet seat, didn’t fall in this time, but close thing.  There is a cafe area in the football pavilion too, it was locked pre parkrun but open afterwards – though this particular day there was a football match going on so more space at The Venue. Still, choice of options is impressive.  A two-cafe parkrun doesn’t come up all that often!  It was immaculate inside, you can see why they ask you do remove muddy footwear before crossing the threshold.

Found a way to get a flattering cow cowl bob photo:

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And then wended my way down the hill to the start field. With the sun coming up over the trees it looked really spectacular.  Not sure my pictures will do it justice, and if I’m really honest, I can’t absolutely guarantee the sun shines every time they do parkrun here, but I like to think it does.  You’ll just have to go and discover for yourself.

I had a slight moment of worry that we might be required to run up the hill we were descending, especially as some keenies were warming up with hill sprint reps, but you know what, it’s parkrun, you just have to respect everybody’s right to participate in their own way.

The big open field where the start and finish areas were, had the parkrun flag up and was adjacent to the wooded area where the main fun factory of the parkrun takes place.  I enjoyed the view, chatted to some marshals, met some absolute first timers and debated whether or not it was a jacket / gloves on or off parkrun.  In the end all were off, for reasons justified by the ambient temperature, not by any inclination on my part for a ‘gloves off’ confrontation. I’m very risk averse confrontation wise, and inclined to apologise to people who bump into me if you know what I mean.

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This is a shiny new parkrun, and they had some grand new ideas too.  Like a guest book, a sign up area for volunteers and a token sorting box, which was great.

It was such a scenic location, I wasn’t alone in trying to get some photos, others also posed, photo-bombed, adopted quite cheeky poses(!) and there were tourist reunions and chit chat a-plenty.  All chilled, but also a sense of anticipation, because of course, many people were if not absolute first time everers (though there were a few of them) were first time visitors.  Check out the compare and contrast 250 tee shots.  There is a vintage and a hot-off-the-press version juxtaposed if you know where to look!  Also, a particularly fine example of photo bombing, almost an art form – and not the only instant that I got to document today!

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I like the ambling about anticipation pre-start.  Eventually though, a shout went up for the first timers’ briefing.  As it’s a new parkrun, fourth today, as in, fourth occurrence of the event not fourth birthday, a huge crowd mobbed the speaker.  Lots of tourists, but a few lucky first time evers amongst the mob. It would be pretty fabulous to have this as your home run. Some were refugees from Huddersfield parkrun, which apparently has got huge, so those within reach of this one at Storthes Hall were checking out alternatives.

The talk covered the usual bases.  Three laps, one narrow section through woods, watch out for tree roots, because it is a proper woodland trail (and it is) and also for the trees that are attached to said roots, because they have low and sticking out branches. Also, look out for holes underfoot, and look out for uneven ground and look out for each other too.  Fair enough.  Eyes wide open throughout.  I never take all that much notice of the route description as I figure I’ll just follow everyone else, and that worked again this time round…  and round again and round once more.  (Three laps remember).

Then we milled down to the start:

and we gathered on what seemed to be quite a steep slope for the general Run Director’s briefing.  It was quite hard to hear, despite the loud haler.  I don’t know whether that was partly the slope, but it wasn’t helped by some incredibly rude people amongst those gathered together just talking really loudly through and over it all.  Maybe a sign to SHHHH during the run briefing, like they hold aloft at Bushy parkrun woudn’t go amiss here.  It does astonish me how people will shout through parkrun briefings, apparently oblivious to how loud they are and how disruptive it is for everyone else – not to mention dispiriting for the poor speaker, as if the RD hasn’t enough on their plate already.  Some of the noise was possibly over-exuberance at the excitement of the whole thing, and it was jolly exciting,

and also, incredibly picturesque:

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I like to think that guy in the start line up isn’t just retying his shoe laces or seeking out a lost contact lens, but getting ready for a proper off the blocks sprint start.

So after run briefing, which was hard to hear, I just about made out the countdown ‘3, 2, 1 Go!’  I think that’s what was said, might have been this though, like at Lough Key parkrun, the core team at Storthes Hall I’m sure could sing and bob along with the best of the Muppet crowd!  There were certainly parkrunners game for a dance party on the dance floor of The Venue later on.  But I’ll come to that in due course…

courtesy of loughkey parkrun

Eventually, there was a general surge, and everyone moved forward, if not exactly as one, as a sort of starlings murmuring in a heave ho up the hill.  My it’s a steep start.  I hadn’t really concentrated on the directional information about the course, so was pleasantly surprised when the lead runners, instead of continuing in a breathless hurl up the hill, did a collective swing round to the left, and towards the woods.  It was nice this bit, not only because it went back down hill (only to be come up again later) but also because you got some great views of the parkrunners ahead in a colourful line like a herd of wildebeest on migration.  Albeit wildebeest in Lycra which is not a sight you get to see all that often on the mighty plains of Africa I daresay, but otherwise I think the two spectacles would be pretty indistinguishable.

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Then, quicker than you can say ‘Severance‘, you are in the woods!

It was lovely in the woods.  It felt soft and forgiving underfoot.  Hi-vis marshals lined the way smiling and directional pointing like old hands, and you didn’t need to drop a trail of breadcrumbs to find your way as there were also directional signs a-plenty.

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The route is a little deceptive.  It doesn’t look like it’s particularly uphill, but honestly, I found it quite hard going.  I suppose, even though the incline is relatively slight, you do have to go round it three times, and it has a slightly Escher painting effect, you feel like the whole thing is uphill, which logically can’t be true.  The three loop bit, is all within the woods, and that was a bit disorientating.  It’s not the Barkley Marathons but it felt like it was a route a lot longer than the average parkrun, though of course it isn’t.  I’d seen Troy up ahead, and was sort of hoping inwardly that I could at least keep him and his little legs in sight to motivate me to keep going.  Maybe he’d stop for a poo and that would give me a chance to catch up.

Oh, this is Troy by the way, pictured here with his three-footed handler, not quite sure how that works whilst running, must ask next time:

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No, not a person.  Why, who did you think I was talking about?

One of my issues is I tend to be overly influenced by those around me, struggling to run faster than my natural pace and then get stressed because I can’t keep it up, once I slowed down a bit, and went at a more comfortable and for me sustainable lope I started to actively enjoy it.  I love running through the woods, and then there were bits where you came along the edge of the tree line and got some great views.  All the marshals were friendly and interacted, and other runners were forgiving too.

There is one bit where there is what seems like a sharp right turn into the woods, with a marshal bravely standing at the far end of the path as a human bollard to stop you inadvertently failing to turn and instead running off into infinity and beyond.  There the path isn’t obvious, and one runner confused me by apparently cutting the corner off altogether as they passed me, but the marshal called out that there isn’t a path as such, you just choose your own route, as indeed you do.  It seemed I was lapped quite early, and obviously I apologised to the runners who overtook me for existing.  They all were friendly and encouraging too, and one woman made a point of saying ‘don’t you apologise for anything, we’re all at parkrun together’ or something similar which was lovely, and also true!

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If you look carefully, not that carefully to be fair, it is quite obvious, you will see I also got a shot of the talented Steve Frith who was out on the course today (you might know him from The Trunce and fundraising for Mossienets and more recently Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team, snapping some awesome shots.  Here he was trying to get some of the front runners, and did so with considerable style.  I love these photos, classy and how he captures these portraits of runners whilst in motion just astonishes me. Thank you Mr Photographer.  Epic pics as always. Oh, and the guy with the orange shirt and the running vest, he isn’t really a giant, I don’t think, it’s just a pleasing optical illusion that makes it look like he’s running down the woman in front, only she isn’t she’s behind.  Look again.  He is very good at supportive clapping though.  More of this later….

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I’d just caught up with Troy at this point, who was actually only just ahead, but round the corner, or maybe I was slightly ahead at this point, and I photographed them as they passed me by now I come to think of it. In any event, these the other parkrun tourists laughed at themselves for their collective ‘seen a photographer posing’, which was extremely flamboyant shrieking and waving…  that in fact was completely wasted as the front runners shot by and into frame, the understandable focus of the camera’s gaze at that point in time. No worries, I got a great shot of them from behind, and don’t they look fabulous?  Even blurred a bit because they were running so fast!

Other runners were apparently a little more camera shy, either that, or this is in fact an enchanted woodland where the trees sprout arms when you least expect it, but I think the former basically.  Just to be clear.  Or maybe he just wasn’t looking where he was going, and didn’t listen at the pre-race briefing when they warned you to watch out for trees attached to tree roots on the way round.  That’s got to have hurt actually.  Ouch!

SF photographer dodging

I was more relaxed now, but just as I had a moment of thinking ‘I love trail running’ and picking up my pace a bit, I nearly nose dived over a tree root and total face plant.  Oops.  Unlucky.  Not as unlucky as the other parkrunner I met at the end who had to bail after tripping over, and neither of us was as unlucky as the poor Tilgate parkunner who broke their leg this morning. That’s not funny, it really isn’t, especially as the poor individual concerned was on their 99th run and not only will this delay their hundredth, it’s not clear if they finished and got their barcode scanned first or not.  Whilst I’m on the subject, the bit of the story that made me raise an eyebrow, is the bit about the ambulance getting stuck in the mud of the course en route and needing to be rescued itself.  Fortunately, parkrunners are awesome, and all ended well, apart from a parkrunner having broken their leg of course, which isn’t very well at all really is it?  Oh well, only not, obvs. I’m sure you get what I mean.  Maybe whilst he’s off running he can colour in his 100 parkrun tracker shoe chart, which I have just discovered and stolen from the parkrun discussion group facebook page (unofficial).  Good isn’t it?

parkrun 100 tracker

It seems to have been an incident filled day.  Nostell parkrun also reported an incident with an injured runner, however, pleasingly added:

Everyone pulled together whether it was first aid, taking volunteer roles on or generally helping out. Big thanks also to the staff at Nostell for their support. It was amazing to see the parkrun family come together making me very proud of you all. I also have to admit to being amused by the fact that everyone who stopped to help went back and ensured they completed ALL of their 5k this morning!

though I do understand blue-lit ambulance enabled course completion PBs are disallowed under current parkrun rules… unless they are logged as an ‘assisted run’ presumably…

Back to the run, there was signage to help you with counting laps and directional awareness, he cunningly moved from one side to the other to stop anyone bailing after just one lap:

There was a marshal with the best gloves I’ve ever seen for marshalling purposes, and I’ve seen a few.  She has to get herself to a Canada parkrun to give these mitts the exposure they so clearly deserve:

And there was the marshal with the dog in need of a stick thrower with the capacity for perpetual motion, who multi-tasked brilliantly taking pictures as well as directionally pointing, clapping and shouting out support to passing runners.  No mean feat.

One notable feature about this parkrun, is that it looks like it requires quite a bit of pre-event set up. There was definitely attention to detail here, with gift wrapping of stones and tree roots that were particularly hazardous and lots of tape to guide the way.  Kudos to those who do the course set up each week, it looks a time consuming one.  Also, and I speak from bitter personal experience of tape usage at Graves junior parkrun each week – handling that plastic tape is way harder and more problematic than it looks!

Proud of my tape use skills though, no wonder I look busy and important!  I mean a hi-vis conveys a certain authority, but couple it with a clipboard and frankly you could take on the world!  Or at least look like you might, which amounts to the same thing..  Yep, I put that tape up round the big pond in Graves park, and not one runner fell in NOT ONE, so definitely I did a good job there. High five to me!

Back to Storthes Hall parkrun, so you run round in circles a few times, and then eventually, you are allowed to run out, towards the finish funnel, out of the woods, into the radiant sunshine and an uphill but short finish. I’m pleased to report that there was a very enthusiastic parkrunner cheering in us final finishers.  I like to think he was there for me personally, but he was in good voice and kept the support up for everyone behind me.  Kudos to him.  It was grand. Thank you fellow parkrunner!

and through the finish funnel, in my case resisting the temptation to manipulate my finish time to secure my last outstanding parkrun bingo time (20 seconds since you are asking) and through to the token woman …

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Job done.  Just a matter of getting barcode scanned, adding my token into the cleverly constructed token sorting box, and trying to work out what to write in the visitors’ book.  My entry wasn’t imaginative, but at least it’s there for posterity, that’s good.

Still sunny, and lovely and warm, so plenty of opportunity for post parkrun posing.  Milestone tee line ups, new friend pic and photobombs.  What could be more perfect?

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After a bit of discussion, we opted to go back to The Venue for post parkrun coffee, as a football match had started and the club house was likely to be full, so we sauntered back towards the carpark

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To The Venue, and complied with their understandable shoe-removal policy.  It was all very civilised, there were chairs to sit on whilst you took your shoes off, and a colourful array of trainers lined up outside. Whilst I’m not advocating a spontaneous upgrade of shoes if you found some in your size that you liked better than those you’d come in, you could at least indulge in a bit of running shoe porn by gazing at options that might have been.. Did you know there it is possible to get a customised running shoe coffin? No idea why or who.  Being buried in your shoes is one thing, but interred in one, not sure about that, not sure about that at all.  Gotta be a joke, surely?  Not surely? Don’t know…

Inside The Venue and oh wow!  This is not your usual post run breakfast venue. It was super posh, with flashing lights, a bar area, very clean.  A choice of communal tables or funky squishy sofas in side rooms, and a dance floor!  Pop-up party boogie anyone?  We went for squishy sofa section.

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That wasn’t the best thing though. The best thing was the parkrun breakfast.  Here, reincarnated as the breakfast buffet enabler was the cheery volunteer who was lugging a sign around earlier.  You can see why I didn’t immediately recognise her though, without the sign and hi-vis she’s in disguise in mufty!

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So the deal is, there is a table set up with bread and crumpets and a variety of toppings and a catering style toaster (crumpets need to go through a squillion times apparently, but the raisin toast was good to go after just one circuit) and you take what you want and drop the money into an honesty basket. There was also filter coffee for a pound I think, but I actually took advantage of the toast with Philadelphia cheese topping (can’t remember when I last had that, though it didn’t play well with my rather pitiful attempts to try to eat more vegan) and upgraded to ‘proper’ coffee from The Venue caterers.  The Venue apparently opens just for the parkrunners, so probably good that at least some of us supported this so it’s worth their while to do so.  Likewise, parkrunners are asked to support the football clubhouse too – they have a hatch from which they can dispense post-parkrun carbs and caffeine apparently.  Might check that out next time…

So whilst you couldn’t get a hot cooked breakfast as such, it was a very neat and enjoyable solution.  Again, a lot of work has evidently gone into setting up this parkrun, with great attention to detail.  So we all gathered round for the mandatory parkrun debrief:

and I think it’s fair to say the consensus was very positive. This is really a lovely parkrun, friendly, lovely trail – if trail is your thing, picturesque and great facilities. In fact, I think it is probably the first parkrun I’ve done that is properly off road, I mean obviously that’s a shame for buggy runners or wheel chair users, but a welcome addition to the parkrun mix as a change from the tarmac formula. The three loop thing didn’t seem too bad, as it’s picturesque through the woods, and surprisingly, even though it had 157 runners (250 the run before) it didn’t feel particularly congested, as long as you exercise a bit of common sense and stick to the left and in single file through the one narrow path in the woods, but if you were a speedy runner and wanted to get past a bit of tree weaving would see you through.

Oh, and whilst debriefing, I found out from one of the core team that the first finisher today was a woman, which pleased me. Also, the highest age percentage runner was female too, with a 75.28% score.  I like looking at the percentage for age rankings, they can throw up some extraordinary performances you might otherwise miss.  It is a run not a race, obvs, but we can still all celebrate a quality run.  Thanks Steve Frith for taking and sharing many fabulous photos as ever.

SF first finisher

and then, inevitably the party over, it was time to go our separate ways.  But that was another fine parkrun.  Would definitely recommend, it was great to be on some bouncy forest trails.  I mean, I do concede we were lucky with the weather, it could get super muddy when wet, but not today, today was practically perfect in every way!

If you still want more about Storthes Hall parkrun, then you could check out this video of Storthes Hall parkrun in the ice and snow.  It’s pretty fabulous, 2nd Feb 2019 event.  Love this.  Captures parkrun to perfection.  Thanks to Andis Ozols for taking and sharing to the Storthes Hall parkrun Facebook page, where I found it.  🙂

Home, abducted by my sat nav, and seemingly incapable of independent thought I went back a completely different route, on the M1, which took longer weirdly, but did give me some great views of this transmitter, which you could also see from the Shelley Community Football Clubhouse building at the start of the parkrun.  I like it.  Quite a landmark.

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All done and dusted.  Thank you Storthes Hall parkrun for your fab course and warm welcome, and thank you parkrun tourists for letting me hang out with your great gang.

So that’s it, for another week, where next I wonder?  Wherever it is, #dfyb #loveparkrun

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.

Happy running ’til next time.

🙂

 

Categories: 5km, parkrun | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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