I decided to have a wee trip to the Isle of Wight and couldn’t resist the temptation of chalking up my first parkrun south of the Tweed. Jo Jeffries, who ran for Bellahouston Road Runners at the same time as me, strongly recommended that I participate in her local one in Winchester. Although the original plan was to run it with Jo, injury and having to help out at the regional XC championships put paid to that. She did however cycle along to give me a hug before the start and cheered me and Jack around our first lap of the three lap course. It was great to see her looking so well despite her injury getting her down. Most runners can empathise with that.
I had lined up at the start of the assembled 269 participant and was welcomed to the event by the run director. There were a few ‘woos’ as he reported that I had travelled from Glasgow and then we were sent on our way.
The course is flat and fast and is run on a mix of grass and tarmac paths.
We started at the green pin, headed east alongside the treeline, crossed the path and then followed the perimeter of the northerly field in a clockwise direction. When we reached the path again, we turned left, across the bridge and then another left turn left and we followed the perimeter of the large easterly field in a clockwise direction. At the southern end of the field we turned left and followed the path. We turned right, back across the river, and then another right turn and we headed north,back to the field adjacent to the tennis courts. A left turn and we followed the edge of the field back towards the start area and the end of the first lap of three.
With all the twists and turns, both right and left, and usually with those ahead of us in sight, it was hardly surprising that Jack wanted to take a more direct route than the one set out and I lost a good bit of tie ensuring that he kept to the course.
As well as Jo’s support, one of the marshal’s was cheering me on by shouting ‘Go Glasgow’ every time Jack and I passed by.
We could see another dog in front of us but we failed to catch Lisa Froment and her pooch and they crossed the line, in 19th place, with a time of 20:26, one minute faster than her previous PB.
We were happy enough to cross the line in 27th place, with a time of 21:02. Of course a sub 21 would have been better.
Full results here
I chatted with a couple of other runners, including Rob Fox and Julia Henderson before rewarding Jack with his usual goodies and water. As usual Jack was very popular with everyone we met and it was great that so many people made us both feel so welcome.
Alas I couldn’t stay for coffee and conversation, as I had to travel further south as there was a Red Funnel Ferry from Southampton to the Isle of Wight to catch. Although I only drove through So’ton to the docks, I saw a number of places that brought back happy memories of my time there in 1975, when I was a young lad of eighteen.