Hundreds of people turn out for parkrun at Southampton Common every Saturday morning. They run their 5k and they go home feeling virtuous, quite rightly so. It takes a lot to get out of bed early at the weekend and run around an often cold, wet, muddy common after all. Most probably don’t realise all the work that goes on behind the scenes to make their run possible though. This week Commando was volunteering to help set up. For him this is a regular thing, he does it a few times a year. Some amazing people do it every week though. They are the real parkrun heroes! Continue reading Parkrun behind the scenes
The second RR10 started out with all the makings of a complete disaster. For a start, the weather wasn’t playing ball. It had been raining on and off all day and it didn’t look like it was going to get better any time soon. Commando swore he knew where he was going when we set out but the further we went, the clearer it became this was not strictly true. The event was at Wilverley Imclosure between Brockenhurst and Sway. When I saw a sign for New Milton I was fairly sure we were lost but, having trusted Commando up until this point, I hadn’t bothered to check the map before we left. This turned out to be a mistake. Continue reading RR10 Wilverley, getting lost, rainbows, woods and sunsets
Saturday is Parkrun day, at least it is in our house. This Saturday was a little different though because, for once, there was no Parkrun on the Common. A big event was going on there, a kind of obstacle race with giant inflatables like bouncy castles and the Parkrunners had been ousted for a week. Commando thought he’d probably go to Victoria Country Park instead and, remembering the last time I’d watched him run there, I was quite looking forward to it. There’s nothing quite like a stroll beside the sea first thing in the morning to set you up for the day. Continue reading Spitfires on Tour!
When Commando said the Itchen Spitfires needed someone to write their newsletter I heard myself volunteer. Sometimes I don’t know when to keep my big fat mouth shut! In all honesty, I didn’t think they’d want a humble walker like myself. Turns out I was wrong. Despite my lack of knowledge of all things running, they did. Still, I’ve made a career of writing about things I know nothing about so why should this be any different? Steep learning curve here we come. When Commando said he’d be running the RR10 at Stoney across tonight it seemed like my chance to add to my nonexistent running knowledge. Continue reading Stoney Cross, sunsets and what on earth is an RR10?
Once the last runner had trotted around the Bargate I thought about my options for catching Commando mid race. If I ran I could probably make it to the Itchen Bridge before he completed the return lap but it would be touch and go and I really don’t do running. Besides, it would most likely already be crowded with spectators. Instead, I headed back towards the race start, thinking I might catch some of the Spitfires who would soon be starting the 10k race. Continue reading Plan B
The day of the Southampton Half Marathon started off chillier than I’d expected. Standing just off the Avenue, opposite the bottom end of the Common, waiting around for the rest of our group I shivered and wished I’d brought a hat. It was just after eight and we were early but, thankfully, it wasn’t long before the others started to arrive and we set off towards the City Centre. By the time the start finish arch came into view it had begun to rain. Now I really wished I’d brought a hat but at least I didn’t have to strip down to t-shirt and shorts and run so I could hardly complain. Continue reading Pacing the Southampton Half Marathon
Every Saturday morning Commando gets up early for the Parkrun, usually on Southampton Common. Although his ankle still wasn’t quite right it was feeling much better and he didn’t want to miss this week’s run. The C25K group of new Spitfires would be running their first ever Parkrun and he wanted to support them.
“I’ll just pootle round at an easy pace,” he said, “see how the ankle does.”
I wasn’t entirely sure I believed that so I decided to go along to keep an eye on him. Besides, Parkrun was all over the news since Stoke Gifford Parish Council had controversially announced they were going to start charging for theirs. As the government are trying to persuade porky Brits to get off the couch and get moving, this seemed like a rather short sighted plan. Obviously, the popularity of local Parkruns made them look like a cash cow in need of exploitation. Continue reading Parkrun controversy and a record