More parkrun tourism and a Bigfoot sighting at Moors Valley

1 July 2017

This Saturday the Pretty Muddy Race For Life 5k was taking place on The Common so, once again, parkrun was cancelled.  This time we decided to go to Moors Valley Country Park to check out the parkrun there. When the boys were young we used to take them there to enjoy all the colourful sculptures and climbing frames built from trees felled by the great storm of October 1987. When he first began running, Commando ran a 5k race there too. All in all I was pretty sure I’d find plenty to amuse me while he ran today.  Continue reading More parkrun tourism and a Bigfoot sighting at Moors Valley

Marathon day – first published 18 September 2014

Marathon day had arrived. After a very early and, for Commando, carb laden, breakfast and a little rest in our room we set off for the marathon start line outside the Köln Messe/Deutz station. The sun was still coming up and the deserted park was misty as we walked through. Commando was pleased at the chill in the air but slightly nervous about the day ahead. Would he struggle to understand announcements in an unfamiliar language? What would the course be like? Would there be hills? Continue reading Marathon day – first published 18 September 2014

Parkrun tourism Fareham

17 June 2017

Typically, just as Commando is getting back to parkrunning, Southampton parkrun is cancelled. Luckily it’s only for one week while an event called Gung Ho is being held.  As far as I can tell, it involves lots of giant inflatable obstacles. While I’m pretty sure running round the Common and climbing over glorified bouncy castles is great fun, the serious runners have all been looking at other local parkruns. Southampton, with  between seven hundred and one thousand runners most weeks, is one of the largest parkruns in the country.  Obviously, if everyone turned up at the next nearest venue, Netley or Eastleigh, who both average less than two hundred runners, there would be mayhem.  Continue reading Parkrun tourism Fareham

Winchester to Woolston the tough miles

11 June 2017

At Kiln Lane we left the towpath briefly to cross both the road and Brambridge Bridge. There was a second half lock here in the 1700’s, probably built to retain water levels for the Brambridge water mill. A little bridge crosses the site But you have to look very closely to see the remains of the lock. Today, with everything so overgrown and the runners hot on our heels there was no time for exploring the history of the canal. Continue reading Winchester to Woolston the tough miles

The Spitfire Summer Challenge, Winchester to Woolston

11 June 2017

So far there have been no proper walks this month. The most I’ve done is trot up and down to the village, walk around town or stand on the sidelines at the RR10. Today was going to be all about walking though. Some time ago John mentioned he was thinking about a Summer Spitfire Challenge, a run from Winchester to Woolston. The Itchen Navigation would make up the majority of the route and he knew I had walked it many times. He asked if I’d lead a walking group for those who were recovering from injury or felt fifteen miles or more was a run too far. When I agreed it seemed like an easy distance. Now, with my fitness compromised by laziness, I wasn’t so sure.  Continue reading The Spitfire Summer Challenge, Winchester to Woolston

Blackfield sunset

31 May 2017

After spending weeks going nowhere apart from to the village for supplies, our next outing came hot on the heels of the Penny Game. Tonight’s RR10 at Blackfield in the New Forest was  the furthest from home. Last year we got slightly lost trying to find it and, embarrassingly,  had to stop and ask a passer by for directions. This time Commando found it easily, which was probably just as well as heavy traffic getting out of town meant we were running far later than planned.  Continue reading Blackfield sunset

Invasion of the giant snails and pest control

26 May 2017

The round of waiting rooms and blood tests is far from over but a steroid injection means Commando is feeling much better. It isn’t a cure, investigations are still ongoing, but, for now, he is making the most of it. In fact he’s become a little stir crazy. Word had it that the new Watermark Plaza had been invaded by giant rainbow coloured snails. In fact I kept seeing photos of them on Facebook so, today, I thought we could drive over and have a look at them for real before they all slithered off.  Continue reading Invasion of the giant snails and pest control

The courage to finish

23 April 2017

With my large latte in hand I went back to Guildhall Square to cheer along with the amazing Spitfire cheer squad. Sammy Saint, AKA Matthew, was there, still in his costume dancing around as if he hadn’t just run 10k in the swealtering heat. I kept looking at his feet in their oversized boots and imagined him taking them off later and pouring out a few pints of accumulated sweat. What a legend! Continue reading The courage to finish

The marathon returns to Southampton

23 April 2017

At quarter to eight this morning Commando and I were standing on The Avenue opposite The Common shivering a little and looking at the mist swirling across the city. Obviously it was a race day and this time no ducks of any kind were involved. For once I was the one wearing the race shirt with a number a timing chip pinned to it.  Continue reading The marathon returns to Southampton

Quacky races

21 April 2017

In our house early starts usually mean races and it was certainly early when CJ and I left the house. We were heading for Mansbridge and a race but any similarity to a normal race day ended with the early hour. For one Commando was still at home in bed sleeping off the night shift. There were no trainers, no race kit and there would be no medals at the end. My camera was in my bag though. We’d been reliably informed there would be a whole lot of ducklings to see and I didn’t want to miss them.  Continue reading Quacky races