At the end of the driest, hottest, sunniest summer since 1976, it was a touch disappointing when the day of the Winchester Half Marathon turned out to be one of the wettest, windiest days of the whole year, thanks to Storm Ali. The doom and gloom weather warnings didn’t exactly fill us with confidence but Commando was pacing the race so we wrapped up as best we could and set off bright and early. Continue reading Winchester and Storm Ali
First thing on New Years Day all the sensible people are in bed sleeping off a late night, too much food and way too much alcohol. My warm bed was just a hazy memory as I strolled across Southampton Common, wrapped up against the chilly morning air. For some reason the parkrun organisers thought it would be a good idea to have an extra parkrun today. In fact there were two, one at Netely and one st Southampton, with the Netley one starting before the Southampton one so people could run both. Continue reading Happy New Year
This morning’s race was the Gosport Half Marathon, one Commando has run many times before. It’s a relatively flat course, if a touch boring, taking in the coastal road between Stokes Bay and Lee-on-Solent. Usually this would be good news for anyone hoping for a PB, but the weather, in particular the wind, can be both friend and foe here. In all the years Commando has run it there have been some huge weather contrasts, from bright days with high temperatures, through gale force winds and heavy rain.
Some Saturday mornings parkrun doesn’t seem like such a great idea and I wonder why I’m getting out of bed early to watch a lot of runners going round and round The Common. This Saturday, with rain beating down and wind making it all seem worse, was a case in point. There was no way I was staying at home in the warm and dry though because this was a very special parkrun. John Grant, running club founder and Event Director of Southampton Parkrun, was about to run his two hundred and fiftieth parkrun. Obviously, the gathered runners had a few surprises up their sleeves for him. Continue reading A parkrun milestone
This morning we got up for a run we weren’t sure was going to happen. Hot on the heels of hurricane Ophelia came Storm Brian. It arrived on Friday night, all wind and rain battering the bedroom window. On Saturday morning I did the unthinkable and stayed in bed nursing a cold I’ve picked up from CJ while Commando went to parkrun in the howling gale. Even parkrun was in doubt but, after Commando and Rob, who was RD for the morning, walked round to check for fallen trees, it did go ahead. Meanwhile, a few miles along the coast in Southsea, the Saturday Great South Run events were being cancelled and there were some doubts whether the ten mile race today would go ahead.
With the Winchester walks, the Half Marathon and the CC6’s, it seems like years since I last had a nice quiet Sunday. When I went to parkrun yesterday morning I thought I’d be getting a lie in today. While we were having our post run coffee though, everyone was talking about races. Almost everyone was running either the Portsmouth Pieces of Eight or the Bournemouth Half Marathon. Everyone except Commando and Rob that is. All of a sudden they had a bad case of race envy. Before I knew what was going on they’d decided to try to get last minute places for Pieces of Eight and I was waving goodbye to the idea of a lie in.
In our house it wouldn’t be Saturday if it didn’t start with a trip to Southampton Common for parkrun. Southampton is the busiest parkrun on the South Coast with between seven hundred to a thousand or more runners each week. As October sees the thirteenth anniversary of the very first parkrun, I thought I’d take a look behind the scenes to see what goes on to make this fabulous free event happen every Saturday morning. Continue reading Behind the scenes at Southampton parkrun
The final RR10 of the season was organised by Eastleigh running club. The original plan had been to hold it at Marwell, just like last year, but there was an issue with the venue and it ended up being postponed. In the end tonight’s race was held at a completely new venue, the University Sports Ground on Wide Lane. This is a place I’ve walked past many, many times, on my way to Winchester, Eastleigh, or just Lakeside which is actually the next set of fields along the road. Because it’s not open to the public though, I’ve never been inside. Continue reading The last RR10
The venue for tonight’s RR10 was Hursley Park, near Winchester. Surprisingly, without help from Kylie who was in Iceland working, we didn’t get lost this year, although it was touch and go for a while.