One week after gutting it out, quite literally, at the Kent Roadrunner Marathon I found myself at the inaugural Salisbury parkrun. I had completed four short (3 - 4 miles) runs since the marathon and none of them had been enjoyable, comfortable or anything that could be described as speedy. In a fit of madness I had even attempted to run up Brockham Hill. The relief I felt when I reached the top was short lived when I realised how painful running down such a steep hill would be!
Saturday, however, means parkrun day. There was no option but to lace up my trainers and get on out there and try to run. And Salisbury is relatively nearby - who needs a lie in on a Saturday morning when one could be gallivanting around the country for a 5k run? I picked up two friends on the way and had left the short people behind so not only was I going to parkrun, I was going to have to actually make an effort.
The weather was gorgeous. Sunny, but with a bit of a breeze. We found the car park easily, met up with other parkrun tourists, found the loos, found the start, listened to a run briefing, made a rude comment to the race director from last weekend's marathon (OK, that was just me, my friends are lovely, well behaved and very polite).
The course is three laps of Churchill Gardens, zigging and zagging around - there is no way I could retrace my steps again! My legs hated all the corners and weren't too keen on all the grass either. Those three laps seemed so hard, but we were supported by fabulous marshals, including a large group of volunteers who waited near the start/finish to cheer the runners on. Amazingly I managed not to get lapped, and was very relieved on my final lap to see the turn off for the finish. I even put on a tiny bit of effort to get to the finish line - I regretted this as I had to try to maintain it over a longer than anticipated distance!
The finish funnel was long and narrow - which meant that there was less chance of people overtaking each other after the finish. The message about staying in order had obviously been taken to heart by some of the runners who were panicking about staying in order in the queue for scanning barcodes!
Coffee afterwards was in the cloisters of Salisbury Cathedral. To say that the view was better than my regular post parkrun coffee would be an understatement! The coffee was good and the croissants were excellent. I said the words 'penis' and 'vagina' and shocked an elderly couple walking past our table, which added to the general mayhem. In my defence, it was a perfectly innocent discussion of when Yr7 should be taught the reproduction module of the KS3 science curriculum - I maintain that the first half term of year 7, when they don't know each other well enough to say these words out loud, is not the right time.
All in all, a lovely event. Flat as a pancake, but twisty and turny enough to make it interesting. Go along and see for yourselves! Huge thank you to the event team and all the volunteers who made this parkrun possible.