I've been to Hogmore Inclosure before for On The Whistle's Batty Bimble, but this morning was the first time I visited to parkrun. This very new parkrun (second event today) had asked of a low key start, without too many inaugural chasers. I was happy to oblige, not only because I was busy elsewhere but also because I was slightly scared by the memories of running through snow melt and sandy slurry. As this morning approached I knew I couldn't wimp out as we had arranged to meet a friend there and I comforted myself that it hadn't snowed recently and that the route wouldn't be exactly the same.
We woke up to snow. Great. Too late to change plans so we threw a few extra layers of clothes in the car and off we went. Parking at the Hogmoor Inclosure is plentiful and we arrived in good time to meet you with our friend and so many other parkrun friends, some of whom I haven't seen for ages! Lots of hugs all round. I hope that those new to parkrun make as many friends through their regular Saturday morning run as I have.
Being good parkrunners, we listened to the first timers' briefing and then to the run director's pre-run brief. I admit to using my teacher voice in order to ask people to be quiet as there was quite a bit of chatter - sorry if I deafened anyone standing close to me. I know what it is like to try to talk to a group of people who aren't listening - not fun!
The start of this parkrun is probably the muddiest start to any parkrun I have done. It is a nice wide start though, so we got off to a speedy, if slidey, start. The course is two laps with no tarmac at all. Thankfully the sandy slurry from the Batty Bimble had dried to a good, solid surface, and I managed to keep my feet fairly dry by avoiding some monstrous puddles. It is all trail, gently undulating, but I suspect that the sand will cause it to be quite challenging in the summer.
Husbando, who had taken an important 'phone call at the start line, caught me up early in the second lap and we ran together for the remainder of the run. The cold air and the dampness, it was snowing by now, are hard on my poorly chest. I can talk or run, but not both - so it was nice and easy on his ears today! Sadly I can't even run that well.
At the end I was so busy admiring the new style finish tokens that I handed my son's barcode to be scanned rather than my own! Oops! He was safely tucked up in bed when we left home. Hopefully the event team can sort this out. I guess this was always going to happen as I have 7 barcodes in my pocket at anyone time.
Sadly the coffee van wasn't in attendance today, and the weather was so cold I doubt that many people would have hung around (although the marshals may well have appreciated a cup of coffee to warm their hands on), so we didn't hang around at the end. We will be back though, if only to have a play on the fabulous play equipment.
Huge thanks to all the volunteers, especially those who stood around in the cold today.