Saturday, 27 April 2019

Eastleigh parkrun

At supper the other night, one of our many 'planning' meetings where nothing gets planned as we get too engrossed in food and conversation so have to convene another planning meeting and another one before resorting to a series of WhatsApp messages to actually firm up arrangements, MrB and I decided to go to Eastleigh this parkrun day.  We had talked about Portsmouth Lakeside, which could be why I tried to override the sat nav and send us towards Portsmouth.  Luckily MrB and the sat nav won and we headed off down the the M3 arriving at Fleming Park with plenty of time to comment on how windy it was!

Fleming Park was a golf course until 2008 with the parkrun taking place up and down some of the old fairways. The park is now home to a leisure centre and Pavilion on the Park which is where the start and finish of the parkrun can be found.  There is some parking right net to the Pavilion and more by the leisure centre.  The parking by the Pavilion was free - we hope!  We didn't see any machines or signs for payment.  There are loos at the cafe that were open before the start and we decided to take shelter from the wind in the Blackbird Cafe, while reading the menu to plan our post run treats.

After a quick first timers' briefing and a slightly longer run brief (where I had to use my teacher voice because too many people were talking - sorry!) we were off.  I like to listen to the run brief.  In addition to important safety announcements there is often information about upcoming local events - it only takes a few minutes and is just the polite thing to do!  I don't think I could do the role of run director - as a teacher I would want to wait for silence before I started the briefing.... it could make for a very late start.

The course is three fairly flat laps, MrB and I set off at a nice easy pace - he is running that there big marathon thing in London tomorrow and I am running the route in reverse overnight tonight.  We had a chatty run.  I suspect that we were that annoying pair that seems to breeze past you without pausing in conversation or appearing out of breath - sorry for that.  A year ago I would have been thrilled to run 3 miles at the pace I ran today, thanks to weight loss and training it now represents an easy paced run!  The course is just what you'd imagine an old golf course to be... wide open spaces, wooded areas and gently undulating.  It is all on grass or mud paths, I can imagine that it can get very soft underfoot in wet weather, but it was firm today.  You need to watch out for slightly uneven ground though.

I do love a parkrun with a cafe at the finish - and Eastleigh didn't disappoint!  I still think that post parkrun coffee is the most important bit of the morning.  I must remember to pack my reusable coffee mug in my kit bag though as discounts for using your own mug are becoming more common and it is much better for the environment.

Thank you to all the volunteers at Eastleigh today - we had a lovely morning.

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