So, when Husbando announced that he had to be 'near Exeter' to bid at an auction (he's a rare book seller) today and that we could combine such a trip with meeting up with friends for lunch and popping in to see my sister who moved to Newton Abbot today. I suggested that if we left early enough I could probably run the Killerton parkrun too.
This morning we set off at 5am (yes, 5 o'clock in the morning) to make sure we didn't get held up and made it to the start line in time. We made it with an hour to spare despite stopping for a Big Mac breakfast on the way. Killerton parkrun is run in the grounds of Killerton House, a lovely National Trust property. This means that there is plenty of parking and the best parkrun loos I have ever seen! I asked a local where the start line was and was told that it was 'at the top of that hill!' Hmm, hills, what's not to like about hills? Every single runner I saw seemed to be sporting trail shoes. I don't own trail shoes, because I hate trail running. I can say that safely having never done any trail running in much the same way that one of my friends knows that she hates ricotta cheese because she has never, ever, eaten ricotta cheese!
After a short hike to the top of the hill, during which I met parkrunners from Reading and Andover and a runner from Fetcheveryone, run director Simon gave us newbies a comprehensive run down of course and the potential hazards. Lots and lots of mud, standing water, steep hills, farm vehicles, electric fences and livestock on the loose were promised and encountered! In fact the first 2 - 400 meters of the run was spent chasing cows out of the way whilst running uphill!
It was tough going, slipping around in mud over uneven ground. It may take a while for me to learn to love trail running, if ever! A McDonald's breakfast, it turns out, is not a great start to a running day and I bitterly regretted eating it many times during the run! Unsurprisingly there were no buggies in evidence today, and I don't think I saw anyone running with a dog. I've been 'resting' this week, only running once and that really hurt, so this was a bit of a shock to the system. I can't wait to be fully recovered from all these niggling injuries. I kept going, secure in the knowledge that I wasn't going to get anything like a 'good' time. On the seemingly few downhill bits the wind blew directly head on - joy! On the finishing stretch, while taking care to avoid the electric fence, I vowed not to run Frimley parkrun on Monday, and seriously consider not doing the Alton 10 on the 13th. By the time I was drinking coffee and chatting in the café I was telling people that I would be running Frimley... go figure!!! One lovely lady asked me if I 'used to be a competitive runner!' Those who know me will know that I haven't been running long, but that I am a highly competitive, just not very competent runner!
Husbando doesn't get to many parkruns (he has to open the shop most Saturdays), but he did say that they always strike him as very friendly events. Apparently we parkrunners are 'A nice bunch, but slightly mad!'