You know that nightmare where everything goes wrong and you end up parkrunning in your birthday suit? I made it half-way through that nasty scenario this week.

I had a couple of Brighton Marathon race packs to give out at Gunnersbury parkrun so jumped into the car only to find that the engine wouldn’t start. I did the traditional ‘man fix’ of opening the bonnet and staring at the engine but it just refused to growl into life. Must be serious.

My next stop was to unlock the bikes in the garage for a fast pedal whirl down to the park. Except I haven’t used the bike since last year and both tyres were flat. Oh boy. Cue manic searching for the foot pump (handily left next to the bikes, phew!) and fighting to get air into the tyres while praying that there were no punctures involved.

Little legs furiously pedaled me to Gunnersbury just in time to watch the tail runner running down the start slope some 400m in front of me. A further couple of minutes wasted as I locked up the bike, threw my top into my bag and then waved hello to the volunteers still milling around where the finish funnel was being setup.

Thankfully I wanted to run a really slow (relative) 5km so I slowly jogged my way around the course until I caught up with the tail runner at the 1km sign. I slowly made my way through the back of the field until I caught up with Vince, who was one of the people running Brighton tomorrow and was waiting on me to handover a race pack, and we then ran and chatted around the rest of the course. We both ground to a halt before the finish funnel as we tried to do the gentleman shuffle of letting the other finish ahead. For the record – I gained 20 ‘chap’ points for graciously letting Vince finish first.

Being late for the start wasn’t a huge problem and thankfully (for everyone!) I wasn’t parkrunning naked!

Running Dan parkrun result:

  • parkrun time: 0:35:38
  • Garmin time: 0:31:56
  • Finish position: 254 / 306
  • Gender position: 160 / 178
  • Age category: VM40-44
  • Age grade: 38.31 %