This blog post has been languishing in my drafts folder for over a year. Nor sure why. I do have a habit of putting a draft together and then something shiny distracts me and I never return. My drafts folder currently mocks me with 48 unpublished posts. Oh dear. This is what I remember about Bracknell parkrun.
We went to the inaugural event. We drove. There are free car parks surrounding the venue. Free parking is also available on the road leading up to the parkrun. It was really busy with cars (inaugural mania!). There were lots of people there. I bumped into a few Eagles who used the inaugural to visit family who lived nearby. A smiling Mayor started the run. The course is playful, twisty, goes across a small car park, snaked through some woodland areas, was great fun, and was soft underfoot so became a bit muddy on the last lap. Other Dan finished before me. I scoffed a bacon sandwich in the café afterwards.
That’s the quick summary dealt with and it’s brought back memories of the event. However, I don’t remember why we targeted the inaugural run, unless is was just before we evaluated the impact we were having by joining in with large numbers for the birth of a new parkrun event.
There was a warning about parking, given they were expecting a lot of visitors, so we made sure to arrive early and park in the recommended parking areas so not to cause any problems. Car sharing was recommended but at the time it was only me and Other Dan visiting. We hadn’t aligned ourselves with fellow Eagles tourist Simon, who was marching towards his 100 different venues, and he wasn’t running at Bracknell anyway. There were a couple of Eagles visiting as well but I; a) didn’t know they were visiting; and b) they were using the visit as a stepping stone to see relatives who lived nearby.
We caught up with some friendly faces (it’s amazing to look back at the photos from the event and they’re full of people who I recognise as fellow parkrun tourists) and listened to the run briefing. I am sure that they summarised the course, thanked the local authorities for helping with the setup, gave the Mayor a chance to say and few words, and allowed everyone to thank the wonderful volunteers.
I described the course as “joyfully playful” after finishing. The start strait was narrow so important that runners judged their starting place, it looped back round a small woodland area, twisted and turned in-between (what I believe were) tennis courts, crossed a small car park, crossed soft grassland before swirling through a woodland trail before returning to soft grass. Conditions were soft and damp underfoot so the runners looping round made some of the course muddy by the second lap.
Other Dan was well ahead of me while I continued to rehabilitation into running fitness following an enforced health break from November through to the end of January. My finish time was still faster than what I am managing now though.
We hung around for a bit after the run finished and I crammed a delightful bacon sandwich into my mouth. It would have been rude not to, right?