Day 4. I marshaled at Cambridge parkrun today and stood at a fork in the path where all 280 runners passed me 3 times. The 5K course in Milton Country Park was very muddy and they took the opportunity to splatter me as they went past. Repeat offenders were reported to the Community Support Officers and I expect they will be spirited away to a gulag near the Watford Gap for running etiquette rehabilitation.
I’m constantly fascinated by everyone’s different running styles and my perception that the fastest runners don’t seem all that speedy when you are passively watching them from the sidelines. I surely must be able to keep up or pass them if there is any justice in the world. Of course, these notions are in my head and the reality is very different. Afterwards we had tasty coffees with our pals and I continued to learn to be more sociable. I found it’s worthwhile making an effort rather than rushing away home. The great majority of runners are very friendly, even those who you initially judge to be a bit aloof (like me).
Continuing in this vein, I had the option of going for an individual run in the afternoon or joining a social run with an informal club, 5 or 6 members being already known to me. I opted for the latter and it was very enjoyable. It was a mixed ability group and we ran about 5.5 miles through puddles and more mud. Everyone behaved themselves, no-one was competitive and I didn’t have to make any citizen’s arrests.
My eldest son Dan did parkrun in Valentine’s Park near Ilford, Essex and came in at 21 minutes 57 seconds, a whole 1 minute and 22 seconds faster than my personable best. I am eclipsed as this family’s premier running god. I have been toppled from my pedestal. I am yesterday’s runner, an ex legend consigned to history. I could carry on dissing myself but I will stop there. Instead I will rise from the ashes like the phoenix, regenerated and stronger than ever. Another notion in my head. Note to self : make it reality.