Forgive me parkrun, for I have sinned... it was not my fault... I wasn’t alone... going through the “back woods” at the bottom of the lake, I found myself on an unfamiliar path. The runners in front had taken a short-cut, and I unwittingly joined them. This threw me slightly once I realised, but what to do? Trying to correct the situation would have put me and other runners in danger – 180 degrees is not my best angle. I looked behind, and saw that my Mike had followed, so I kept on going. Now whenever I find myself in a dodgy situation, it’s best to adopt the same approach - head down, enjoy the moment and carry on! Clearly, the situation was sorted briefly afterwards, as Katie later mentioned all these blokes flying out of the woods in front of her. I think that we may need new sign ready for next week.
I’ve put together a few more “parkrun misdemeanours” that I may have experienced, heard about or possibly even committed. I put them together as a bit of fun, and to provoke debate, so don’t judge me on it!
Treating parkrun as a Race
It’s not a race, it’s a run. Unless... you’re just a bit competitive with yourself... or you want to improve and you recognise someone who’s just a bit faster than you... or you need to beat that person who clipped you earlier... or that bloke with the annoying hair... or that dashhound that flew past like a lightning streak – discuss!
Taking your dog along to make you run faster, then getting someone to goad it on from a bicycle in front, maybe even trailling a rope of sausages.
Putting your finger to your lips so that people don’t call your name as you follow behind your nemesis before pulling out the stops in the last 200 metres.
Forgetting your barcode (or worse, that of your child)
Now that we’re now down to parkrun rules – “no barcode, no time”, forgetting your barcode suddenly becomes a bit of an issue. Now, I’ve tried a few methods, from printing spares, laminating them and keeping them in the car / my kit bag / arm wallet, but the most effective way so far has been to have it printed onto a bit of plastic, tied through my laces – a bit attention-seeking when lifting a foot to be scanned, but you can always unlace. That way, if I have my trainers, I have my barcode, together with my personal details just in case of injury, collapse or going awol (my eldest son has one too)! That “non-scanned” finishing barcodes box should be guarded well though – just in case of anyone doing some PB fishing!
I was once told of someone who’d discovered that if you run parkrun, and tuck yourself in right behind someone with a dog, you go quicker – with the runners giving way to the faster being – offering a brief gap to follow.
And finally... Push Push! (or not)
Failing to push yourself during a run – not an issue in itself, but making life a misery for your loved ones while you moan about it all week certainly is!
Above all, just enjoy parkrun!