Saturday 21 January 2023

parkrun Tourism: Witton #26: 21/1/2023

When my alarm went off at 6:30 this morning, I did question my sanity in having a hobby that involves getting up so early on a Saturday morning. Tourism is not for the faint-hearted when you have to travel for an hour or more just to run 5 km in some random place. However, there are plenty of us that to do this so maybe we can’t all be mad?

Yesterday I had hoped to visit one of my NENDYs (that’s my nearest not done yet parkrun) but as I went online I discovered the 1st at Preston was cancelled due to ice and then Skipton was also cancelled. What to do? Luckily for me Witton parkrun turned out to be only an hour or just under away and they told me on Facebook that they would be on this morning.

So at 7:20 this morning I deiced my car and prepared to head down the M6 and the M61 towards Blackburn. I love this part of tourism, being on my own in the car with Radio 2 blaring out with me singing along (to Tony Blackburn and Dermot O’Leary). It was a glorious morning with the sunrise making the whole sky glow; the fields and the hills, alongside the motorway, were all white and crispy.

After managing to park in what I hoped was a space (I couldn’t see because the ice was covering the car park) I joined a long queue for the one and only working car park ticket machine. I nearly had time to make friends for life whilst waiting in the queue because the machine was going so slowly…

Once I had acquired a ticket and put it in my car, I then had to safely cross to the start area over some frozen roads and fields. With most of the local park runs cancelled there was a large number of people at the event. In fact, it turned out that it almost doubled its normal numbers. This meant that we had to wait for a delayed start as so many people were queueing to get car park tickets.

Finally, we were off, although it was a very slow and steady start to the number of people and the conditions under foot. Up a hill that was covered in lovely crispy snow and then wiggled through the trees up and down around and back through the start before negotiating the icy college car park. 

Next up was “The Beast” that I had been warned about on Facebook: a long, steep hill, that took quite a lot of effort to get up.

As I started to head back towards the park, we were already being passed by the lead runners. The first of whom must’ve been finishing in about 18 minutes. For us middle of the road runners we still had to go round one more time; but there were fewer runners on the second lap.

I was relieved to cross the finish line having stayed on my feet the whole way round. Thank you to the friendly marshals and other runners, I would thoroughly recommend Witton parkrun.

Watch my video:

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