It was our good friend Anne’s birthday on Saturday. A church hall had been hired. Old friends would be present.
Earlier we were joined by TGO Challenger John Sheffield for our first visit to Stretford’s parkrun. It was the tenth running of that 5 km event. Our usual venue, Wythenshawe Park, has hosted 221 such events but is currently not available due to a waterlogged course. Stretford is a short, flat, fast course on a hard surface. 444 people turned up. It was crowded. There were a good number of Wythenshawe regulars in evidence, as well as John, whose home run is in Winchester. I tried to go slowly on this first visit, so as to be in a posoition to get a personal best next time. I’m not sure whether that plan worked, as my time was quick, albeit my position was well down the field. A survey of GPS owners indicated the general impression that this course is 200 metres shorter than the one at Wythenshawe, so no wonder that I finished a minute faster than I thought I was running…
Anyway, Sue and I were soon in transit to the distant city, a family visit featuring two shy budgerigars, then the big party with lots of friends.
Notable attendees were Doug and Margaret. Doug was a fine marathon runner in his day, and after his running career ended he completed the TGO Challenge on numerous occasions. He and Howard and Morpeth were most helpful to me at the end of my first Challenge in 2007, if I remember correctly. Doug uses a Phoenix Phreerunner tent just like mine. Margaret was a year ahead of me on the same degree course at UMIST. I hadn’t seen her since about 1973!
The evening was briefly punctuated by a short concert.
The city’s graffiti seemed to have been created by a street sculptor rather than a street artist.
There are some (iconic?) buildings.
The area below was deserted.