For the second year running, we've started with a parkrun rather than a walk.
But first we celebrated the entrance of a new decade with our good friends, Chris, Louise, Lyn, Gerry and Robert. A lovely evening with a fine meal and some rather silly games whilst we awaited the witching hour. Worrying days are ahead though, now that we have a 'leader' who you wouldn't trust to post a letter, and who can't be impeached however far his right wing tendencies may reach.
Ho hum, I hope I'm wrong.
From Lyn's house in Adlington it was just a half hour's drive to Ormskirk, where we were joined by about a dozen reprobates from Wythenshawe (no parkrun there today) whilst we sheltered from the cool breeze and awaited the sun to rise over another decade.
Over 450 people turned up, and it was a slow start for many of us around the perimeter of a running track. This was the 298th parkrun here, and the highest attendance other than NYD 2019. The course record was beaten today, with the first person coming home in 15.28. It's a two lap course, like many parkruns, and the first time I've been lapped except when volunteering as Tail Walker. And I set the third fastest VM70 time on this course - it would have been second fastest had someone else today smashed that record as well.
Considering she claimed to be injured, Sue finished only just behind me in a flurry of bird's nest hair.
The sun was in the wrong place for taking pictures of finishers, excepting their rear view.
Well, that was fun, and a great way to start the year. How about another one?
We weren't the only ones to think that, as a lonely convoy of cars made its way along otherwise empty roads to the centre of Skelmersdale. Not an obvious venue for a parkrun, but the Tawd Valley Park, adjacent to the town centre, offers a single lap over mixed ground, with a few hills, for those locals who want a bit of Saturday morning exercise.
Many of those running at Ormskirk migrated to Southport for their second bout of exercise, but we chose Tawd Valley's 10.30 run as it was on the way home. Sue and I were pleased to find Keith, from Crosby, in attendance today, and running quite impressively. I'd tried to contact him last night but my 'phone rejected his number. He must be psychic!
Only on special days, like New Years Day, do English parkruns take place other than on a Saturday morning at 9 am. I doubt there are many Run Directors who oversee more than one event in a day, but Ormskirk's trusty host had scooted over to Skem to repeat his 'speech', claiming it was his twin brother in action!
Jenn is usually a fair way behind me over 5 km, but after another slow start on a narrow path, I was surprised to catch her up after about 2 km. She explained that she was after 'a strong performance'. Perhaps I should have stayed around to help her, but despite slowing towards the end, she did manage a good sprint, only a little way adrift of me.
She was well ahead of Dan and Amanda, who are to be congratulated on their recent engagement.
Not far behind them, Charley found a fine sprint finish, with both feet at least 6 inches off the ground, to impressively whizz past a man dressed in pink pyjamas
The header picture, and the one below, are courtesy of a stranger with Jenn's 'phone. Thanks Jenn, what a happy looking crowd of tourists, and well done to Andy for two very strong sub 20 minute performances, coming 12th and first respectively in the age graded results.
A great way to start the year.