A trip to Leeds was on the cards to see the fantastic Rhys Darby, who I hear you say – you know that actor off Flight of the Concords, who? Never mind, an awesome New Zealand comedian,” an ex-New Zealand soldier who likes to dance, wear novelty shirts, perform physical comedy theatre, act in Hollywood movies and hunt for mythological creatures” – as he says about himself in his book. Anyway, I noticed on the Elvet Striders facebook page that Emma was also heading down to Leeds that weekend and found out she was thinking of possibly going to Roundhay. As we were staying about a mile from Leeds Hyde Park we were doing that parkrun and mentioned this to Emma who said that she may fancy that one instead.
Saturday morning and the sun was shining, Paul and I jogged up to Hyde park for the start and saw Emma immediately in her striking Striders Tee, Paul and I in our striking Striders vests. We felt a bit alien at first, but like all parkruns we were made to feel very welcome straight away through the kind introduction from the race Director, who I think was called Andrew. He welcomed us to Hyde Park and we got a round of applause at the start of the run. I think he possibly thought that we had come down because of our ‘flooded’ course but we explained that we were down in Leeds anyway.
So we set off, Paul shot off (as usual!), so did Emma actually leaving me to ‘steady away’. The course consists of two and a half laps of Woodhouse Moor – from the start the course crosses directly across the centre of the park, to the northern most tip before completing two and a half laps around the perimeter and finishing near the eastern most point. There were 248 runners today and it was their 249th parkrun. Paul came in 45th at a time of 22:02, Emma was 136th at a time of 27:22 and myself 154 with a time of 28:28. It was quite a tough run with inclines and it’s the first parkrun I’ve done that laps itself so psychologically I thought it may have made it harder, but not really. It’s a lovely park and setting and would recommend it to anyone visiting Leeds. We got a few ‘come on Elvet Striders’ as we passed by the Marshals so that was really nice and it just shows how friendly and welcoming all parkrun volunteers are (well the three different parkruns I’ve done).
Well parkrun done, well pleased Paul and I headed back to the Premier Inn while Emma headed off for a spa day in Harrogate. A quick shower then headed into Leeds for a look around and a fantastic show to look forward to on the night. Fitting a parkrun in on a trip away – mad or just committed. It seems that everytime we are looking to go away we check to see if a parkrun is nearby, and why not. It’s a great event, it takes less than an hour in all and you feel good about yourself afterwards and get to treat yourself for the rest of the day. hence pasties, cakes and tapas and a bit of cider.
Another run to add to your red Tee and another for the most events list Emma!