Those who have been following my blog for a while will know the reasons why I started running and why I do certain events year-by-year. This year, in replacement of the Libfest fun run, to commemorate the fourth anniversary of Liberty the Libfest team took over their local parkrun in Witney, with other family and friends.
We arrived in good timing, said our hello’s and before we knew it, it was time for the first timers briefing. There were loads of first-timers on the day so we all listened to the course which we found would be one small lap and two bigger laps. Next, we listened to Liberty’s auntie who explained the reasons we were at the event and more about Libfest.
The run director took over and we heard all of the usual parkrun announcements and guides – though we were a little bit shocked to hear nettles were on route! Making our way to the start line we joined the hundreds of other runners within a pathway between the trees. We were off pretty quickly where it was quite hard to pick up a pace and move around people, on the other hand it was also good to keep it slow at first, especially having no expectations of the course. We squeezed through another small gap where we made our way up onto a bank with a tarmac pavement. Completing the small lap we headed onto the grass again, through the trees and around to the start.
The second time around, the route got interesting and we ended up on a long (well it felt like it) grassed area before turning into woodland. Luckily it was dry I wouldn’t have fancied that in wet and soggy conditions. Watching our step through the woodland as roots of trees were sticking up in various places. The third lap flew by and before I knew it I was reaching the final part of the course along the field. On such a warm day, it was great to stop and take a sip of water.
I finished in a respectable (bearing in mind the course and the hot weather) 29.36. We congregated at the end, had our barcodes scanned – the first time I’d seen phones used to do this – and went inside for a cold glass of water, kindly put on by the social club. As well as this they had a BBQ outside and had on sale burgers, bacon sandwiches and the rest. I opted for half a cider instead – a treat before 10am after parkrun (at my home run I opt for a fruit tea!!).
As well as an on-site bar, I loved the cowbells – not knowing where the woodland turned it was nice to hear the cowbells in the distance so you knew you weren’t far away from a marshalling point. The parkrun was really friendly, some really impressive photos and I enjoyed the varied course, though I have to say my ankles were a little painful in the morning.
Roll on the ugly run pictures …