Thursday evening, Gabby and I drove over to Coleshill and had a bit of a run along muddy tracks to Maxstoke golf course and back. We had a little walk around as a cool down before returning home for showers.
Friday was an “easy” day of six miles (2.5 + 3.5).
Saturday morning, and after a short local walk for toilet functions we made our way to Sutton Park to take part in Gabby’s first parkrun.
It was raining but at half eight we decided that we couldn’t stay in the car all morning, so ventured out for a warm up.
We walked the first kilometre or so, and back, interspersed with bouts of running.
Sheltering back in the car, I waited until about five to nine before divesting myself of my lovely warm fleecy top and making our way to the start.
Lining up we spotted a few other dogs and one chap and pooch with full canicross kit (I wouldn’t be the only one).
At nine the pack moved off. I started my watch and from near the back I gave Gabby the command, “Ready? Go!”. Gabby lurched forward taking the slack out of the lead and tugging me along.
We were, surprisingly, soon overtaking people. Gabby was pulling well, enjoying the company of all those runners.
We slowed slightly to cross a slippery wooden bridge just before the 1km mark.
We got up the, so called, Hill of Doom without slowing too much then trotted along, splashing through all of the puddles.
After the turn around by the Memorial stone, we trotted along quite steadily before turning right across the grass. Going downhill, I spurred Gabby on and as she pulled I did a spectacular skid (I say spectacular going by the oooohs from other runners) recovering well and staying upright.
Within the last couple of hundred meters, we spotted the official photographer (Peter) so I told Gabby to smile !
I’m not sure whether you can tell from Peter’s picture if she is actually smiling or not.
Back on tarmac, we sped up a little to the finish crossing the line in around 28:31 – my fastest parkrun for quite some time. Averaging a tad under 9 minute miles, it went quicker than I was expecting and we did it all without walking.
After scanning the bar codes, we walked back to the car, utterly soaked through but feeling great. I believe that Gabby enjoyed herself as well.
A little later in the day, I received a text with the ‘official’ time. We’d finished in 59th place out of 135 in a time of 28:24, a few seconds quicker than my watch. A smaller field than the typical three hundred or so, probably due to a combination of World Cup Rugby and the rain.
Usually, I walk the parkrun in around 38 minutes so this was the fastest that I’d ever done Sutton – so a PB to boot.