The rain was hammering on the window screen and bouncing off the ground in the car park. Willow the dog was huddled up on my feet wanting to stay dry. My poor friend Sally was wondering what she had let herself in for. We were in Cranleigh for parkrun and would be meeting up with our friends Pam and Moira, all of them new to parkrun and all of them here because they wanted to do an event with me. Please let the rain stop…..please!!!
Pam, Moira and Sally are friends from my baby group – the NCT classes for first time mums and dads. Our babies are now 21 – but we have stayed in touch all these years. Meeting every year for afternoon tea around Christmas time with our other friends Sarah and Sue who unfortunately couldn’t make this meet up 😦 and various meet ups though out the year usually when they are passing through the South West for holidays or Uni visits.
Cranleigh was where we all met. I was the only one of our group (there were eight of us back then) that actually lived in Cranleigh – the others lived in the surrounding villages but the classes were held there. I lived there for 12 years, got married there and the kids started school there. It is a lovely “village” – well really a small town, very Surrey – good housing stock, local shops and lots of greenery.
It was fun coming back – it hadn’t changed much, a few more shops and of course no parkrun back then.
At 8.50 the rain calmed down and Sally and I made the five minute dash to the start of parkrun, past the football field and across a country lane into ….a field! Not a park at all – but very pretty and perfect for a 5k run.
Parkrun starts at 9am and at 9am the rain magically stopped and it stayed dry for the hour we were there – even saw a peep of sunshine.
The local MP was there for some reason and started us off. 3, 2, 1, GO. Unlike Coventry a few weeks ago this was all on grass. The grass was wet, obviously, but actually not too bad to run on, a small trail having been made from weeks of parkruns.
We had plans to catch up with a lunch afterwards so I felt happy running off and doing my own race. Sally runs most mornings with her dog, Willow, who was also with us, but Moira and Pam do other activities and would probably need to walk a bit.
I needed to walk a bit myself when at 1km as a big long hill appeared. I got a fair way up but it was hard going on the grass and I figured walking was just as quick, it also gave me time to take in the stunning views of the Surrey countryside. The other side was quite steep downhill and bit slippy as Moira found out, falling over and getting covered in mud – welcome to parkrun Moira 🙂
It was a two lap course and weaved around the fields. You could see the finish line from most places on the course but just when you thought you were getting near, the course would suddenly change direction away from the finish. It did make it easy to spot the others though across the fields and every one was doing well. Sally and Willow were on my heels through out, chatting away – Sally not the dog, in fact Willow would have run twice as fast given the chance. It was very enjoyable and like all parkruns very friendly, other runners chatting to us and the marshals shouting encouragement.
I hadn’t run for a couple of weeks as my knee, which plays up now and then had been a bit sore – not surprisingly giving what I’ve put it through this year. It was a little ouchy at first but then seemed fine. For a hilly off road course I was very happy with my 31.56 time 🙂
At the finish line while Sally and I waited for the others I head a “Hello” – it was my old neighbour Mary. It was lovely to see her although I couldn’t remember her name straight away……certainly felt 50 then! We had a nice chat and got a photo.
We all had a great time and I’m sure I could persuade them all to do another parkrun again sometime.
We headed back to the car and the minute we got in the heavens opened and the rain came down. The parkrun weather fairies had been on our side though and allowed us a dry run.
We finished off the day with a lovely lunch back at Sally’s house and a proper catch up.
A quick shoutout too to sister Adi who did Dartford parkrun, after a 3 hour drive to Dartford from Somerset, getting there with eight minutes to spare! Also to my friend Sarah with a great comeback parkrun in Scotland, after being injured for a while. Well done – a good parkrun day all round!
Event 43 done!