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Whitstable parkrun - event 571

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On the 3rd December 2022 I ran the Whitstable parkrun which was the 571st event held at the venue, my 105th parkrun and 39th different course I'd attended. For some bizarre, masochistic reason I cannot understand I've wanted to run a parkrun on the seafront with big wind, dramatic waves and plummeting temperatures. It sounds romantic to me, madness to others, but is the reason why I had two coastal events planned for December. First up? Whitstable! Up until very recently, I had never been to Whitstable which I found strange considering in forty plus years as Kentish man I'd been to virtually every other seaside resort in Kent and arguably Whitstable is one of the finest and most popular of all. Nevertheless, I found myself driving down Thanet Way a little over a month from my first ever visit with the weather very different than before. Upon arrival at Marine Parade, the road that runs along the top of Tankerton beach, separated by Tankerton slopes I was comforted by the w

Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun - event 359

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On the 26th November 2022 I ran the Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun which was the 359th event held at the venue, my 104th parkrun and 38th different course I'd attended. As Tonbridge parkrun was called off again for the second week in a row due to localised flooding I was able to regig my planner once more, opting instead to run at Tonbridge's near neighbour - Royal Tunbridge Wells. I had originally planned to run here a few weeks back but issues with my foot and a gout diagnosis put pay to that, but I'd been looking forward to this one, not just for ticking off another Kent parkrun venue but to finally tick off 'R' from the parkrun Alphabet. The event is one of those that are fairly well covered on social media with YouTube videos of the course so I had a pretty good sense of what to expect. I'd also been to Dunorlan Park as a child and could remember it for its beauty. It's located on a valley with a lake at the bottom, there are formal garden areas, a play

Canterbury parkrun - event 381

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On the 19th November 2022 I ran the Canterbury parkrun which was the 381st event held at the venue, my 103rd parkrun and 37th different course I'd attended. I was torn this week between Tonbridge and Canterbury, both of which I'd scheduled this week and next, but elected to head towards Canterbury  on account of its further distance from home. Next Friday we are in London for Mums 60th birthday celebrations so didn't want an extra early start after a late night before. It worked out well in the end as Tonbridge was eventually cancelled due to flooding on the course after some significant rainfall this week here in Kent. It was still rather wet and miserable on Saturday morning and the temperature had notably decreased too. I wasn't really sure what to expect with Canterbury as like Bedgebury the week before information online was quite hard to come by. There were whispers of a challenge on the course and the word 'hill' had been mentioned once or twice so it p

Bedgebury Pinetum parkrun - event 271

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On the 12th November 2022 I ran the Bedgebury Pinetum parkrun which was the 271st event held at the venue, my 102nd parkrun and 36th different course I'd attended. After my last parkrun at Charlton on the 29th October, I sat at home watching football on the television and at the full time whistle got up to get a snack from the kitchen. My foot which had caused me some issues in the days leading up to the event was now swollen and almost impossible to walk on. I spent most of the following day waiting to see someone in A&E where a GP diagnosed me with gout and prescribed me with a dose of antibiotics. I spent the next week having multiple conversations with people about my age, my diet and my alcohol intake and firmly defended all three. It also meant that any running activity was out of the question. My goal of running 50 parkrun events in a calendar year was over and my planned parkrun schedule had to be rewritten. It also meant that I could volunteer at my local Cyclopark e

Charlton parkrun - event 55

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On the 29th October 2022 I ran the Charlton parkrun which was the 55th event held at the venue, my 101st parkrun and 35th different course I'd attended. In and around trying to get the parkrun venues in Kent ticked off, I've been simultaneously trying to work my way through my local parkruns that I've not done yet, in particular those that sit either side of the A2 corridor. One of those such runs is Charlton, which I planned to run to coincide with event number 55, which is one of the remaining Fibonacci sequence numbers I am still yet to do. Prior to the run, on the Thursday night watching the climax of the latest Stranger Things series on Netflix I was stretching my feet out and felt a bit of a twinge in the big toe of my right foot. I didn't think anything of it, until the next morning when walking down the stairs was a lot more painful than it should have been. As I was off work on a days leave and had planned to visit Whitstable for a stroll along the coastal pat

Bushy parkrun - event 899

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On the 22nd October 2022 I ran the Bushy parkrun which was the 899th event held at the venue, my 100th parkrun and 34th different course I'd attended. Not to be confused with the town in Hertfordshire, Bushy park lies in South West London - a stones throw away from Hampton Court Palace. It is in fact a Royal Park, one of eight in London and is the second largest of them all. It's famous for its herds of red and fallow deer which roam freely across the park itself. In 2004 a man named Paul Sinton-Hewitt arranged a 5k running event at the park between running friends that was known as the Bushy Time Trial. The event was then replicated at Wimbledon Common three years later and further Time Trials soon followed. These events were then renamed to parkrun and a global initiative was born. As it was my 100th parkrun, what better way to celebrate my centenary than a pilgrimage to the place where it all started? Knowing that it was my 100th event and the next official parkrun mileston

Cyclopark parkrun - event 100

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On the 15th October 2022 I walked the Cyclopark parkrun which was the 100th event held at the venue and my 99th parkrun event overall. I had planned to run the Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun and keep up my chain of tourist events going, but a request to Stephanie from the Cyclopark run director changed my mind and my schedule has now been rewritten. I hadn't planned on walking either, but a combination of circumstances dictated otherwise. Being my local event I knew that the centenary milestone was fast approaching for the Cyclopark and I should have drawn my schedule up around it. But I had wanted to attend Royal Tonbridge Wells on account of theirs being a prime number event as well as the R that I am still missing as part of the alphabeteer challenge. These challenges are easily addictive and interfere with rational thought, hence my decision to skip Cycloparks centennial celebrations. However, Hayden and Phoebe have swimming lessons on Tuesday at the same place as Sarahs childr