I don’t buy all the “new year, new you” rubbish, in fact January 1st is just December 32nd in a dress. But what I do believe is that bank holidays are that most beautiful and rare opportunity to do something fun while your employers pay you for it. In fact, if you think about it, if you go out for a run, ride or swim on a bank holiday you are technically a professional athlete. (don’t think about it too hard, just go with it and don’t burst my bubble!)
So on January 1st 2015 I headed off with friends Greg and Prash to be professional parkrunners and take advantage of the opportunity to “do the double” – the once a year you can do two parkruns in a day and they both count. A little investigation revealed that Chipping Sodbury and Pomphrey Hill were offering themselves, with a staggered start time and being only 45 minutes away.
Chipping Sodbury was a flat 3 lapper around a pleasant field with a good crowd, the usually friendly folk you encounter at parkruns around the country.
In fact I recognised several people from Ashton Court parkrun which I did a few weeks ago, which was handy because they were able to take group photos so avoiding the need for awful selfies!
Pomphrey Hill was a wildly different beast, I guess the clue should have been in the name. Over 300 people on a course that rarely sees 100 meant a tricky job to hear the briefing, but something it was impossible to miss was the cheer when the Run Director referred to going “up Pomphrey”. 3 laps starting with a climb past the cafe wafting the delicious smell of bacon across the course and at the 3/4 mark a steep, steep climb up a soggy wood-chipped track, the eponymous hill.
With two parkruns in two hours it was never going to be quick, but both were done in under 30 minutes and parkruns 42 and 43 were in the bag.