Race Report by Helen Rowe
Sally’s son Martin had very kindly offered us his apartment in Newtown, Powys, for an overnight stay so we could run Newtown parkrun, which is fairly new, and has a small field. So the date was fixed for Fri 13th/Sat 14th April 2018. We were travelling by train to Newtown, but Martin had offered to drive us back to Coventry on the Saturday, so we only needed single tickets.
We met at Coventry Station, all of us earlier than we needed to be, so we decided to jump on the first train to Birmingham International, to give us more time between trains. Cal treated us to tea/coffee Birmingham International, and then we boarded the train. We managed to get three seats close together. There was an announcement that the train would be splitting (we didn’t quite catch where), and the front half would be going one way, and the rear end would be going somewhere else. We knew we were at the rear of the train, but we weren’t sure whether we needed to be at the other end. I said not to worry – we would listen out for the announcements again later, and then work it out, and if necessary move. As it transpired, we were on the right end!
The second incident occurred when Cal wanted to put her rucksack on the overhead rack. I offered to put it up for her. She had two bottles of water in side pockets either side of the rucksack, and I asked her if she wanted them out. She said she would take one (the smaller one), but not the larger one. You can probably guess what happened next. As I thrust the bag up onto the rack, the bottle fell out, bounced on the table, and then hit the girl sitting opposite (who resembled Moaning Myrtle in the Harry Potter films we thought). She was not amused, and neither was her rather sour faced mother.
At each station the train got fuller and fuller, and by the time we left Wolverhampton it was standing room only. We were thankful that we had seats.
We arrived in Newtown at approx. 6.10pm, and were met by Martin. He took us to his apartment, where we left our bags, had a quick cup of tea, and then we went on a drive around Newtown before calling at a Fish and Chip shop for tea. We retired to bed at about 11:30. Sally was sleeping on the sofa, in the lounge. We had asked Alexa to wake her up at 6.00am. At about 3.00am the phone rang (wrong number), which woke Sally, and she thought it was time to get up. She dropped her phone on the floor, and the battery fell out but she didn’t realise, and so when she put the back back on, it didn’t work. Not knowing what time it was, she started making her breakfast. Cal and I could hear her, but didn’t know what she was doing. Sally ate her breakfast, then tried to find out what time it was, and in the end she asked Alexa – who said it is 3.13am! So she went back to bed. Alex woke her again at 6.00am.
Martin came back at 8.15am, and he drove us to Park Run. We started chatting to the marshals and organisers, who were of course very friendly. Then we spotted another Massey Runner – Jason Nicholson was also there. What a coincidence! The sun was shining. They did the briefing, and said reported that this week the course was dry (apparently it was flooded in places last week, and it poured with rain). Then they asked if there were any tourists, and where from. We were in our Massey vests, and besides us from Coventry, there was at least one tourist from Peterborough.
The route started in the car park, and went downhill and out along a path that followed the river, out for half a mile, and then round a cone and back, but instead of heading back to the car park, the path continued to follow the river, past the car park for another half a mile in the other direction, and around a set of cones, and back again, to the cone at the other end, and then back to an uphill finish at the car park. There were 89 runners in all. Jason came 5th, Martin came 25th, Cal came 58th, I was 78th, and Sally was 83rd.
The marshals invited us to join them for coffee at Wetherspoons, and so we went along and joined them. We offered to sort the tokens, and write a race report (aka ‘doing a Daniel’), but those jobs were already taken. We said we would let them know in advance next time, so we could volunteer. The Race Director asked me Sally’s age, and then asked if she could have her photo taken with Sally, Cal and Me. They then used that photo as their profile picture on their Facebook Page.
We headed back to Martin’s apartment, showered, and had a bite to eat, before heading into town for a “mooch”. We found a betting shop, and went in to place a bet on the Grand National (a first for me – I had never placed a bet before in my life). Then we visited the charity shops, and we finished off by having an ice-cream (we were on holiday afterall).
We then headed back to the apartment, picked up out bags, and then Martin very kindly drove us all back to Coventry, with one more parkrun Tourism under our belts!