Having decided to visit Gill’s uncle who lives in a lovely village on the Oxfordshire/Northamptonshire border, Gill checked the parkrun website and found that Banbury parkrun was only 6 or 7 miles away. So that was Saturday morning sorted. The first problem was that her cousin Steve was also there and he had booked us a table in the village pub on the Friday night. A very nice pub it is too, but PBs rapidly became out of the question!
The second problem was that we discovered that we had a flat tyre when we were about to set off. Luckily Steve had decided to run with us, so we still had transport to the start.
First impressions were that this was “parkrun posh” as there was a gazebo set-up in the middle of the park with tables and chairs underneath for the barcode scanners. They also had a board with lost of hooks on for the finish tokens, another board showing a map of the course and a trolley for runners’ bags, sweatshirts, coats etc.
As with every parkrun, the volunteers were friendly and helpfully explained that the course would be modified from the map as there was a bridge closed. This meant that we were starting and finishing in the middle of a field and running 3 and a half laps around park paths. It was quite confusing knowing where to start counting the 3 laps from!
It was agreed that I would run with Steve and try to coax him around in 25 minutes whilst Gill would be happy to be under 30 minutes.
Whilst part of the paths were tarmac, a lot of the time it was more like trail running as overnight rain had made it muddy in places with a slippy patch as we re-entered the field shortly before the finish. It was a small but pleasant wooded park with the path on one side giving views of the canal and on the other a small river. The marshals, who seemed to patrol in pairs, were very encouraging so all in all it was an enjoyable run.
I failed in my mission and Steve and I finished in 25:14 but Gill timed it to perfection to come home in 29:32. I think that this is a fast, flat course and we could get much better times on a dry day unemcumbered by an evening in the Fox at Farthinghoe!