Dateline Paris June 2016
It is raining hard and a year has gone by since my last blog.
Hilly Fields parkrun was cancelled on 18 June, “due to another event”. Twelve of us decided to make the short journey to the Bois de Boulogne, to try out the parkrun there.
So here is my diary, some might call it b(l)og standard.
Friday 17 June
The train is the way to go. I was worried that I would be the only one to go, but just before boarding my train, I see seven HF stalwarts who are catching the train after mine.
The journey was normal until with twenty minutes to go the train stopped hard. Luckily the problem was soon resolved and in a few minutes, I arrived at Gare du Nord.
I managed to find a bar and had a very pleasant meal the ideal preparation for tomorrow.
Saurday 18 June
I leave the hotel early, as I know my ability to make a journey longer than it need be. It is an easy journey (35 minutes and 22 stations) from Gare du Nord to Porte d’Auteuil the nearest Metro to parkrun.
Now to find the course? Luckily, I find some other parkrun tourists and after a ten minutes walk, we arrive at the start. It is a lovely sunny morning 14C.
HF are here in force and as the start time approaches, Siggy and Stephen are still a few minutes away.
The Bois de Boulogne is very pleasant this morning, sunny with dappled shade. The Run Director, starts his briefing in French. He realises, that there appear to be no French runners and reverts to fluent English.
Bang, the imaginary start gun fires and off we go, on our Paris parkrun journey.
I decide to start out slowly and try to keep an even pace. The marshals, indicate the way to go and I complete the big lap. Now it is 2 shorter laps to go. I soon start to get lapped, but in true parkrun spirit I am encouraged to “keep going”.
With about two hundred yards to go (I think in yards!), I hear someone coming up fast behind me. My central governor allows me to “sprint” to the finish, just in front of a lady who started late!
I was just under thirty five minutes and first in my age group (the only one of course!).
When everyone has finished, it is time for photos and yet more photos.
Everyone from HF has really enjoyed the course and grateful for all the hard work of the voluncheers ,who made it happen.
Kudos for Hector on his first 5K parkrun, Andrea the first female finisher, Paul third finisher and everyone who made it such an enjoyable morning.
It is rumoured in the corridors of power that a return visit is being planned, even if the UK votes to leave the EU.
So back to the hotel to change my clothes and then lunch at La Marquise.
A very pleasant lunch with all the HF crew. Plenty to eat and drink as one would expect from runners, happy with life and an international course now on their parkrun cv.
All, too soon it is time for me to go to the station and back to Blighty. It has been a great visit and I am sorry to go.
Sunday 19 June
I don’t think I am addicted to parkrun, but I find myself doing token support at HF junior parkrun.
There is more to life than running, so for Sunday lunch C and I go to Mamma Dough at Honor Oak. It is very pleasant, sitting, eating and drinking outside in the sun. We see Kevin and Catherine , who are walking to One Tree Hill.
Yes, C and I end up walking too, but only as far as St Augustine’s Church, where a rehearsal is underway.
Not a bad way to spend le weekend with good food, drink and great people from HF parkrun.
All photographs my own except the two group pictures.