Sidekick suggested a wee trip to Plean parkrun. With plans for Wooler Trail Marathon scrapped, and given the weather they had, maybe a lucky escape; It’s been a while since we were there – the Downey’s 500 celebration to be precise in June 2018
Towing the line….
As it happens, it was Plean’s 2nd Birthday – great bonus in that there was plenty cake to eat.
Jim was keen to keep his current parkrun streak going and he and Michelle headed to the back of the pack.
We were then piped to the start line! Amazing little touch… They didn’t play happy birthday though!
Some photo opportunities on the front line, “crouch and pretend your about to set off fast”. Some sniggers from us guys on the line about no danger of being a fast race. Euan Craig alongside me assures me this is his first race since ultra Glen Ogle 33 two weeks prior, so would be taking it easy. Confirmed by Alan stood to my left. He would also be taking it easy. I had no intentions of going hard, with plans in the afternoon for hill running.
And we’re off….
And we were off, me and the two aforementioned taking it easy and leading from the front! 😂
Plean was resplendent in an autumn coat. Red, browns, yellow and golds in the air and on the floor. The leaves underfoot enough to hide the path and leave a cautious edge to foot placing. With some nice amounts of mud to keep those in trail shoes in an advantageous position.
Euan scampered off into the distance, whilst Alan and I played cat and mouse. Me better on the technical stones, and tree roots that the route in Plean has in abundance. Him stronger on the smoother – I was going to say flatter, but this course is anything but flat – sections. My guess he’s a strong road runner, whereby I prefer the trails. He finally managed to shake me and leave me behind. And I settled for third place.
“Well done Aaron, good running” hollers a spectator.
Obviously my name is not Aaron . They have me mixed up with someone else.
“Go on Aaron looking strong”, shouts a marshal.
What!? I generally make a point of not showing a weakness to look over my shoulder, but I took a sly glance. Nothing. No one. Hmmm. Maybe some other fire-bearded runner in the locale called Aaron I was being mistaken for.
Inside the last kilometre, I put a bit of a spurt on, only to hear footsteps alongside me. I look right. Nothing! I look down and spot ‘Aaron’ powering his way past me. About 11 years old, looking strong as he not only passes me but speeds up for the last 400m
I try to desperately to hang on for 3rd place, but he out sprints me and takes a well earned podium spot, returning as I collect my token to shake my hand, “well done” he comments as he grips my hand in a man’s handshake! Well done indeed. A great race young man!
Now where’s that cake…