The things I did in 2015

Last year I drew up a run down of my year month by month of all the fun and exciting things that I had been up to.  It was great fun to look back on and even though I haven’t been quite so busy this year (no wedding or milestone birthdays!) I thought it would still be nice to look back on 2015.

These are my #2015bestnine as declared by Instagram.

2015bestnine InstagramAll running related!

Not everything was running related this year though.  I did move house, and attend several other events across the year too.  So here is my look back over the past year…

January 2015

I kicked off the year with a New Year’s Day parkrun, but at the same time was in a world of pain having problems with my back.

I also started a new job teaching full time in a large secondary school in Cambridgeshire, having to set a 5:15am alarm daily for my get-ups.  (Can’t believe I’ve now been getting up at this time for a full year!)

Wakeup call at 5:15am

Along with several others from my running club I marshaled at the Country to Capital ultra, where I got to chat to lots of fab ultra runners and support them on their way through the third checkpoint out on the course.

Country to Capital race start

Having moved up to Group 4 at running club just before the New Year I was confident of beating my 2014 time at the Wellingborough Multi-terrain 10k mid-January and did so by a good couple of minutes.

Wellingborough Multi-terrain dirt run photo

February 2015

I headed to South Devon for the weekend with a couple of guys from running club so that we could run the EnduranceLife coastal marathon, unfortunately on our journey home we realised we had made a mistake the previous day and had brought another runner’s bag back with us!

Tom, Me and Gary at the EnduranceLife South Devon marathon

Dan and I started the hunt for a new house after deciding that we did indeed want to move, rather than extend our house, which had been the initial plan.  Our house then went up for sale.

I worked out just how much money I had spent on running the previous year and had a bit of a shock!

March 2015

I started to feel very run down by March.  My first blog post of the month didn’t happen until 11 days in, which is very unlike me as I have loved writing on my little space on the internet.  Picking up the slack in my new job, whilst trying to carry on doing all of the things I had managed to fit into my day previously really wasn’t working and my sleep and wellbeing really suffered, some nights I was getting barely more than 4 hours sleep and I was knackered.

Sleep time on the Vivofit

I still managed to slot a few races in though and ran the Ashridge Boundary 16m race with another runner from the club.  I really enjoyed the run, and it was a shame I was so ill at the end.

Ashridge Boundary run

March was the month when one of my best friends from Uni, Vicki was having her hen do.  As one of the bridesmaids, I was helping organise and we had lots of fun with a scavenger hunt round Cambridge before heading to Jamie’s for dinner, Lola Lo for cocktails and then back to Peterborough to watch Dirty Dancing in our own private cinema room the following day.

Vicki's hen do

I broke my toe a few weeks before my upcoming goal marathon, following a fast sprint down the stairs where I slid into the front door.

Broken toeWithin the same few days, Dan was kicked in the head at football, causing his face to swell and for him to be sent home from work suffering with concussion.  It wasn’t all bad in that post though, we had an offer accepted on the house we liked and we also sold our house (to the person we were buying from!)

House sold sign

April 2015

Somehow (probably because I am stupid and incredibly stubborn!) I managed to run the Oakley 20, just ten days after breaking my toe.

A few days before her wedding, I treated Vicki to a spa morning where I also welcomed an all-over body massage.  Easter weekend was a busy one, with Vicki’s wedding falling on the Saturday…

Dan, Alex and Me at Vicki's wedding

…and then on the Sunday, marshaling at the Go Beyond Delapre marathon, before heading out to support at the Stanwick 10k on the Monday morning.

I spent hours changing my name on everything (eight months after getting married!)

Having watched the London marathon on TV in 2013 and then running it in 2014 I was really looking forward to soaking up the atmosphere as a spectator in 2015.  I was hoping to get some good pictures, but it was so hard with cheering hands in the way all the time!  Loved it though.

Jon at London marathon

May 2015

Laura gave up some of her morning to help me run my eighth marathon – Milton Keynes.

Milton Keynes marathon mile 10I got a new PB, but my time was seconds over the target of a sub five hour marathon.  Ultimately I was rather disappointed and immediately headed online to search out another marathon.

A few weeks later I ran the Waendel Walk with a large group of other runners from club.  A lovely event which you can participate in at any point over the weekend.

Waendel Walk

My nephew turned three.

Jenson's third birthday

I led my first trail run where 25 runners and a dog turned up to join in.

My trail run in Raunds

I achieved a new 5 mile PB at the Blisworth 5.

Blisworth 5 mile finish

I had another stressful week at work, where I also put together a program for the Track and Field Championships, keeping me up until 3:30am.  Due to move into our new house the following week, it was at this point that we were also told there was a possibility this would no longer happen, adding to the stress!

Moving house boxes progress

Dan and I managed to get away for a few days to Manchester, which helped a little and here we managed to fit in several cocktails and went to see Foo Fighters in the rain.

Foo Fighters in Manchester

June 2015

I kicked off June with a fantastic run at Shires and Spires 35, taking off a large chunk of time from my previous 35 mile PB.  Third time’s a charm!

Go Beyond Shires and Spires 35m race medal

We had a rather eventful trail run one Wednesday evening when members of our trail running group had to make a formation to transport water from the river onto the bridge that had been set alight!

Dan spotted some free tennis sessions being given away, so we joined our friends Vick and Alex for a little competitive session on the court.

Vicki, Alex, Dan and I at tennis

I got a wake up call from the dentist about my choices of food.

A race event I had wanted to run since joining the club, I ran the Colworth Marathon Challenge for the first time; 5 miles on Friday, 8.1 on the Saturday and a half marathon on the Sunday.

Colworth Marathon Challenge 5 mile medalDespite being off-road I surprised myself with the times achieved for the first two days.  Then learnt a lot about pacing in the final day of the weekend!

On a lovely sunny Saturday I headed down to London to meet several bloggers whose blogs I had been reading for quite a while.

Blogger meetup in inSpiral

And the following day, I marshaled at the Coombe Abbey marathon.

Go Beyond Coombe Abbey running festival medals

July 2015

July was the month of PBs, and I started by ticking off a new 10k PB at MK10k despite it being an incredible hot day – something which doesn’t usually work in my favour.

Sweaty Milton Keynes PB face

I met my adorable new form as year 6s.  Before promptly teaching them how to spell my name!

Spelling my name wrong as a teacher

We finally moved house!

New home card…having smashed my 5k PB just two days earlier, despite having lived surrounded by boxes for weeks on end!

5k PB face

I took my second 5 mile PB of the year when I ran quicker at the Wellingborough 5 BBQ run.

Wellingborough 5 mile road race

Then I marshaled at our club annual race, the Wellingborough 5 that weekend.

Wellingborough 5 t-shirt

One evening I was roped into scoring at the EVAC Track and Field event in Corby.  (Most stressful night EVER!)

Me sorting results at Rockingham Triangle in Corby

August 2015

My biggest achievement of the year was pacing the Grim Reaper 70m race event correctly, taking more than three hours off from my previous personal best and coming away with the third lady title.

Mile 40 of Grim Reaper(If only my legs looked so toned still!)

Three days after completing the Grim, I headed down to London with a few other bloggers to take part in a countdown to the Olympics session at Fitness First.

Lifting at the Fitness First event

I helped a friend complete her first 10k distance.

Lindsay hitting 10k

Dan took a couple of weeks off around our anniversary/his birthday and we rented a canoe!  (Not for the full two weeks obviously, that would be crazy!)

Dan and Me in the canoe at Canoe2As part of his birthday present, I bought Dan an indoor skydiving session with AirKix in Milton Keynes, which looked like so much fun and is definitely something I now need to try!

Indoor skydiving at AirKix in Milton Keynes

Most of the Summer holiday was spent working on our new house and I got very used to walking around with a paintbrush in my hand whilst we worked on the upstairs rooms!

Painting the officeSeptember 2015

I was sector lead at the Northampton Half Marathon and managed to rope Dan in to help on my section.  This year Go Beyond were aiming to enforce the No Headphones rule, but hundreds of runners went against the rules and it was a very frustrating task trying to marshal deaf runners.

Dan and me Marshaling at Northampton half marathon

I raced quite a lot during the Autumn, including at Dunstable Downs 20m.

After reading some online reviews I finally decided to try the Hello Fresh subscription boxes and absolutely adored the meals I was sent.  Having a box of food sent out on a Monday definitely took some of the stress out of what to eat for the week!

Hello Fresh recipe cards

I headed to the first of many fancy dress parkruns with Laura.  This one was at Corby and Flinstones themed!

Corby parkrun 2 year anniversary. Flintstones themed

I had a really good run at Royston Harvest Trail half marathon, smashing my time from the previous year.

Ten days before another marathon attempt I fell over whilst on a trail run and twisted my ankle, so sure that I had dashed my chances of going sub 5 the following week.

Poorly foot

As part of my active recovery, Dan and I headed into Stanwick to check out the Scarecrow Festival one evening after work.

Scarecrow festival in Stanwick

October 2015

October was one of my busiest running months and I raced quite a lot, starting with Mablethorpe Marathon – my goal race which just wasn’t meant to be, coming in just over that five hour mark once again. There were five weekends in October and I went on to race five races!

Next up was Tring Ridgeway 15k and then at my tenth marathon attempt, which I had told just one other person about I finally went sub 5!

Chelmsford marathon 2015Loved the race photo so much that it was the first one I ever bought!

I was glad to be able to take part in the home cross-country race at the start of the half term holidays.  I have never been able to make it before, and it is arguably the toughest of the five courses in the series, as it contains four brook-crossings.  I loved it.

3CXC mud: Wellingborough

And then at the end of the month, on my birthday, I joined with three others from club to attempt the Dusk ’til Dawn 50m ultra.

At the start of Dusk 'til Dawn 50m race

November 2015

The Gower weekend was firmly marked in my calendar for months beforehand, and it was rather frustrating to be pulled from the race due to the weather at mile 21, although it wasn’t too much of a dampener on our fab weekend away.

Playing around on Gower beachThe day after the marathon we walked over to Worm’s Head in horrific winds, but got some fantastic views and made friends with a few seals along the way!

Me balancing on the rocks at Gower

 

I also finally made it to the cow-slurry cross-country event, but we’d had such little rain, that the cow-slurry on the finishing straight barely made it past our ankles!

December 2015

I headed back to Norfolk for the weekend so that I could celebrate my friend Hollie’s baby shower, where I created some glass decorations for our Christmas tree.

Glass Christmas decoration - penguinI was very shocked and honoured to receive the Group 4 Runner of the Year award at our Running Club presentation evening.

Group 4 ROTY

 

I fell over at the North Herts cross-country event, and it looked like the middle of Summer as we all ran in the sunshine in our vests, shorts and Santa hats!

Letchworth XC

I ran parkrun on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Dan and I hosted Christmas for the first time.

Corby parkrun Christmas day medal

 

 

And that’s my 2015!  It always amazes me when I look back how much I’ve done in a year.  Well, incredibly long post complete, I’m now off to build a gingerbread house whilst sipping from a mug of Baileys hot chocolate.  Happy New Year!

How was your 2015?
Are you celebrating this evening?

Christmas as hosts

After returning home from Corby parkrun on Christmas morning, it was very much go-go-go in our house.  I had offered to host Christmas for the first time and we had Dan’s parents, Great Aunt and Nan joining us for dinner.  Luckily they were running slightly late and then hit a little traffic on the A14 so it left me plenty of time to shower and change following the parkrun fun.  Dan’s Great Aunt actually ended up feeling too poorly to make it, so dinner for six became dinner for five instead.

I had set the table the night before to save time.  In our previous house we had always needed to have our table on the smaller size setting and pressed against the wall in the corner of the lounge so that we could squeeze by.  In our new house, we have a separate dining room and I had so been looking forward to being able to host dinners!  :)

Hosting Christmas for the first timeExcuse the horrific bright orange and pine walls in our dining room.  Annoyingly, despite putting a lot of work into the upstairs rooms, due to waiting on a plumber we haven’t yet been able to start the larger task of the downstairs rooms just yet.  These are the ones that people actually see though!

Dinner was timed to perfection, and our guests sat down for starters just before 1pm.

Do you like the little Santa outfit I found in B&M for our Champagne bottle?!

Christmas champagne Santa outfit bottle warmerI don’t actually like turkey, but of course, the best bit about Christmas dinner is all the veg anyway…

Christmas dinner vegetables

After dinner we moved into the lounge where it was time to begin opening the presents.  When I still lived at home, one of our family Christmas traditions was that we always opened up our gifts together in the afternoon, after having eaten Christmas dinner.  I had explained to Dan that when we had our own family I wanted to keep this tradition, although Dan really wasn’t sure about that at all.  Turns out, we both now totally understand why presents were opened in the afternoon and not in the morning.  Christmas dinner cooking takes over all time in the morning!  Well, it did when it followed parkrun at least!

I had some awesome presents, both running and non-running related which I’m sure will pop up on the blog over the coming weeks.

I have tested out a couple of the running items already though…my new running cap with inbuilt light…

New running cap with inbuilt light from Aldi…my new compression socks…

Compression socks…and my new parkrun barcode band…

parkrun barcode band

…which I wore on both Christmas morning and also on Boxing Day morning, when I headed over for parkrun number 2 of the week – Bedford parkrun.
Boxing Day parkrun
I have only run the Bedford course once before, back in August.  I had no intentions to run the course quickly by any means, but hoped to remain consistent and tick off another parkrun – parkrun #40.

I had started off too far back in the pack of runners.  Bedford isn’t a course where you can really spread out at the beginning, as the track follows narrow footpaths around the edges of the park, with some more enclosed sections as you run between the edge of the park and the pond on the inside.  After a few hundred metres, I quickened my pace slightly and spurted up along the inside of the runners on the grass verge, through the mud.  Turns out other parkrunners aren’t too fond of mud so I used it to my advantage!  I found my place in the pack and settled into a rhythm again.

I was wearing my heart rate monitor for the first time since switching to my new Garmin 310xt at the end of October.  I had intended to set it up to display my heart rate before setting off on the run, but had bumped into another runner from my club when I arrived so ended up talking as I walked down to the start line instead.

There were several children out on the course, including one that looked no older than four, who was picking his little legs up really high to try and keep up with what I presumed was his Mum.  There was also a young boy who came past in a 100 parkrun t-shirt.  I have a lot of respect for any parkrunners that have completed 100+ of the runs, but double the respect when it is a child who has completed that number of runs!

In the end, I was very consistent and my splits were as follows: 9:05, 8:56, 9:12, nubbin (0.1m) at 7:41mm pace.

Garmin time: 27:57
Official time:
27:58
Position: 156/289
Gender position: 35/110
Age category position: 6/13

Do you keep any family Christmas traditions since leaving home?
What is your favourite Christmas meal item?  
I think mine has to be the roast potatoes.  All of the ones I cooked disappeared this year so I must have done something right when it came to cooking them!

Favourite races by distance

A little while back, Ultraboy wrote a post about his favourite races and I struggled to think which of the 105 events I had entered since becoming a member of my running club I would choose as my favourites.  Earlier in the year I had put together a list of my favourite races for different reasons, but hadn’t really focused on the event – instead, focusing more on my personal experiences at the events.  Ultraboy challenged me to narrow my favourite race events down by distance and this is the list I have come up with…

Obstacle Course

Gladiator Games – Running an obstacle course event had never really appealed to me before entering the 10k at the Gladiator Games.  Dan also joined me at the event and I couldn’t believe it when we had to struggle through deep water up to our underarms within minutes of the race start!  We had such a good time though and there were loads of fab obstacles for us to tackle on the way round.  Not one to run if you aren’t a fan of mud or are vertically challenged though, as that water was quite deep!

The Gladiator Games - Muddy

Timed

Conti Lightning Run – I think this probably makes my top three events ever purely because it is the only race I have ever seen sponges left in a trough filled with cold water at the half way point.  Best idea ever!  And one that I have adopted at many races since!  The Conti Lightning Run is held in Staffordshire, on a very similar route to the more well-known ‘Thunder Run’.  (Or so I am told.)  The course is held over 10k laps and you have 12 hours to complete as many of the laps as you can.  There are hills, there is a wooded area, there are farm tracks…Quite a lot of variety over just a 10k loop to be honest!

Conti Lightning run

5k

Just like Ultraboy, I have to slot in a parkrun here, despite parkrun not technically being a race.  I’m not a lover of the 5k distance and it baffles me why anyone would ever pay to put themselves through serious discomfort for an entire race.  I love the friendly, laid back approach to parkruns and it is a very close toss up between Sheringham and Corby parkruns for the ultimate favourite 5k ‘race’ but I think Corby just pips into the lead.  The course is a nice mix of rutted tarmac paths, fields and it even heads through woodland (very briefly!)  This is where the sneaky sharp hill is hidden though!  With snacks at the finish, fab fancy dress themes and a medal for every Christmas day runner it has a real community feel to it and I hope to get there more often this Winter.

Corby parkrun wearing fancy dress for the second birthday run

5m

East Midlands Grand Prix Blisworth 5 – Part of the EMGP Summer Series and one with a big change in elevation.  The first mile is a lovely downhill breeze…but then for the second mile you have to head back up that steep hill, past the support at the starting line and away again in the other direction.  I like a bit of a challenge though and I found it interesting to try and pace the distance appropriately, knowing the hill at the beginning!  This race only cost £6, and we got a biscuit at the end too!  :)

Blisworth 5 mile finish

10k

Milton Keynes 10k – I like my 10k events to be fairly flat so that I can attempt to get into a good rhythm, and the MK10k is definitely flat!  Everybody always moans about the redways in Milton Keynes adding to the feeling of tired legs, but I have never minded them.  It might be slightly tougher for a couple of strides as you power up the hump, but they are always followed by a hump headed back downhill again!

Sweaty Milton Keynes PB face

10m

Nene Valley 10 – I haven’t raced this event again since I began blogging, so am going on memory alone here.  The course is another fairly flat one though, and run on two 5 mile loops around the outskirts of Peterborough.  The race was not overcrowded and for a fairly cheap entry fee we still received a water bottle for training at the finish.

Nene Valley 10

Half marathon

Royston Harvest Trail – As much as I like my short distances races to be fairly flat, I like my longer distance races to be mainly offroad and have plenty of challenging hills.  I can do hills, lots of other competitors can’t! 😉

Royston harvest trail run WDAC runnersSee that big hill behind us in the distance?…We run down that at the finish!  There is a bit of road on this course, but the route is mainly made up of grassy fields, farm tracks and verges along the side of fields, before heading through woodland whilst running with high knees to avoid the tree roots!  There is a beast of a hill less than a mile before the end though, so if you ever find yourself on the start line, be sure to save something for the finish!

13.1-26.2

Oakley 20 – It has ups, it has downs.  It has a super organised friendly marshal squad, and one of the most talked about hoodies of any race.  I wonder what colour hoodie we will get next year?…!

Oakley hoodiesThis is a two lap course run entirely on road.  The first lap is 12 miles, and the second just eight.  It always has a very supportive team of marshals out and about on the course, and running through the start just after the halfway point, and again a mile before the finish is a nice boost whilst out there.

Marathon

EnduranceLife South Devon Marathon – I love the marathon distance.  It is a distance that is challenging yet achievable for most runners.  I love that tactics and mental strength need to come out in force on race day, even more so when the distance is run offroad.
The South Devon marathon I ran at the start of this year was my second offroad marathon distance and really suited me as a runner.  Lots of the course was technical, and long stretches of running were broken up with tough climbs or tricky descents, really breaking the course into manageable chunks.  All of the EnduranceLife events are slightly over distance, and this one came in at nearly 28 miles.

Tom, Me and Gary at the EnduranceLife South Devon marathon

26.2-50

Shires and Spires – If you go back to run a race three years in a row then you can be pretty sure that it’s a good one!

Shires and Spires 2015 - Me and JayShires and Spires is ideal for a first ultramarathon.  I am biased, as it was my first and I fell in love with the route, which is fairly local to me.  I ran multiple recces of the route before race day, but didn’t need to, – runners are issued with a map which is fairly straight forward to follow.  The marshal stations are regular and contain plenty of food.  I tend to know most of the marshals at each checkpoint, with the Race Director of Go Beyond being a member of my club, W&DAC.  The course again, contains some fairly challenging hills.  There is a larger proportion of road on this course than you first think – with it probably almost ending up an even 50-50 split.  One to watch for the heat though, as the event is run on the first weekend in June, and it has almost always been super hot!

50+

Grim Reaper 70 – A fantastic course for someone wanting to test the waters over a slightly longer ultramarathon distance.  The Grim is a lap course with each lap consisting of ten miles.  Each lap loops back past Grimsthorpe Castle, next to the campsite, meaning you do not need to carry all supplies round with you at once.  Ideal for runners who have only run ‘baby’ ultras in the past and are not used to carrying all supplies at one time.

Finishing the 70 mile ultramarathon at Grimsthorpe Castle

So there you have it, if you are in the area (I live on the border of Cambridgeshire/Northamptonshire/Bedfordshire, so most of the races I enter fall within these counties) and are looking for a new race of a certain distance to try, have a go at one of these and let me know what you think!

What have been your favourite races over certain distances and why?…

Festive runs

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and enjoyed some time seeing friends and family this week.  As a teacher, I get a two week break from travelling in to work over the festive period.  (Not a two week break from work though!)

On Monday evening I headed out on a road run put on by the trail group.  The Monday night runs are advertised as being ‘for the trail running group to be held on roads and paths’, which always makes me smile…no trail at all!  I don’t usually go along to the Monday night runs, as with club on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and (actual!) trail runs on a Wednesday, it means that I then have at least one evening at home during the week.  This week though, with no work to worry about I made it along.

The run finished at the pub on Monday evening for Christmas drinks and there was a fantastic turn out of more than twenty runners making their way along the streets of Higham Ferrers in the dark.  Top tip for getting reluctant runners out on dark and wet nights…throw in the possibility of a finish at the pub!

On Thursday morning it was our annual Christmas Eve run held at the local Irchester Country Park.  This very quickly became one of my favourite traditions after I first joined the club.  Each Christmas Eve in the morning, members of the club, along with partners and children meet at 9am for a few pre-Christmas-meal laps of the park.  The run/walk finishes at the visitor centre, which opens early especially for us, and the club pays for everybody to enjoy a bacon/sausage/veggie sausage roll and hot drink as a Christmas treat.

We don’t split up into formal groups on this run.  Instead, it is a chance to have a nice, social run with groups of runners that you might not normally run with.  There tends to be one or two different groups headed out, then a walking/children group and also Kev’s ‘mud and mayhem’ route, which is the one I have followed for the past few years.  Basically, he finds the muddiest, slipperiest tracks, followed by a few short, sharp runs up and down the gullies in the centre of the park to finish off.  Always fun!

A friend wanted to get six miles in on Thursday, so I headed to the park a little early so that we were able to get in 3 more consistent miles before the mayhem began.

There must have been about 20 of us, along with one child and a couple of dogs out in the mayhem group this year, and it was nice to catch up with a few people I’d not seen for a while whilst on the run.  I was surprised how little splashing of mud there was.  Didn’t last though!

We actually passed one of the other groups looking very serious and speedy running in the opposite direction as we crossed one of the tracks.  Their group were checking Garmins and had perfect form.  Our group were having a giggle and more concerned about where the nearest muddy puddles were in case of splashing from others!

After a lap around the park we headed ‘off-road’.  The whole route is off-road, but this section even more so and involves scrambling through bushes and over fences.

Christmas Eve runAs we returned to the main trail a couple of runners broke away to head back for breakfast at the cafe, while the rest of us made our way over to the gullies.

There is a set of steps known as ‘the gullies’ at club.  The steps sharply climb up one of the steep hills and coaches like to take groups here for training sessions during the Summer when it is still light in the evenings.  Kev likes to mix things up a little and make up his own slightly more suicidal gully routes though…

Offroad gulliesSome runners decided it was best to go down on their bums.  I managed to stay upright but I thought it best to bounce from tree to tree – breaking any falls I might have had!  The faster you run down, the easier it is to get back up the other side again!

Along with a couple of others I went for one last gully run, oblivious to the fact that everyone else had then headed back to the cafe.  As we made our way along to catch up with the others, one of the guys I was running with deliberately splashed through the puddle alongside me and another runner, soaking me completely.  A larger puddle was coming up though, and we made sure to pay him back!

The result of running with Tom at the Christmas Eve muddy run!

I was a little bit muddy by the time we reached the cafe a few minutes later!!!The result of running with Tom at the Christmas Eve muddy run!

The result of running with Tom at the Christmas Eve muddy run!

Similar pictures to last year’s Christmas Eve run!

Horrific photos of me, but I am caked head to toe in mud, wearing several layers and sporting a Santa hat so I’m not sure what I expected! 😉

I had intended on heading to Tesco on the way home for a couple of last minute items for Christmas lunch the following day but ended up having to drive home, shower and then head back out afterwards again seeing as my top could have actually blended into the floor it was that mud-drenched!

Christmas Eve mudOn Christmas morning, I headed over to Corby for the slightly later parkrun start time of 9:30am.
The Christmas elves had been and delivered a new barcode band for me to open that morning so I was all prepared – no scrambling around for a paper barcode for me!

parkrun barcode bandThis was parkrun #1 of 5 this week so I wanted to take things fairly steady, (especially as I had drunk too much water before heading out and really needed the loo, with the toilets not opening up for Christmas day!)  Therefore, I opted to run round alongside another runner from my running club.  There were quite a few photos taken during the run and posted on the Corby parkrun Facebook page.  This is the best of a series of awful running shots of me!Corby Christmas day parkrun with Gillian

The organisers explained at the start that unfortunately the course markers had been shut away in storage and they did not have the key to be able to put them out.  Not an issue when your parkrun route runs alongside a wood…

Corby parkrun made up of sticks…the marshals did a great job of improvising!

I do absolutely adore the Corby parkrun.  The numbers are small, and the course is run mainly offroad, with a challenging steep (although short) hill which you run twice on the course.  The thing that hits you most about Corby parkrun though is it’s fantastic community feel.  There are usually less than 100 runners there, and you are really made to feel part of the Corby parkrun club.  We were really surprised, and absolutely delighted to receive engraved Christmas Day medals at the finish line.

Corby parkrun Christmas day medalA lovely touch at the finish!

Garmin time: 29:29
Official time:
27:28
Position: 32/72
Gender position: 10/28
Age category position: 1/4

Did you run on Christmas day?
What are your favourite running traditions?