The Scribbler

11 December 2011

Newcastle parkrun – the Fetch relay

Filed under: Parkrun,run — The Scribbler @ 10:44
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The Fetch relay team for the 100th Newcastle parkrun

The fabulous Fetch relay team and friends

I was so chuffed to be asked to be part of a Fetch team relay for the 100th Newcastle parkrun. And to be pitched as the final leg (must be that famous sprint finish).

I’m afraid my fellow team mates had to put up with me being a bit gloomy about my running prospects this week as I continue to take a cautious approach to what I think is a touch of plantar fasciitis in my left foot. Thanks to everyone who has offered advice, sympathy and support, especially Lisa  and Gav. Touch wood, I’m getting off lightly.

But after an easy couple of miles on Tuesday and no further real niggles, I woke up Fetch Ed, made a baton out of the inside of a roll of kitchen foil, baked post-race gluten free brownies and headed off to meet Penny, Rob, Martyn and in a late substitution, Lesley Anne – back running parkrun.

You know how some people make the day better just by being around? It was like that x 100.

Lots of crazy batons including a stick of bread and some Christmas crackers and some fancy festive headgear among the relay runners. It felt strange to set off at a steady pace ahead of the rest of the parkrunners as we dropped off relay team members around the course. As the numbers dwindled, I began to feel nervous. It wasn’t far to run, but I’ve barely run at all for a couple of weeks, what if I can’t turn on my speed? My team would have worked hard to get the baton to me, I couldn’t let them down.

There was nowhere to shelter as we stopped at the 4k marker, nervously trying to keep warm, awaiting the runners to come. We started to see them streaming across the path and then the first through, close behind the lead bike, carried a baton. And we were off.

Me running for the finish at the 100th Newcastle parkrun

Sprinting for the finish at the 100th Newcastle parkrun

Scanning the gate for our team mates, watching our numbers dwindle, cheering on other parkrunners including Jeff and, then I saw Obi the dog, bouncing along, swiftly followed by Martyn. A smooth, standing changeover and I was away.

A surge of adrenaline carried me off, legs hammering. But the cold wind in my face soon checked me back to a more reasonable pace. Hard to pace a 1k distance, but just feeling good to be running again. Usual markers passed me by and soon I realised I was almost at the last corner. Encouraging my legs to kick on, I negotiated the turns and powered down the finish waving the baton to the timers.

Barcode and token checked in, hoodie on and back to the finish to cheer on the rest of the team with the biggest smile coming from Lesley Anne. Then over to the cafe for a feast of cakes and biscuits brought by the regular parkrunners. Celebrating with specially made medals and a team photo. I also caught up with the lady I paced to her first sub 30 parkrun a few weeks ago.

It was good to be back running, good to be back on the town moor, even in the wintry chill, and good to be part of a community of parkrunners and the volunteers who make sure we can have such fun.


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