That was my weekend!
On Saturday I went to Cross Flatts parkrun for the first time. I am competing in the Leeds Race Series and points can be gained at each of our four parkruns in Leeds over certain weeks. Cross Flatts Park is a great venue, and it has a much smaller field of runners than our other parkruns, which means it is easier to get a good start and go straight into your pace.
I wasn’t too sure about the course or its PB potential so I just headed out at what felt good and took it from there. Because there weren’t as many runners there were far fewer opportunities for chatting along the way, but that was fine – I had one headphone in and I just thought about my feet.
The route was pleasant and there is only a small incline with a few steps in the middle. I’ll be back at the end of the month for my last PB attempt of 2013.
On Sunday I marshalled at the Leeds Christmas 10k. I ran this race last year and really enjoyed it, but as I have done so much recently I decided I would go along to help out. The fact that fancy dress and being loud was a job requirement also helped my decision.
I rocked up to the John Charles Stadium where the race started and finished and found a lovely bunch of people all there to ensure the race went smoothly. We assembled in the announcer’s box at the top of the stand, where we had plenty of goodies to keep us going.
My marshal point was about half way round the circuit in the woods, of which the runners did three laps before returning to finish at the stadium. The lead runners got to me in under 10 minutes, and after that there was a constant stream of them for over an hour.
I greeted them looking like this, and making a lot of noise.
I channeled my inner Morris dancer and pinned bells to my legs, then I had a pom-pom in one hand and a tambourine in the other. Add in my purple Santa hat, hi-vis vest and jumping around and shouting rather manically I must have been quite a shock as they came along the path towards me the first time. By the third lap I fear some runners may have been going slightly deaf! But hopefully they also appreciated my efforts to help keep them going. Several people commented that they were glad of my energy and enthusiasm, especially as I was just at the bottom of a short hill. I ran up the hill quite a few times with some of the runners. Oh, and I saw several Father Christmases, all of whom promised to bring me kittens!
I finished my shift very tired but having had a wonderful time. The lovely organisers even gave us a race tee for helping out.
I can highly recommend this race – either to run or to marshal. It is a challenging course, but there are mince pies at the finish so you have to earn them! Big thanks to the organisers for their hard work in creating a great event, and also well done to my fellow Kirkstall Harriers who took part.