parkrun, 18th February 2023

It was a good turnout of Sky Blues at parkruns this weekend, with runners at seven venues across the North East, two further south and one in Italy.

Nina Jentl was the one flying the flag abroad, running in the Milano Nord parkrun. Although it was her first parkrun in Milan, Nina has been to an Italian parkrun before when she ran in the heat at Caffarella in Rome.

Of the two other British tourist trips, Alex Anslow ran at Holkham in Norfolk where she is no stranger, having made 11 appearances there, while Gill and I were at Ellesmere Port in the Wirral. Ellesmere Port is the home parkrun of a good friend, Margaret, who we were staying with, but this was our first time there. It is a 2-lap course around a nice park that they certainly make the most of – the route winds its way across the grass and along trails through two wooded sections with just a short stretch on tarmac. Margaret had warned us that it was 75% “cross-country” and could be muddy in places, so trail shoes were the order of the day. Not being sure what to expect, I set off steadily and tried to to be carried away by the fast lads at the front. After a short slippy stretch, we were on fairly good trail through the trees before emerging into more open land where we were running along grass, and now we were into a headwind. I thought this was the toughest stretch but we were soon back on a trail through more trees, before looping back on ourselves and reaching the tarmac path to end the first lap. Amazingly, I actually found myself overtaking some runners on the second lap – though one did re-take me right at the end and another was pushing me on in the last 200m, encouraging me when I am sure he could have passed me – the true spirit of parkrun! I was happy with my time, though this is certainly a course where times will vary with the weather – flat but potentially muddy. Gill and Margaret treated it as a steady, more sociable run where they could chat a bit as they went, taking time to enjoy the surroundings and see the daffodils (spring seemed to be further on there than at home).

Back in Newcastle, it was Margaux’s last parkrun on British soil before she emigrates to join the ex-Claremont colony down under. There was a good turnout at Leazes to give her a sky-blue send-off, with 14 of her Claremont “family” running too.

Bon voyage, Margaux – it looks as though there are plenty of parkruns to choose from in Brisbane.

26:38Clare McKitterick (2nd lady)
Milano Nord, Italy
31:06Nina Jentl
Prudhoe Riverside
21:51Roberto Marzo
Whitley Bay
22:39Nicola O’Brien (2nd lady)
Ellesmere Port
20:59Tom Tinsley
31:13Gill Milne
Rising Sun
24:49Lynne Cornell
34:20Sarah Collins (PB)
38:43Kim Collings
Town Moor
22:31Heather Steel
26:08Brian Hegarty
27:02David Devennie
Jesmond Dene
23:12Izzy Neatrour
27:24Luke Woodend
28:43Mariana Mouzinho
34:26Ann Smith
34:48Kenny McCormick
22:27David Roberts
23:02Sophie Douglas (PB)
23:37Mungai Wairia
25:06Lucy Keating
25:53David Lydall
26:43Nikki Szlovák
26:44Laurie Johnson
26:48Sam Dunn
26:54Margaux Robin
26:57Alex Harding
27:00Rachel Hurdman
27:29Anneliza Andreadi (PB)
31:44Shilpa Iyanna
33:22Lena Webster-Costella
34:10Elizabeth O’Mahony
27:17Alex Anslow
Tom Tinsley -