#IAmTeamGB from Rio to Lee

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After the last two weeks of Olympic action and the fantastic success of Team GB¬†this had an immediate impact on¬†parkruns up and down the country.¬†Our road from Rio lead to Lee on¬†the Solent along with 364 others. Club runners, unattached runners, parkrun tourists and most importantly “first timers” all assembled on the promenade by the waters of the Solent.¬†The Olympic enthusiasm was clear to see what with union jacks and various groups of people chatting away excitedly.¬†The humidity may well have reduced peoples chances of pb’s but today was all about simply attending and soaking¬†up the atmosphere.

As ever the marshals did a fantastic job so it’s hats off to Rebecca and her team. Parkrun marshals are always top of the medal table.¬†I have chatted to Rebecca on twitter but we hadn’t met¬†in person. Her passion for the event and humour were clear to see from the briefing that she gave before we all set off. Pacers were introduced and as the 3-2-1 “Go” was announced you really felt part of the Olympic legacy. GB balloons, boards and the red, white and blue colours were much in evidence. Balloon lady Louise from Fareham Crusaders was one of the many volunteers. Thanks guys.

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I recognised a number of runners, Andy, Dave¬†& Phil from Stubbington Green, Nick from Absolute Running, Linda and Richard¬†from work and then Auz¬†along with numerous Gosport RR’s & Jez along with lots of Fareham Crusaders. The route is out and back along the waters edge either side of the amusements. There was¬†hardly any breeze coming off¬†sea and¬†this combined with the 22 degrees and rising temperature meant we all worked hard for our times. Some¬†people, like Jez, had already run to the start as well !!

The nature of the course is¬†great¬†for “name checking” people so I shouted out encouragement to a variety of people as well as thanking the marshals.¬†The first 3 runners were well clear¬†and all¬†pb’d¬†at around the 18 minute mark. I was happy with 113th¬†and 25 1/2 minutes¬†at this stage of the year. I’d been trying to catch Hattie that I know and¬†just managed it in the last 200m but when she said she’d run a pb I felt much better ūüôā

With so many people it’s hard to name check too many in this blog but it was great to see Ian and Kirsty Edwards¬†with little Ava who Ian was pushing in a “go faster” pram and still ran 21 minutes !! So it’s goodbye Rio and we all look forward to Tokyo. Three cheers for the National Lottery, all our superstar¬†medallists and everyone that ran today.

Together #WeWereTeamGB by the sea !!

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The Run Company & Hoka’s

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My running friend Ros Clarke suggested that Wednesday the 17th of August would be a good day to visit Chichesters “The Run¬†Company” (TRC)¬†as they had¬†organised an evening with¬†Hoka running shoes¬†and Henning wine.¬†Joining the¬†regular¬†Chichester and Portsmouth runners were¬†our Fareham gang¬†of Paul “22 press-ups” Coates,¬†Michelle “100K¬†Trail Walker” Edmundson & Paul “100 miles Centrien” Pickford.

I arrived far too early but this did give me the chance to have a chat with Tony the shops manager and get a general idea of the format for the evening. With some time to kill I took a stroll down the scenic Chichester high street and bumped into Paul P & Michelle. The warm Summer weather meant even our sociable 5K run would be guaranteed to be a hot one.

On returning to the shop the Hoka Rep had been busy as he was surrounded by a sea of running shoes.¬†The range included¬†different sizes, colours, neutral/pronaters, ultra/general, road and off road shoes. I’ve only recently bought a new pair of trainers but I did like the look and feel of their challenger shoes. Very light and a real sense of extra cushioning. Numerous questions were asked about the best choices and I have to say the Rep had an answer for every question.¬†¬†The vast majority of us ran the 5K in their chosen Hokas. Tony ushered us out into the¬†warm evening #runshine and we were off !!

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The 5K combined largely pavements but a nice touch was two circuits of a park so you could try running on the grass as well. The pace was conversational so that the various groups kept together and could comment on how they were finding running in the Hokas. I ran with the Rep for a bit and he said that he covered both running clubs and shops across the whole of the south !! We ran back with Ros and found a welcome drink waiting for us.

Once we returned to the shop there were more questions for the Rep and the Henning wine lady arriving with a selection of bottles. I confess I’m not a wine drinker but she had quite a captive audience. James Ellis, the shops owner had joined us on the run and I had a good chat with him. The event was a great success and James said he had more events planned for not only shoes but other products. Paul Coates carried on his 22 press ups video challenge and a great final touch was that we all received a Hoka running cap.

These events really are worth attending because you get to run in a different area, with different people, swop ideas and conversations as well as try out new products. Many thanks to James and Tony for an informative and enjoyable evening.

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Monday morning 9 miler

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Well, I can’t remember the last time I ran on a Monday morning but seeing as the opportunity presented itself, who¬†was I to argue. I ran past Fareham creek (above) and then headed out through the fields in the hope of catching the crops being cut.

Having taken some photos on the Saturday evening I knew¬†some fields had been harvested¬†so the others ought to be soon after. Running up Paradise Lane the temperature was definitely climbing but¬†with the¬†pleasant wind, my cap and sun tan lotion I wasn’t too concerned.¬†The gate¬†by the footpath was open and I could see tractor marks so it certainly looked like I’d struck lucky.¬†The lane had butterfly’s and bees¬†going about their “buzz”ness while the rolled hay bails we visible¬†over the hedge.

My parents house has a field behind it so this run took me back many years to when my brother and I played on the hay bails. As I was in no rush I took a few photos and videos. Heading up Portsdown Hill my garmin ran out of battery but to be honest this only added to the enjoyment with no timings to stress on !! Saying that it was noticeable my cold is still affecting my running but that was a small price to pay in this glorious setting.

The fitness that I’ve lost over the last two months will inevitably return and today wasn’t the day to dwell on how¬†long that would take. The sunshine and my chosen route were perfect for one of those runs that quite simply reminds you why I love being out here.

DSCF4778I joined the road and passed a few curious horses on my way up the hill. Once at the top you can see Fareham, Fawley and even the Isle of White in the distance. Stepping over a style that had an electric fence either side definitely called for some concentration but in no time it was back to taking in the views. I continued along the top of the hill running on a narrow track between the crops (see the video). The breeze meant the wheat was swaying as if I was in the middle of the sea. However, my drink was all gone by now so I popped into HMS Nelson for a refill.

The run home meant I actually passed the tractor and trailer that was rolling the bails and before I knew it I was back to the creek and¬†into the last mile. With no watch it was surprising to see the time when I got in but that’s the mark of a relaxing steady run on a Monday morning !!¬†The photo below was from Saturday evening.

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Whether you¬†go out¬†early or late, just make sure you soak¬†up that Summer¬†“Runshine”

Co Hosting #ukrunchat : Great Answers

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Thanks to everyone that joined in with #ukrunchat last Wednesday, it was a great night. I had 2 browsers open, one for my account and one for #ukrunchat. I didn’t have time to look at the #ukrunchat screen until about 8.15pm and it said 165 notifications !!

My favourite “pre” chat tweet was from Claire,

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Back to my¬†Q3¬†: The answers were so good I’ve shared¬†my favourites¬†here. Thanks to the running #community.

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Thanks for letting me co host ūüôā …………. #loved it