Do or do not? We do
There's a bit toward the end of the lovely film Four Weddings and a Funeral in which the male and female protagonists are sorting out their future together, and it's raining. You remember the bit, and the Andie MacDowell character, Carrie, utters the famous line, "Is it still raining? I hadn't noticed."
That encapsulated this week's parkrun experience on the Greytown Woodside Trail, otherwise known as the 26 Club. A hardy 21 of us ran and walked the 5k course to get an official result; a hardy five others of us did the volunteering in order to facilitate those results. A special shout-out to Paul Furkert, who was on Marshal duty this week.
As Tail Walker Robyn Cherry-Campbell could tell us, the Tail was a mermaid's tail, a thing that was no stranger to being wet. Saturday's weather didn't disappoint in that regard, as our walkers and runners battled through a whale of a wind on the return journey, complete with a pouring rain. Everyone arrived safe, soggy, and sound, and the usual quorum turned up at The Offering to warm up, dry out, and have a bit of nosh and natter.
The usual stuff, right? Well, nearly. You see, it was still raining, when people began to turn up. It was still raining, when the runners and walkers set off. It was still raining, when people returned, after slogging their way back, into a brutal headwind, up the slight incline that functions as the final kilometre of our home course. But as usual, a handful of finishers stayed around at the end–to greet others coming in, to have a bit of a catch-up, to revel in the part that they had played in doing something that would make a lasting memory. A wise man once said of such achievements, "These are the kinds of things that they write songs about."
Speaking of memories, we celebrated two milestones on this soggy, windy day:
Rachel Millar (above left), who lives just down the road from the Greytown Woodside Trail, joined us for her very first parkrun. She was one of the ones who stayed for a bit afterward, soaking it all in, as it were. She promised to return, whatever the weather.
Lexus Hunter (above right), who is all of 8 and therefore a Junior parkrunner, completed her 10th parkrun. She wasn't about to let a little bit of weather keep her from reaching her first milestone.
We recorded no Personal Best (PB) times this week, unsurprisingly. Matt Durney (below), our first finisher, went 2 minutes slower on his second time running our course than on his first attempt, back in May. It was that kind of day.
Personal Bests are all well and good. We all love to record them. But that's not why we're really out there, pounding the crushed gravel path between Woodside and Greytown, is it? Not totally, anyway. I would suggest that we're out there for the sheer enjoyment of being out there–no matter the challenge. It's always a challenge, to one degree or another:
- Some days, it's a bit hot; other days, you don't warm up until the turnaround.
- Some days you feel great and then you don't, all in the span of a few kilometres; other days, you start out with a whimper and wind up in a sprint.
- Some days, you get a shower while you're doing the 5K.
That's the nature of it, really. But we keep on doing it because we like it, because it challenges us, because we like seeing similarly minded friends, because we know that it's good for us on several different levels.
Do I think it's worth it? To quote Carrie, I do.
See you out on the Trail!