There’s always parkrun at Bushy Park on Christmas day and it’s a great way of getting an extra run in over the Christmas break. However, with the 25th falling on a Saturday there’s no extra run to take advantage of.
Well…. the good people at Black Park parkrun near Slough decided to run an event on Boxing Day at 9:30am. Excellent. The trouble is, I love running the ‘Cabbage Patch 4’ race on Boxing Day as well (at 11am). What should I do…. The Double of course!
Showing off the ‘spikes’ - photo: Kirsty Bangham
After picking up Kirsty we were at Black Park by 9am to get ready for the 9:30am start. Following the ice fest that was Bushy Park on Christmas Day I thought I’d try a new strategy - wearing cross country ‘spikes’ rather than just trail shoes. In my shoe bag I had some brand new 5mm spikes which did absolutely nothing to help grip so had only one option - go for the ‘beavers teeth’ - a set of 15mm spikes that stick out like, well, er, beavers teeth, from the bottom of my shoes.
After a short test run and warmup I decided that the grip on the snow and ice was amazing. Decision made.
As we lined up for the start there was a big group of runners - in fact just a few under 150.
We set of and within a few seconds we’d all settled into our pace and I found myself in about 7th place. I had a chap in full Santa Claus outfit (with beard)right on my tail. After about 1.5 miles I edged ahead of him and hung on to keep in sixth place.
The ‘spikes’ I wore were fantastic and made a huge difference. I was able to concentrate more on running, rather than dodging around the ice on the ground.
I crossed the line after a solid effort in sixth place in 18:53 - a position and time that I was very happy with.
After registering my parkrun barcode we jumped in the car and headed straight to Twickenham for the 4 mile race at 11am…
The Cabbage Patch 4 race was an altogether different affair. Trail shoes were worn, the Thames towpath was covered in ice and it was bloody scary and difficult to run! The amount of times my feet slipped around on the ice was incredible and this, together with the fact that my lower right leg was hurting (as a result of the difficult run at Bushy parkrun yesterday), ensured that I took the run nice and steady. This is and still remains one of my favourite races, although the conditions were really tough.
I followed the run with big hot chocolate at the local coffee shop with friends. All in all a good morning out.