Followers of the sloth lady will be familiar with the concept and the language of parkrun tourism. I am not a big tourist, and have only just (after starting in 2008) made it to 28 parkruns. I think I have managed (now) 7 locations. Just not trying.
But anyway. I had to deliver some post to Margate, so Madame C and I managed to get there without help from Ms Google. Partly because I have run home from Margate, been there by train and by car. I seem to store pictures sequentially in my memory as a way of navigating, I certainly have no sense of direction (as my friends will confirm).
I delivered post item no.1, and found the start. I am afraid the weather was gloomy this morning,so back to the Dickensian pictures. Above is a mid-tide view the tidal swimming pool near the start. You can just see the markers around the edge as the walls are submerged.
View looking east.
And the finish line. For someone who is used to quite busy parkruns (Tilgate av. 281 runners, Horsham av. 217 and Whistable av. 135) Margate was quite quiet with an above average 54 this week. This has advantages:
However. I spent most of the run trying to analyse my feelings about the course. I started off thinking it was great: I like running in the area, it has a lot of interesting architecture and seaside stuff to look at; it was not busy, the wind was about average for the Kent coast, the marshall was nice. But.. .I was a bit lonely in that I was mostly a good 50m away from the nearest runner, I remembered the drawback of Margate from the coastal marathon last year (the tarmac paths are almost dual-carriageway width, which gives the feeling of crawling along) and the last mile of the route made me feel really disheartened. I missed the crowds, the dogs, the pushchairs, dodging the pedestrians and cyclists; all the things that make parkrun annoying turn out to be things that make it good.
That said, if you are a fast runner and want a pb, Margate is the course for you. Virtually flat, and no jostling. And if you are a volunteer looking for a parkrun to love you, I think they would give you a home. I will try it again, because Margate is an interesting place and I think they deserve more runners.
As my second parcel needed to go somewhere I had never been I got very lost and ended up just outside Dover. Ms Google had lost her satellites (I assumed that war had been declared and they had all been switched off, but perhaps this was an over-reaction). She didn’t manage to find them before Thanet Earth, and I know how to get home from there. Next tourist destination is Pegwell Bay (on the south coast, gasp) or Ashford, where I have more post to deliver.