Things were going to be a little different for the next couple of weeks, “Hi guys – the next 2 Sundays are R2W for me so wont be able to run a Sunday morning session – was thinking of maybe doing a Saturday one instead if anyone interested let me know – similar format – no details yet – to follow.” was the message from Coach Tony Leary, which was followed up with, “Ok team after being inspired by James’ (is that correct use of apostrophy??) latest blog we will be heading to Greenwood park on SATURDAY morning this weekend, 7:20 meet for a 7:30 start – we will be done and finished by 9 as I have to get back and ready for class etc. I would really love it if lots of you could join me cos otherwise it just wouldn’t be the same!! ( Ive been working on being more nice and inclusive )” You can read that inspirational blog here.
I was lucky enough to get a lift over with Rebecca Cohen, and that was especially fortunate as I repeated my trick of waking up only 5 minutes before I was due to be collected ! We made very good time driving across St Albans and were the first there, soon to be joined by Robert Boarder, Tony, and then Steven Lamb. Tony got a beer keg, two jerry cans and two sandbags out of his car and, after we had carried them to the bottom of the slope on the other side of the big red rope climbing frame that dominates the playground, we were ready to go, on a dry morning that was not really cold at all. I had carried across the beer keg and it was the heavy one. We ran three laps around the outside of the playground, which was about half a kilometre per lap, before coming back into the playground to follow a course which would take in practically everything the playground had to offer.
We ran through it together for the first time, climbing under the first picnic table without touching the ground, then going over the climbing frame, picking up one of the carries on the other side (I took a sandbag this first time around), going over the slope and down the other side to the fence before coming back, walking over the seesaw before heading over to the swings to move over them from one end to the other. Next came the Bridge of Doom, which was a lot longer than I remembered it, and split into two distinct sections, a quick jump over a park bench, seemingly just because it was there, then over to more picnic tables, to go under the first one and over the second, before climbing on to the sliding part of the zipline so that we could reach up to touch the line itself. For the record, after Robert had succeeded with his third attempt, I did it first time. A small, low set of goalposts were perfect for a traverse before running over to another set to go over the top of them. I may have misjudged my leap as I came crashing down to the ground on my back, with my head very close to one of the uprights. I was fine.
We continued on, running three laps before doing one lap of the circuit, and I got better with the picnic tables each time. I carried the jerry cans the next time I came around, and then the beer keg on a third circuits lap, to complete the set. And I got a lot better with the final jump, managing to land on my feet. It was a fun, hard workout, and my running needs a lot of work, although I got a lot of encouragement as Robert, Tony and Steven lapped me. I was just under 5 kilometres by 0.08 of a kilometre when Tony brought the circuit to a close, so I ran round one of the picnic tables to make up the distance. That was dizzy work, and I changed it up to a figure of eight around the two picnic tables. I need not have bothered as we headed off to the far side of the playground and a collection of shapes that made up a very challenging climbing wall. Bouldering has become our thing, so, of course, we had a go, before carrying all the kit back to Tony’s car. In the end I had covered 5.3 kilometres, and it had been an excellent morning which I really need to repeat myself more often.