Louise Ayling is on a Canadian adventure. The blogger and parkrunner is on a sightseeing vacation and is taking in as many parkruns as she can. She has visited Nose Hill, Okanagan and Richmond Olympic parkrun all while uploading pictures to her blog.
Her blogs are a very good reminder of the advantages of taking in the sights when going for a run. Louise blogged about her Okanagan and Richmond Olympic visit, but it was her journey to Nose Hill parkrun that highlights why sometimes you should throw away the watch and focus on the beauty of your surroundings:
I landed in Calgary at 2.40pm on Friday and flew out at 2.10pm on Saturday. I never made it downtown, hadn’t even realised that I would be visiting during Stampede week and was so tired on Friday evening that eating a falafel wrap in the University of Calgary food court was as much culinary excitement as I could stand. What can I say? I’m a rotten tourist.
I’m also an extremely lucky one.
After waking up at stupid o’clock, I opted to take advantage of the cool early morning and run up to the start of the parkrun.
I said goodbye to the university…
…ran up and over the bus station…
…wished the humongous hares good morning…
…and crossed over the footbridge into Nose Hill park.
I then followed the regional trail up the hill, taking advantage of every photo opportunity going…
…and made sure to admire the views…
…read the “you’re not in Richmond any more” sign
…and slog up the hilliest hill of the morning.
That was the fruit cake. The parkrun was the icing.
The course covers a tiny fraction of the overall park but captures the flavour of all the bits I’d seen. Underfoot is a mixture of firm gravel path, loose gravel path and grass track taking you through the wide open grassland and past the mini clusters of trees. There are some gloriously runnable downs, some enjoyable flats and a few reasonably benign ups.
And a finishing straight to die for. Or rather to die on. Because that hilliest hill of the morning I mentioned? That forms part of the final sprint. Whichever evil mind devised that ending to the course deserves shooting. And then awarding with a medal, because if anything is going to make people hang around at the finish chatting, it’s being physically unable to walk away, which gives everyone lots of time to hear about the great post-parkrun cafe and the vacant slots in next week’s volunteer roster.
Thank you to everyone who made me feel so welcome, to Suzanne for taking some photos of me that I actually like and to Kim for her very kind offer of a lift to the airport. You have an incredible parkrun and it was a pleasure to join you.
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