News - 21st October 2021

It’s a dog’s life!

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On Saturday I ran my very first barkrun – oops did I get that wrong? I mean parkrun!
And not just any parkrun… was an inaugural parkrun, Puolarmaari (Espoo)’s first ever parkrun!
I’m so lucky that dogs (who keep their adult under control and on a short leash) are really very welcome to walk or run the 5km parkrun course with others: lovely humans (adults and children) and of course other dogs! (NB Only one dog in charge of one human, otherwise they might cause chaos, you know!)
I’ve been at parkrun before – volunteering (usually somewhere near the start/finish line) with my owner, Lorna, but this was the first time I’ve actually participated in the run/walk. It was GREAT! I mean REALLY GREAT!
When we set off at first I wondered where she’d got to (she’s not nearly as fast at running as her friends!) and kept looking back, but then I forgot all about her as my human friend, Nina, and I trotted round the course, and we went fast! It was lovely – all through the forest on nice, springy trails and there were signs to help prevent Nina getting us lost!
As we started quite near the back, my mission was to hunt down (and pass) humans in front of us. Apparently I did quite well … we got a time of 31:47 – not a PB (personal best) for Nina (but she’s had more parkrun practice than me) and honestly we would have gone faster if I’d had my way but she bizarrely chose to brake on the downhills and absolutely refused to let me gallop, what a spoil sport! (To be honest, I’m not supposed to do that – and she was told – but I really, really like to gallop when I am allowed as it’s such FUN!)
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Towards the end of the 5k we whizzed through the funnel and it was only when I had crossed the line that I saw Lorna. What a shock, she wasn’t behind us at all! She hadn’t run or walked at all! She wasn’t being lazy though, she told me she had stayed at the start and that she, Karlina and Anna had been busy as volunteers, bleeping people’s barcodes as they crossed the finish line!
At the inaugural on Saturday there were 102 humans – and ten lovely volunteers. Did you know parkrun is run entirely by volunteers? Only humans can volunteer, sadly, but without them there is, quite simply, no parkrun at all. So if everyone takes a turn now and then, everyone, including the lovely Event Director Scott, can get to run or walk the course sometimes too! I’d like to run with him sometime, and see if I can get a better time!
You’ll be shown what to do … apparently it’s not hard! – and after 25 volunteering stints you get a nice purple t-shirt like the one Nina is wearing in our photo.
The weather was great on Saturday – sunny and dry, and there were nice autumn colours everywhere! Best of all it wasn’t raining! (I don’t mind the rain myself, but my human complains about it – a lot! – even though she and so many others turn up at parkrun week after week, whatever the weather!)
Here in Finland parkrun happens every Saturday at 9:30am, which is a perfect time for me.
I liked the time after the parkrun too.
After our run I helped cheer all those who crossed the line after me, and then helped pack up. Then, hurrah!, there were treats – for everyone – at the cafe!
I got to hang out with my best friend Muska, while the humans got snacks for themselves in the cafe. My human said the coffee was lovely and that the toilets were clean. Apparently those things matter to her even more than the weather! Oh and there’s free parking too!
The good news is that she’s told me that we will go to Espoo again next week too, when we will be the tail walkers. I thought that meant I could excitedly wag my tail (and probably I can!) but she also explained that it means we WALK all the way (sigh!), stay at the back (no overtaking!) and have the additional responsibility of making sure all the humans (and dogs) and the signs get back safely to the finish line and to the cafe!
Hope to see you on Saturday!
Remember: parkrun is free, fun and for everyone … so bring your friends along too
Tinka and her human, Lorna, from Turku
(one day we will have a parkrun of our own)
PS woof woof, don’t forget your barcode!

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