For me, 2019 is going to be a year that is full of personal achievements.
On the first day of the year, I hit my first milestone.
Many of my followers will know of my passion for parkrun. It has become an institution in the United Kingdom and is a truly global phenomena. For thousands, parkrun provides social stimulus and a healthier lifestyle.
On New Year’s day, many neighbouring parkruns stagger their start times to make it possible to run two in one day. In previous years, I have paired my home run, Andover, with either Newbury or Salisbury. Travelling with friends adds to the fun and we usually go somewhere for a brunch together on the way home.
This morning, some of us ran Andover at 09:00 and then we travelled to Salisbury for a 10:30 start. I drove, with Matt Jeffery, Jim Dundas, Luke Pierce and Rob Bryan as my passengers. Many more of my friends from Andover made the same journey. And many Salisbury parkrunners had joined us at Andover before making their way back to their home parkrun.
Andover was my 299th parkrun. That made Salisbury my THREE-HUNDREDTH!
That is a huge milestone and represents 1500 km in the parks.
Jay Friedlander, who had started her parkrunning at Andover but had more recently made Salisbury her home, completed her 99th at Andover and her 100th at Salisbury. This was also a massive achievement, as health problems have made this accomplishment more difficult, and admirable, than my own.
The Salisbury Run Director, James Mills, announced that it was my 300th before setting us off. I was made to feel very welcome by the home runners who were full of encouragement, praise and compliments as I plodded my way around the course.
It all added up to a very enjoyable event.
The only downside was that, Salisbury Tesco Extra, where we had brunched for the past three years, was only serving hot drinks and no food. Only slightly dispirited, we made our way back to enjoy better hospitality at The Folly Inn, Andover.
Thank you to everybody at both Andover and Salisbury parkruns, especially the volunteers who make it possible, for making the first day of my New Year into a Milestone Day to remember.