A week ago we (the present Mrs e-Quip & I) were up t’ North and, as always when away from home, on Saturday morning we rocked up at the local Parkrun to show the locals how it’s done. Now, I know that as a parent/grandparent that you’re not supposed to have favourites, but Milly is without doubt our favourite granddaughter. I say this confident in the knowledge that none of my other granddaughters will be offended, because I don’t have any! More grandsons than you can shake a stick at but just the one, solitary granddaughter.
I went through my normal warm-up ritual which, many years ago would have been a cup of tea, bacon bap and a fag, but these days it consists of some gentle stretches accompanied by the groaning noise that we old people make when getting out of a chair. I advised Milly to take it easy and to stretch slowly so that she didn’t hurt herself. “Just stretch till you feel your muscles go tight” was my grandfatherly advice. She then proceeded to do the splits, with one foot in Skipton and the other in Knaresborough, and said that she didn’t understand what “muscles going tight” meant. I decided that Milly was as warm as Milly needed to be!
So, the whistle blew (or the bell rang, I can’t remember which) and off we all charged. I tried to persuade Milly to slow down – “This is a marathon not a sprint”, I suggested. Maybe she couldn’t hear me because by then she was about 100 yards ahead, or possibly because my gasps were incoherent, having left at least 30% of my lungs somewhere near the start line. If Parkrun is supposed to be fun then maybe the news hasn’t reached Milly yet.
Anyhoo – the end result is that Milly made it all the way – she completed here very first Parkrun. Three cheers for Milly! Naturally she celebrated with a pint of Timmy Taylor’s “Landlord” (or was that me?). As a granddad I am extremely proud, while as a fellow Parkrunner I am slightly concerned that the list of runners finishing in front of me has just grown.
So I am now extremely proud to say, “Milly, welcome to the Parkrun family”. The only advice I might offer is that if you want a lift home (and if you want to go to Billy Bob’s afterwards), then when you lap me for the 2nd time, “You alright Granddad?” will go down better than “Coming through!”