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#Juneathon 2015 Day 6

Today was easy. Well, mostly. At the very worst case, if I could not muster the motivation to leave my cosy abode, I would at least limp along to a local Parkrun. I’ve run a little over a half marathon to Abingdon before now to then run Parkrun, but today, Abingdon was off the cards – too much mileage, too big a chance for me to be a muppet and roll an ankle along my beloved towpath. If I ran one more local to me, I had a choice of either Oxford at Cutteslowe Park or Harcourt Hill. And as a bonus, staying local means that it was definitely time to drag the pooch along with me.

I opted for Cutteslowe.

Flustering like a fool unable to find his barcode, our departure was a little hurried. My pace hasn’t been much for me to speak of lately, so I was happy to hang around towards the back and just saunter around the course to get another notch on my Parkrun tally (I hit 25 today!!) en route to my first Parkrun tee.

On the other hand… the pooch had other ideas.

My little black beast tore away like a hound possessed and I had to run like a loon to keep up. If it hadn’t been mandatory for Holly to be on a lead, she would have left me for dust and easily been first around the first (of three) laps. When there was little space to pass, I held firmly onto the lead and Holly was forced to hold back. When space become available, the pooch accelerated and I followed at a pace that I was barely able to sustain. Damn good fun to run with wild, careless abandon though.

Holly maintained her enthusiastic pace for the whole of the first lap and through the first half of the second lap. Ah, the second lap. Sadly, towards the end, we were caught by a couple of little snags. Firstly, Holly went one side of a bollard and I went the other. When the lead collided with the bollard, the lead flew out of my hand as my little pup wrapped herself around the bollard in a sorry looking heap. Being a chirpy little blighter, she quickly rose to her feet and we ran to regain the few places that we’d lost. We could have only gone another 200m when we hit our second snag. I glanced back at the pup and the lead had become tangled under one of her legs so I beckoned her to one side and set things right.

After a couple of brief setbacks, Holly’s momentum seemed to have been curtailed somewhat so she settled for initially running at my side before falling a little behind me. I know she still had some oomph in the tank but so long as she wasn’t lagging, I was going to call it forth. We had two corners to go on our third and final lap. As we rounded the last corner, we turned off the path towards the finishers’ funnel and I gave Holly the encouragement that she relishes. She bound forth and again, tore away in front of me. We managed to claw one more place seconds before we crossed the finish line.

Today was the 185th event at Oxford Parkrun and it was my 25th Parkrun finish. Holly and I finished 69th in 23 minutes 47 seconds. I have run 5Ks all week so far for Juneathon, I’ve had musings and I’ve had ponderings about the current state of all things running-related for me so far this week but today, for me, today’s run was nothing short of EPIC.

Today’s pic is of one tired pup, post Parkrun, basking in the sun.

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