parkruns: Perth (that’s Scotland, not Australia)

20141108_083501There’s an old joke that goes – what’s the smallest city in Scotland? Perth, because it’s found between 2 inches.


The North Inch and South Inch are peninsulas or spits of land into the River Tay, which flows quite briskly here, and Perth retains many fine features befitting its long ancestry, including beautiful old churches, fine bridges, and tiny entries called Vennels.


I was in town for a Scottish Dancing do.  I was here last year, too, but the Perth parkrun hadn’t yet started – in fact at my visit they were full of enthusiasm for their upcoming first birthday.



To my great delight, the parkrun starts right beside Bells Sport Centre, where my dancing actvities were taking place, and I booked myself into Perth (if not Scotland)’s oldest hotel, The Salutation, an easy 5 minute walk away.  There’s plenty of parking in and around the Centre, and toilets and showers are available there too.



There had been heavy rain during the week, and though Saturday dawned bright and crisp, the Perth parkrun Facebook page was warning of flooded parts of the route, due to the Tay bursting its banks.  During the new runners briefing, the marshall explained that we would be re-routed onto some slippery grass sloping sections, and that yes, a lot of the course was very muddy – trail shoes recommended.  Trail shoes I have none.  I usually travel in my second best trainers, the green/purple KSwiss which are slightly sturdier and heavier, but I’d done a quick de-pooping of the back garden before I left, and managed to stand in a hidden dog-poo.  So instead I’d brought my bestest trainers, the Brooks Ravenna that were my Sweatshop prize.  They’ve quite a lot of mesh, and I wouldn’t normally choose to wear them in mucky conditions, but they were all I had.  The route is just beautiful, hugging the banks of the river with its gorgeous trees and glimpses of wildlife.



I’d underestimated the cold – meant to pack a long sleeved top to wear under my JogLisburn tee, but forgot.  Luckliy enough I’d brought a lightweight Craghoppers cardi in white cotton, and wore that as a base layer.  And of course it got covered in mucky paw prints when I said hello to a lovely Vizla, making her parkrun debut…


Strangely Appropriate Song:

Given the over-flowing river, I’ll say that The Bellamy Brothers “Let Your Love Flow” was the right song for the moment.



I was one of half a dozen tourists – I guess Perth is a city that has more than a few visitors.  I particularly loved the marshalls with their big foam hands.  The start and finish are at the same point, so many runners leave their outer layers decorating a nearby tree.



Ach, it wasn’t great.  Since it was more Tough Mudder than parkrun at times, I wasn’t expecting anywhere near a PB, and at 29.54 it was a few seconds faster than last week!  But part of me is disappointed that I don’t seem to be making much progress.


List of all the parkruns I’ve completed.

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