NI (and other) parkruns: Crystal Palace

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“Now just a minute”, I hear you say, “This ‘ere blog is called Dancing At Lunacy, right?  Well, there’s plenty of lunacy, most of it the youdonthavetobemadtobearunnerbutithelps, variety, but where’s all the dancing, eh? Eh?”

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Fear not, gentle reader, for this weekend there was the most wonderful, moving, and memorable dancing, courtesy of my fabulous daughter and others at The Place, celebrating choreography giant Robert Cohan’s 90th birthday.  Jemima was in a piece called “Sometimes, even now”, choreographed by James Cousins, a Matthew Bourne protege.  I was sitting next to some current Bourne guys, and we all watched in admiration as she climbed, fell, turned, span, leaped and – forgive me – emotionally connected with her audience. Times critic Donald Hutera tweeted “Jemima Brown – most watchable centrepeice of James Cousins people”.  Wow.

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Anyhoo, post show drinkies over, I was hustled into a  taxi to her flat in Crystal Palace while their celebrating continued – I did have a bit of a disturbed night’s sleep when they returned at 3 am, but had set my alarm to make sure I did not miss my Saturday morning parkrun (oh you Eeeeenglish with your 9 am starts!)

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Access:

I flew into Gatwick, nearly cried at the price of fares on the Gatwick Express into town, but bus and train links to CP are very good.  The parkrun is in the huge park with its famous mast, which has a major bus depot at one end, and the railway station one one side, so it’s very easy to reach by public transport.  There are also several car parks, and plenty of loo facilities.

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Crowd:

I was wearing my Jog Lisburn T shirt, and a guy approached me and told me he’d run Wallace a couple of weeks ago.  Turns out Mark is from Bangor originally, and was running his 150th parkrun this morning!  He’s already on that more-than-20-events hall of fame, and revealed that he’d lost 4 stone during his parkrun career.  Most impressive!  I also chatted to a runner in a Titanic Quarter Tshirt from last year, someone running their first ever parkrun, and the very friendly volunteers.  Usual crowd is about 150, with a good few slower runners.

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Course:

I entered from the top end, and admired the old weathered stone statues, as I walked down the steps.
20150328_081843]And then more steps.  20150328_081854] And even more steps. 20150328_081918 20150328_082206

Oh dear, it was very evident that elevation was a serious issue with this course!

20150328_081419 - Copy - Copy - Copy  Hills aside, it’s a really cool venue.  The paths are wide and flat, there’s an old red telephone box, a cafe, a maze, a sports stadium, a museum, a renowned lake/ amphitheatre, and a War memorial bell at the finish.

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Gear:

My Garmin’s connecting lead had broken during the week, which meant that the battery was dying. It survived the run, but I’m going to have to get that sorted.  I’m glad I wore my JL T shirt – I’m still waiting for my red 50 shirt, which I’d wanted to show off on tourism jaunts, but really, the JL one is more of a talking point.

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Strangely Appropriate Song On Shuffle:

Being in Crystal Paris – has to be Walking On Broken Glass by Annie Lennox.

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Time:

OK, I’d been out quaffing champers till the wee small hours, and then didn’t have a great night’s kip, and it was hilly – I was   a bit disappointed with 29:54, but as I’m very fond of saying – there’s more to running than going fast.

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List of all the parkruns I’ve completed.

One Response

  1. […] NI (and other) parkruns: Crystal Palace […]

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