100 parkruns and a ton of buns!

I’ve put a lot of thought and planning into my 100th parkrun. I realised a few months back that it COULD happen on 10th October, and the mathematician in me loved the 10/10 synchronicity. Plus it was the weekend closest to my birthday. Still in the same age-category sadly.

I marked the weeks off in my calendar – I had one week spare, which I utilised by volunteering the day before my half-marathon.
I had my barcode tattooed on my arm *

And I planned for suitably celebratory cakes or buns. Google and Pinterest gave me some great ideas, but I decided that individual buns were more practical than a cake, which would need slicing. And buns were easier for people to go “Oh, I’ll take one of those home with me!”
I bought ready-made icing in little tubes, and practised “parkrun” icing on some iced fingers, which I took to Victoria.

Buns iced with the parkrun tree

Buns iced with the parkrun tree

You know how on Great British Bake-off they always show contestant’s sketches for their creations? I started sketching out how I wanted it to look. I’d have the parkrun symbol buns as a frame round the outside, with “100” spelled out in gold balls in the centre, and the gaps filled in with plain buns, chocolate fingers, and sweets. I picked out the parkrun colours from a bag of licorice comfits.

I tried to find plain iced fairy cakes in the supermarkets, but to no avail. The Country Kitchen, a local home bakery, made cupcakes with transfers of Minions and Frozen on them, and I negotiated with them to provide 3 dozen plain versions, which I then decorated myself.

While I was out searching for green napkins, I found the cutest squirrel in Cath Kidston, as well as matching autumnal tissues. In a nod to my dancing proclivities, the squirrel is now called Cracker.

The night before the run, I painted my nails in 100Tshirt black, and put some finishing touches to my video montage.
Saturday morning arrived, and I used a photo of my new tat as my traditional “Where’s Wally?” selfie. I loaded the tray of buns, minus the add-ins, to the car, and put some extras in a biscuit tin. I iced some coloured “100s” on the spare buns, thinking that some of our junior runners might like to choose their favourite colour. The orange icing acted very strangely, and went very runny!

Arriving at Wallace, I parked as close to the bandstand as I could, and took Minnie up first and tethered her to a post, while I recruited some assistance with the sweet stuff. The weather was very kind – no rain, and no wind.

The run itself – I finished in exactly the same position as last week, and despite having laid off the booze on Friday night, I was 10 seconds slower! No matter, I really enjoyed the run, and the cheering marshalls were super, as usual. Plenty of chat afterwards, and lovely cards from Gillian and Liz: we’d been on target to run our 50th together last year, when an ankle injury delayed my efforts. And now, injuries unfortunately having beset each of them, I’d managed to be the first of the Jog Lisburn ladies to reach the goal.


What’s next? Well, the next milestone Tshirt if for 250 runs. Even with the best will in the world, running 50 parkruns a year is a tall order, so that is AT LEAST 3 years away. Let’s aim to get it before I’m 60, eh?
Meanwhile, there’s the 25 volunteer number to earn, so I’ll plan to offer my services once a month or so. And of course, I need to get round to any new Norn Irn events!

* Please don’t try this at home – it won’t scan!