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Friday, 17 December 2010

Freedom run with Coventry parkrun Race Director Jason Douglas

I was very fortunate to bump into Coventry parkrun Race Director, Jason Douglas, and join him for a very enjoyable freedom run today.

A light splattering of snow had covered all the paths a few hours earlier, which made for a very picturesque look to War Memorial Park in Coventry today. I did my normal warm up lap of the park with the intention of taking it very easy on my Freedom run. Just as I was approaching the start of the parkrun course I saw a fellow runner following the parkrun route. My first thought was that "he must be as mad as me!". I very quickly realised it was Coventry parkrun Race Director, Jason Douglas. I recognised Jason immediately and asked if I could join him on his run, to which he didn't object. He was about half a lap into his first lap of two.

We took it steadily which suited us both perfectly. There were a few icy patches and I slipped a couple of times during the run, but sensible running was not at all risky. Jason is recovering from knee problems and is only just feeling his way back into running. Hopefully, if his recovery goes to plan, we'll see him taking part in a parkrun event within the next 6 to 8 weeks. We chatted about all things parkrun and other running, fitness and injury related topics.

One of our topics of discussion was tomorrow's impending Santa Run. I for one am very much looking forward to that. I have no real aims whatsoever and it will be nice to go into a parkrun event knowing that I cannot possibly do well. My Santa Suit really isn't optimised for running speed and I can see the thickness of the felt making me very warm indeed. Choking on the beard is also a real concern. I expect to be bringing up fur balls for a few days after the event! The trousers are big enough to fit the real Santa in with me, and the belt is going to be little or no use. Have you ever seen the running tights that Santa wears under his suit before? Well you are very likely to tomorrow when my Santa trousers fall down!

At the end of my first lap and a half Jason had completed his freedom run, but he decided to join me for another lap to complete my freedom run and as a warm down for him. I completed my freedom run in a comfortable 26:26, but more importantly than time I had really enjoyed my run. We then went our separate ways.

That's 21 freedom runs now completed.

It was nice to run with someone different and it was great to get to know Jason a little better during our run today. He is always so busy before and during a parkrun event so its difficult to exchange anything more than a few words each week. He has done such a lot for the Coventry parkrun, not least deciding to bring parkrun to Coventry in the first place and managing the event each week. I hope he knows how grateful we all are for all his efforts. I look forward to seeing Jason take part in a few parkrun events when his knee allows.

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