Saturday, June 09, 2018

Salento Parkrun Number 6

Lecce, Puglia, Italy. Saturday 09-June-2018.

It seems like I’m collecting parkruns.

For those of you who don’t know there is a clue in the name. People gather in hundreds of parks up and down the UK, and in parks around the world, at 9 o’clock on a Saturday morning to do an organised 5K run.

Mostly I have done my parkruns in Tooting Common. But as we travelled about the UK for various weekends away I have picked up Parkruns in Scotland, Ireland and England (North and South).

I very nearly added an Italian Parkrun in Florence when Mary was planning to do a language course there. But in the end her trip was curtailed so that never happened.

Last time I looked there were no parkruns in Southern Italy. But then last month we had some visitors who said “there is a Salento Parkrun” and, lo and behold, someone had just started up a parkrun outside Lecce. It is run by Italian, Saverio, who had lived in Maidenhead for some time and discovered park run. On his return to Italy he decided to start up a local event. Inspired by our guests we decided to combine an early start for the park run followed by a visit to the beautiful city of Lecce.

This parkrun being in its infancy there were only eight runners and four of them were from our party. It is a very different experience running round the olive groves of a national park compared to running around Tooting Common where the first two runs in 2018 had over 800 runners!

It was only the sixth Salento Parkrun and our friend Sarah was able to set the female course record; unfortunately another UK visitor knocked her off the top spot a week later.

The 'A' is missing from my vest because I put the iron-on letter upside down and ironed it onto the sheet of paper.

One of the runners was visiting from Sicily and shot off like a greyhound and was round the course in 19:09. Me, I was happy to have managed it in under 30 minutes.

Garmin timings:

When I was back in the UK for a week I decided not to do my usual Tooting run but instead cycled up to Wimbledon Common so that I could add another unique Parkrun to the list. That is now nine different locations I’ve done park run.

Again under 30 minutes so again happy with that.

When I go back in September I think I’ll have to pop over the river to Fulham and bag Parkrun location number 10.

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