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Don’t forget your barcode

November 23, 2015

‘Next Saturday, I’m going to get up early and try out the Parkrun,’ I said to my girlfriend as we walked towards town having managed to get out of the house suspiciously early for a weekend.

‘Categorically, definitely, absolutely. No matter what.’

When we lived in London, I’d made it to Finsbury Park Parkrun a few times, using the run to the start line as a warm-up, and the run back as a cool-down. I could do the same here, but with the run to Milton Country Park being a bit longer.

‘Yep,’ I closed confidently, ‘this is happening.’


I fumbled with one arm out of the covers to turn off the irritable buzzing alarm. It was 7:30am, and dark.

As if on cue, the wind roared over the roof of our house, pummelling the window with a sharp spray of rain. I could feel the winter chill on my shoulders; I shrugged the covers up to my chin while I stared at the dark ceiling, willing myself to get up.

7:30am on a Saturday is not a time I usually see. There have been occasions where it has made appearances (for example, sitting in an airport tucking into a generally dreadful veggie breakfast with an ineffective stunted cutlery set, while marvelling at the number of people liberally sloshing down a lager or wine since that culturally signifies ‘first day of holiday’), but these are strictly limited. Weekend and lie-in are synonymous.

It’s the best part of five miles to the start line, so I needed to leave maybe 45 minutes to get there. I had to get out the door by 8:15.

Another pebble-dashing of rain blustered against the window.

I needed some breakfast, a hot drink of some sort. I now had 35 minutes to get out the door. The bed was still warm, and comforting, and considerably more inviting than the lashing gale outside.

Barcode, I realised. I’d need to print out a barcode to take with me, have breakfast and a hot beverage. Don’t forget your barcode, hashtag DFYB, and all the other variations you see echo through Twitter on a Friday.

Safe in the knowledge that I would be breaking the cardinal rule of Parkrun, I closed my eyes, settled back in and enjoyed another couple of hours’ sleep.


I’m walking towards town with my girlfriend, with the fierce wind dying down and the winter sun setting. ‘Definitely next week. Categorically, absolutely, definitely. No matter what.’

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