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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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