Day 6: Blandford parkrun – June 4, 2022

Jubilee weekend and we welcome back to the Blindfold Challenge, David and Julie.

Please donate to The Dorset Blind Association by clicking here.

The Team back together at the Blandford parkrun

It was great to have VI runner David Edwards and his guide Julie Burden back with us at the Blandford parkrun today. Being the occasion of the Queen’s Jubilee it was fitting that we marked the occasion by us all wearing masks, not just me, as is the norm! I personally think that John makes a quite striking Prince Harry.

In celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Run Director Charli and the team made us feel exceptionally welcome as the Blandford park-runners were celebrating not only the Jubilee but also their return to the familiar course following changes that had to be made during the Covid pandemic. The start of the run on the track bed of the old Somerset and Dorset Railway was too just too narrow and the limited space did not allow for safe social distancing. For nearly two years the start was at the wide open spaces of the Milldown playing fields. It was great to back…

Run Director Charli and the Team

This old course is now a ‘straight out and back’ along mostly tarmac paths with little in the way of obstacles, sharp turns or undulating surfaces and with only 130 runners present, today proved to be the best track for John and I to run together on. In consequence, we recorded our fastest time so far in the Blindfold Challenge, a pretty impressive 31.37 – well done John.

Running along the old S&D Railway line

I personally suffered no real scares and although it is impossible to ever get used to running completely blind, this parkrun was by far and away my least stressful and therefore my most enjoyable to date. Being an ex-railwayman, running along the old S&D line, was really quite special.

John had time to describe some of the route and was very enthused about the location. As with all 10 runs, we will attend again later in the year, with me blindfold-free, so I can enjoy the courses as a fully sighted runner.

Again, I cannot describe how great it is for us to have such fantastic support for this challenge. The cheering and words of encouragement definitely make a complex and unusual difficult charity fund-raising event easier. Being blind is terrifying, take it from me. David has always remarked how fantastic it is to receive such support – I can now see why.

Fantastic support for David and Julie as they cross the finish line

Next week for Day 7 we are off to the wonderful seaside town of Weymouth.

If you do enjoy reading these blog stories then can we please ask that you acknowledge our efforts by donating to Dorset Blind Association by clicking here.

Thank you.

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