35km now run in the Blindfold Challenge following another fantastic day, this time in the lovely Dorset seaside town of Weymouth. Just two more parkruns left now until the finale at Bournemouth’s Kings Park on July 2, 2022Please support this challenge by donating to The Dorset Blind Association and by clicking here.
My indomitable guide, John Baker, has always feared a wet and windy parkrun. Seven now completed and the weather has been exceptionally kind to us so far. Weymouth was glorious and plenty of runners and supporters showed up to the Lodmoor Country Park site to enjoy a 5km Saturday morning run.
Julie was with us today and it was great to see Kirsty running here and who we first met back on Day 2 at Upton.
As with all of our visits, the Run Directors (led today by Mike Askew, many thanks Mike) and volunteers really are a fantastic bunch of people. I know I witter on about the delights of parkrun, but these weekly events are incredible and this concept just has to be the greatest (free) invention of the modern era. Everyone is welcome on a Saturday morning at 9am, from club runners to those who just want to take part, get fit, have fun, run with friends, irrespective of completion times. So much love and encouragement without any judgement at all. Take a bow Paul Sinton-Hewitt and team.
This Weymouth run was probably the trickiest for John so far. Although flat and without too many changes in direction, the mixed terrain and heavy population of runners and members of the public, all congested along narrow paths, meant that he was constantly barking out instructions. Really tiring for him, both mentally and physically.
Our time today of 32,11 was our second fastest of the challenge so far and much was down to John’s expert directing skills. If I could see how close we get to obstacles such as bollards while running, I would definitely freak out. So far during 35km of guiding a completely blind runner, John has not allowed me crash into anything….genius!
At this point I need to make an apology to fellow runners and supporters at parkrun. I can clearly hear all the amazing cheers and good wishes as I stumble about completely in the dark, and I need to excuse my seeming ignorance by not giving thanks as I run. It is crucial for my own safety and that of others, for me to concentrate 100% on the constant commanding from John. This is why I fail to sometimes acknowledge the words of encouragement. I promise you all that we both greatly appreciate all the wonderful support you are giving us during this crazy challenge and it certainly inspires us both to keep going.
Thank you Weymouth. It is off to the cliff tops of Durleston next week. Apparently the views are stunning, sadly I will not be seeing them.