park inn

Telford Town ParkThis is where I am staying this week and I thought I would share the name as my blog’s title because of its similarity to parkrun, although “park inn” does have a space so they are unlikely to get a law suit from Paul Sinton-Hewitt any time soon!  The particular park inn I have been staying in is in Telford and that is where I have been exploring this week.

Telford is a fascinating place; a “new” town even though it is steeped in industrial revolution history.  It has a fantastic Town Park and some amazing countryside round and about.  The only complaint that I have is that it, in common with all the new towns that I know, is that it is hiddiously pedestrian-unfriendly.  The town planners want to separate pedestrians from traffic and I get that.  The problem is that what they do is firstly remove the pavements (or sidewalks as our American friends would say) and then take the pedestrian pathways off in all sorts of different directions, none of which lead to where you want to go.  It’s impossible to tell where a path will take you so you end up following the roads, which is very dangerous since there’s no pavement!   The planners have therefore achieved the complete opposite of their objective and ended up making it more dangerous for the walker or runner!

The one solution I have is to go running at 5 AM in the morning which pretty much avoids all traffic so you can run through town whereever you want, willy-nilly!  And, have you noticed, it’s getting DARK in the morning.  At 5 AM it seemed like it was before dawn which is another reason to avoid going down dark isolated pathways although by the time I ran back through the Town Park it was light enough.

Tomorrow morning I shall try a different direction!

“as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way’ – ‘a voice of one calling in the wilderness, “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.” ’”  ‭‭Mark‬ ‭1:2-3‬ ‭NIVUK‬‬

Iron Mann (or not, as the case may be)

Temple NewsamIn the immortal words of VIctor Meldrew: “I don’t belieeeeeeeeve it!”.  First, I got diagnosed with hypothyroidism (don’t ask), then paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (trust me to get an unpronounceable heart disease), then hypertension (don’t know where that came from), in February of this year I ended up with a chest infection and now, wait for it… I’ve got flipin iron deficiency anaemia!

No wonder I’m not getting any faster despite the training and I’m jolly glad I smelt a rat and went to the doctors!  So, I’m on industrial strength iron tablets (presumably made in Scotland from girders) and have  the prospect of them sticking things up various parts of my anatomy to try and find out the root cause.  Great!

But I’m thankful for the good news: firstly I’m not going mad and I haven’t messed up my training despite all the experience I have and secondly, my GP says that a few weeks of these pills and I’ll be right as rain as far as red blood cell count is concerned and hopefully as far as running’s concerned as well!  At 55 (or nearly) WITH my current low blood count, I can still get round the famously challenging Temple Newsam parkrun in just under 27 minutes so I’m thankful for that.

So ever optimistic I say watch out, Marathon Mann may be back soon!

“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:18‬ ‭NIVUK‬‬

Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better

Flat Cap 5One of my favourite episodes of Some Mothers Do Ave Em was where Frank created havoc when attending a PR course.  He annoyed the host with the mantra “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better” which curiously is a real creation of the French self improvement guru Émile Coué.  While I couldn’t claim that all that applies to me, I do now have the feeling after scaling back my training, I am making some progress.

This evening I ran the fun-packed “Flat Cap” 5 mile trail race.  It starts near the Leggers Inn, Dewsbury and there was pie and peas together with great ale on offer afterwards.  You get extra kudos for running in a flat cap.

While I wouldn’t claim my time as fast, it wasn’t bad for the challenging terrain and more importantly I felt good.


“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Ephesians‬ ‭6:10‬ ‭NIVUK‬‬