There are few parkruns in l’Hexagone but luckily there is one in Bordeaux, where I found myself this Saturday. Malhereusement, the Bordeaux parkrun is 30km north of the city so of course the only reasonable way to get there was to hire a motorbike and hit the road. Luckily France eased me into the day with some Scottish thick fog but by the time things kicked off, the weather had settled at a more usual sweltering.
I was confident of a very strong result before I even saw the field. Because only 20 people normally turn up but mainly due to the fact that the results are nornally given in alphabetical order! I had hoped to savor the essance de la vie français but it seemed that many people had ignored the Farage zetitgeist and the field swelled with brits abroad.
The course was a cross between nice park and industrial estate. The track weaving three-and-a-bit laps around tracky trails with the soundtrack of chirping crickets and chirping high voltage overhead lines in equal measure.
Fully paid up members of the Alistair fab club will be delighted to hear that I started strong and led the first lap. Maybe it was my natural athleticism that intimidated the rest of the field. Maybe it was the clear extensive hill and navigation experience that meant other people knew I was the one to find the route down the small slope, over at least one stoney section, through the trees and over no less than two narrow bridges. However, after the first lap, my pre race prep of cheese, cured meats and red wine combined with the ever rising temperature meant that the whippersnapper and the ringer overtook and I didnt see them again. BUT WAIT! Those of you quick with the maths will realise that means I must have finished third! Yes! Briging home the bronze for the Westies.
A bientôt, mes débardeurs jaunes.