Saturday. And what does Saturday make for? After last night’s hard 5k I was feeling a little aches but knew there was a chance I wouldn’t have to work too hard to pick up my first, and probably only, hat trick of first places. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited about the thought-the first time I came in first (still the slowest ever first place time at Swindon, fact fans) it was a huge novelty, and it’s not something I’ve repeated all that often even though I now run a bit quicker than I did then.
The journey from Donegal to Sligo is easy, and I realised on it why Thomas Thomas ‘knows’ and follows Irish roads even though it officially doesn’t have Irish maps. It’s so you can navigate from Ireland to Northern Ireland without having to find the border before you get a signal. But. With an approximate postcode he will also carry you into “************” territory, for instance leading you to a park in Enniskillen that clearly isn’t the parkrun one. Spotting a closed road and convoy of police cars-security for the G8-led me to think this might all be a bit difficult, but pulling in to a garage I spotted the best sign to see at 9.00 with no idea where to go. ‘Free wifi.’
So I arrived. I got my hat trick, after a friendly shout from second place had put me on the right path. Enniskillen was sunny where Donegal had been rainy-more the time clearing the rain than location, I think, and after shooting the breeze with second placed English man, admiring the G8 protest camp and its one tent and getting the gen on enniskillen- pretty but not so many jobs, the young folk tend to leave- I was off to the sights. Enniskillen castle was right next to where I’d parked, so I dug out a few of my English pounds and wandered in, past a couple of police officers. Today was a free entry day, so I was free to browse the art in the museum and the history of the Inniskilling regiment in the keep. All very lovely, though with festival action due to start later it was also very quiet. The old soldiers running the military exhibition were very keen to talk, I’m not convinced I was inquisitive enough about the military side to give them an outlet. They also had pop music playing in honour of the film and craft festival in the grounds, which made for an odd atmosphere.
Today’s guest nationalities: Dutch, Canadian, German, Irish.