parkrun #35: Mandavit

52 parkruns goes international!

Dave and I spent the week visiting his family in Spain, and drove back through France. In my most organised parkrun planning yet, I booked us into a hotel on the outskirts of Bordeaux which was just off the motorway and an easy walk from the parkrun de Mandavit.

parkrun is relatively new to France, having launched in January this year. As such, the numbers are still low, and there were 16 of us turn up on the day. At least half were enthusiastic British tourists like me, who didn’t want to miss out on parkrun whilst they were away.

Mandavit is a really fun course. Twisty twisty through woodlands, in which it’s very easy to get lost. The volunteer team had gone to great lengths to mark out the course with yellow arrows and bits of tape hanging from the trees, but it was still a challenge…

Susan, who posted the picture below on Facebook, said she reckoned it was 50:50 who stayed on the course and who got lost. If anything I think that might be a bit optimistic! Dave and a couple of others accidentally took a short cut across the meadow, realised they’d gone wrong, and ran off in a random direction and back to make up for it.


The tourist crowd

I had to stop a couple of times to check I was going the right way, using some elementary French such as ‘Est-ce que vous êtes en le parkrun?’. I got most of the way round the two laps and was feeling really pleased with myself as I was out ahead and set to come in as the first female finisher. However, at this point, I decided to follow some orange arrows which were painted on to the trees (and had nothing to do with the parkrun). Which meant quite a significant long-cut and a time of over 34 minutes. Dave meanwhile got a super-speedy 21 minutes (see results).

The whole thing had a really good atmosphere. There was free tea and coffee at the end, and it was great to meet such parkrun enthusiasts – dedicated parkrun tourists, and the parkrun pioneers bringing parkrun to France.

Many thanks to the volunteers for organising the event. Un grand merci aux bénévoles!

I’m running a different parkrun each week of the year to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Please head over to my JustGiving page if you’d like to help out 🙂






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