Sunday April 9th was the East Dunford Griffins trip to the Friskney Half Marathon, this event had been attended by Scott the two previous years and this year the full EDG membership were in attendance. I picked Scott up at 8am with the sat nav correctly set on the destination to ease Scott’s fears of my terrible sense of direction, a scenic two hour journey lay ahead, weaving through East Yorkshire to the Humber Bridge with its £1.50 toll and over the Lincolnshire Wolds.
Scott had always previously planned 10 mile detours of the bridge to avoid the charge thinking it was much greater than it actually was, he kicked himself several times for all previous excursions and we ploughed on, over the Wolds and eventually into the village of Friskney. A bright yellow sign pointing to the car park led us towards a chap who performed a jolly dance to guide us into a car park space. We arrived an hour before the race and had time to do the sights. Friskney is a village of around 1500 inhabitants between Boston and Skegness, we walked past the pub, church and to the village hall. The sights were done.
There are claims Friskney is the largest village, by area, in the UK and we were all set to run around it. All runners congregated in the village hall with its notice board promoting the usual, wedding venue hire, well stocked bar, Zumba and club singer, Johnny Lodge “Swinging the Standards.”
The Half Marathon is hosted by Boston and District Athletics Club, the club had tea, coffee and choc for sale for £1 and various cakes for 50p, with this in mind we went back to the car for essential post race tuck money. Five minutes before we were due to start Scott noticed how the race seemed quieter than previous years, we counted around 40 runners.
11am, the starting pistol took us by surprise and we were off, past a washing line full of large white pants, a field of sheep and off out the village, a very fast start took us into the first 4km then we turned into the headwind until 10km. A few miles in we ran past the Lincolnshire Wild Life Sanctuary (incorporating the National Parrot Sanctuary) which appeared to be doing good business on a gloriously hot day. (£34 family ticket). 5km with the wind behind, a couple of water stations led us to a tricky last two miles, hot sun and headwind, we finished in average times of 1:44 for me and 1:48 for Scott.
A medal was collected, chocolate cake eaten and back to the car for coffee and a change of t shirt, Scott was now sporting a Pantera t-shirt from his youth advertising an album he claimed to think was potentially their best work. (No idea)
We set off home contemplating a good race and feeling humble as it is always good to support clubs like Boston who are the backbone of UK Athletics with volunteers and coaches working for the love of the sport, and it seemed a shame for such a well organised, friendly race could only attract 34 runners when over 5000 would be running the Yorkshire Half in Sheffield, paying over the odds, less than an hour away. But we’ll keep this little gem on our radar.
A sandwich on the way home, a toilet incident, and another trip over the Humber Bridge finished a good day with average run times. Beer and BBQ time.