Red kite spotting at Ellenbrook Fields

This Saturday was going to be my 100th parkrun, but then I found out that my dad and brother had planned some tourism in London (before a football match) so I offered to marshal instead. Probably a very good idea as I have a half marathon on Sunday and a rest day before won’t do any harm.

It was fairly cloudy and overcast as I walked to my marshal point, but once I got there the sun came out and it was a gorgeous morning.

The runway/ taxiway is quite long! 1km I think- I could see the start line from here but it wouldn’t show up on the photo as it’s far in the distance. As I got to the end, my brother cycled up (basically my dad wasn’t well yesterday so they stayed at home and were going to head in just for the football). We had a quick chat before he headed off to the start and I promised him an extra loud cheer.

I love it that you get a handy lanyard with the map (and the RD’s phone numbers on the back just in case)- I am not the best at map ready though and did get a little confused at one point over how far back I needed to be. I was stationed on point 6 (“the muddy bit/ water feature”) and it’s a straight part of the course, but the point 7 person hadn’t turned up, and that is where runners turn left to head back to the runway. I waited there for a bit in the end as I thought that it was where runners were more likely to go wrong, but the guy turned up a little after me, so I could move into my position.

(The view from point 7).

The view from my point- the water feature has really dried up and is mostly rutted mud now as opposed to a huge puddle crossing the whole path.

There were lots of daffodils out, and once I was in position I got quite warm- I ended up taking my coat off.

Also three red kites were flying overhead- I tried to zoom in and get pictures but they were hard to capture as they kept flying towards the sun.

I was enjoying the sunshine and bird spotting so much I nearly forgot why I was there (nearly..). I put my coat on the huge blackberry bush so it wasn’t in the mud, and then it was time to cheer all the runners past.

It always amazes me how quickly the front runners come along. It is so impressive seeing them as they steam past.

There were not too many OH ladies running today as most of us are running the half tomorrow, but I saw a few familiar faces and of course cheered on everyone (and yes gave Tony an extra big shout out). It occurred to me as he was running past that I had yet again forgotten to look out for the km marker posts- they were installed a month or so ago, and I have run it since then, but have not noticed them (partly because I keep my watch to miles so I have little idea of when each km is). I asked him if he had spotted any but he hadn’t.

This photo to me looks like my feet are facing opposite ways, but they aren’t (the shoes are dark blue at the back, but I think the left one looks like the blue is the toe end)- they were a bit muddy. I have had them a while and wanted to muddy them up a bit, and also break them in a bit more- they are newer versions of a shoe I have had before but they are not quite as comfy and I can’t work out why. They were only cheap so if they are relegated to non-running trainers I can live with it.

And hooray- on my walk back to the start I found one of the markers! They are fab!

After handing back the jacket and lanyard, I popped into town as I had to get us some bread for dinner (we need to get to M&S before they sell out of sourdough), and I got half way home before realising I also needed to go to the post office to collect a parcel- argh!

I did some baking (Lemon and lavender blondies from the Swedish book), and then walked back into town for a haircut.

This patch of wasteland annoys me so much – it is the old Shredded Wheat factory, and it is just crumbling. It is right by town, right by the station and would be perfect for a load of houses and flats. When there are homes planned on beautiful patches of greenery between Hatfield and St Albans it is just ridiculous that somewhere like this is going to waste. By Hatfield station they have built a block of flats and they have all sold- the railway line isn’t that busy and being right by the station would be perfect for the people who commute into London. Off my soap-box now!

I tried to take a photo of my haircut (nothing exciting- just an inch or so off) because tomorrow it will be ruined! Why did I book it for the day before a half marathon??? Usually it would last a couple of days because I cannot style it properly. Ah well.

(The reason why is because I left it late and my lovely hairdresser was already booked up the last two weekends and then she goes away soon).

Now I just have to do some race prep (drink water, paint my nails and pack my bag).

Do you like seeing wildlife when you are out and about? Do you like floral cakes? I have had a gorgeous rose and pistachio cake before, and I love geranium (Montezuma’s do a lovely orange and geranium chocolate)- I am hoping that the lavender is not too strong in the blondies. What do you do with your running trainers once they are no good for running? I have a lot just in boxes as I don’t want to get rid of them- I can use one pair for PE at school, and one pair for gardening, but that’s about it. Do you have any pre-race rituals? I always like to paint my nails, but it has never been a “luck” thing, I just like them to match the medal. But then at the Welwyn half last year I forgot, and then I fell over, so now I am not so sure!

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4 thoughts on “Red kite spotting at Ellenbrook Fields

  1. Hope your half-marathon went well today! I was spectating at a local half today as lots of my club were running.
    Running trainers I tend to just bin when they are knackered. Pre-race rituals is usually just sorting out all my kit and getting organised!

  2. Hope the half went well!
    The old Shredded Wheat factory makes me feel so sad and nostalgic for my childhood in Welwyn – we used to be able to smell the cereal being cooked during school break times!

    • Now you can either smell the dog biscuit factory (not good), or Mr Bagels making cinnamon raisin bagels, which is just amazing ! 🙂

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