Levengrove – Crumble’s inaugural inaugural

After a bit of indecision during the course of the week around where our travels would take us, we decided to venture to Scotland’s newest parkrun today to celebrate my first parkrun as a 3 year old. That’s apparently 28 in your human years so I think that means I’m entering my running prime. It’s just a shame he’s now fast approaching the V50 category so slowing down at the same rate I’m speeding up!

The whole topic of inaugural events generates a lot of strong views and dogma. For some the etiquette seems to be to leave the locals to run at the first event, let the core team get a few weeks under their belt and then welcome the tourists. Then there’s a whole posse of parkrun tourists who collect inaugural events. Some of that latter group also then actively discourage other inaugural event runners saying it’s bad form to attend them….Confused? Such a doggy dilemma.

The human bagged his first inaugural a few months back at Drumpellier so it’s only fair that he should let me in on the game. And Dumbarton is pretty local for us anyway and this was now our NENDY. Decision made! There would be something pretty cool about being the first ever dog to finish Levengrove parkrun wouldn’t there? Could Crumble go down in history? After setting no targets last week it was time to set a big one this weekend.

Levengrove it was then. We got into the car around 8:20 and started the drive out through Faifley and Bowling towards Dumbarton. I was very confused for while. I thought we were going running dad not bowling…For a moment I was also worried he was dumping me at Scottish SPCA cat and dog home in Milton for my “aggressive” behaviour at the end of last week’s event but I was relieved when we kept going past it. Phew. Best behaviour this week.

Gavin was there with Eilidh, with similar thoughts no doubt of being the first ever Levengrove buggy finisher. He was one of a healthy Garscube turnout with Jez, Barb, Suzy, Paul and birthday girl Mary all here as well as honorary team-mates Kirsty and Paddy, fresh from a brilliant marathon PB last weekend. We also met a good few parkrun tourists including Mhairi and the famous Davie Morton. We also saw Zander, Alison and the doggies who beat me at Drumchapel earlier in the year so I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy run.

Levengrove Park is a stunning setting. It has recently been restored and landscaped, has a new purpose-built cafe and offers fabulous views over the Rivers Leven and Clyde and towards Dumbarton Rock as well as that great mecca of lower league football, Dumbarton FC’s stadium.

After a few weeks without Crumble factoids I thought I had better throw in a couple this week. Levengrove Park first opened in 1885. The park has recently received a £2.8m Heritage Lottery Grant to restore it hence its sprucing up. A fantastic investment.

This has to be one of my favourite parkruns. A nice three lap route with a mix of gentle and steeper undulations making it a good wee workout. In some ways the course reminds me a bit of Springburn. Some of the hills certainly had a bit of a bite but all very runnable and fair. The park is steeped in history with its features including St Serf’s Church, Kilmahew Fountain, an old bandstand, the riverside war memorial and some beautiful gardens. And with views of two rivers it’s hard to beat.

We got there super early to do a wee recce, get some pics on the “beach” and chat up some of the local dogs. In spite of a bleak forecast the rain held off too and the conditions were perfect.

After the briefing and getting my head around the course (the route sounds more complicated that it really is) we were ready for action. A nice gentle uphill start before a long downhill towards the Clyde along beautiful wide tree-lined paths, just perfect for dogs. We were cheered on by so many fabulous friendly volunteers including a few doggy marshals.

We started out quite fast to make sure there was a clear lead (no pun intended) over the next placed dog. So far so good after one lap. Onto the second lap and we were going well, tracking for another sub 25 minute run. We both wearied a little on the last lap, maybe distracted by thoughts of our imminent cafe trip, but still managed a good finish in 24:22 making this my second fastest ever parkrun and I was very comfortably home and dry as the first ever four-legged finisher at Levengrove. That felt totally pawesome.

The core team and marshals were fantastic. So friendly, so welcoming and so grateful for our support too. There was a lovely atmosphere all round and David and Anna set them tone perfectly at the start. The finish line Celebrations were a bonus and it was a nice touch that in the cafe they went round everyone thanking them for coming along, making sure we had a good time, encouraging us to return and asking for feedback. Another lovely marshal came round and shared some doggy treats with me.

Today was so well organised it was easy to forget it was an inaugural event. So slick and seamless.

Since it was a special occasion dad took me to the cafe with Barb and Suzy though dogs had to stay outside so it was rather chilly (for him not me). I ordered and then wolfed down a bacon roll in around 18 seconds, possibly another Crumble PB. I also got a bit of Mary’s birthday cake. As a special surprise Barb gave me a box of gravy bones for my Christmas. Apparently though I’ve to share them with my sister Maizie.

So a great day out and I was pretty sad to be leaving Levengrove. I’m pretty sure that this will feature heavily on my 2020 parkun schedule. I would very strongly recommend this one.

Weather permitting it’s back to Queen’s Park next week. I hope Charlie’s there and it sounds like Cordelia and maybe Barb will be there too. It will be my last parkrun before Christmas as Jim and his pals are volunteering at Drumchapel on 21 December so maybe we’ll have a wee party. Wonder if Santa Paws will be there. Can’t wait.

Crumble out x

Dumbarton “beach” with the Rock behind me
The war memorial
Embarrassing dad selfie
Do you come here often?
Beautiful park setting
Levengrove Park history
Kilmahew Fountain
River Leven
The parkrun course
What’s so funny dad?
Parkrunners assemble
St Serf’s Church
Breakfast roll time – yummy
Thanks dad!

Springburn – Siberian success story

After a week of abandoning me, the human is back in the country. In spite of him complaining about jetlag and being at a black-tie dinner last night he surprisingly kept to his word and I got my Saturday morning parkrun fix.

We decided to visit Springburn again this week. Don’t tell my friends at Drumchapel and Ruchill but I think this might be my current favourite. I’m so fickle! There was a little bit of a late scare when we heard there was a course inspection but we were delighted to hear it was on.

They have such an amazing group of volunteers and marshals, including a few four-legged helpers and the inimitable and brilliant timekeeper Bobby Gemmell whose passion, humour and energy knows no bounds. Double kudos and thanks to all of the volunteers today. That really was above and beyond hanging out for over an hour this morning in those temperatures. Thanks also for keeping us safe and diverting us away from the icy patches. I hope you have all now thawed out.

It was a very chilly one. Minus 4 when we got out the car. Jim kept going on and on about how frozen he was. He just wouldn’t let it go. What a princess. He was sporting his new cow cowl buff and hat and I had my parkrun dogs buff on (well my sister’s as I lost mine).

We had a nice little warm-up jog, I got to play with some cute little Pomeranians near the winter garden then we headed towards the start area where we met the lovely Mel and Ali.

Today was my last parkrun before my 3rd birthday (and the human’s 48th). We both share the same birthday. Can you believe that? A dog can’t even celebrate her own special day without him trying to share some of the glory.

It’s also St Andrew Day today as well as Marcothon Eve. Maybe auspicious signs for today’s run?

Given the icy conditions we didn’t set any big goals for today but hoped to duck in under the 25:22 we clocked here two weeks ago.

We started quite well and got into a good rhythm, keeping under 5 minutes for each of the first two kilometres so on track to get back under 25 minutes. I tried very hard not to tangle his legs this week. Maybe I’m built for cold weather running but I felt strong today and the human didn’t hold me back as much as usual today.

Half way through we decided to get quite greedy knowing that sub 25 and first dog were in the bag. Could we get close to 24 minutes? Could we even beat 24 minutes? Surely not. This was new territory. It felt good.

Into the last kilometre it was still in the balance. The human is renowned for running out of steam late in races (yes I know it’s supposed to be a run not a race bla bla bla) and I was waiting for the inevitable crash and burn. Into the last climb before the flat home straight we pushed hard, stealing some of the encouragement being directed towards another runner by her supportive coach. Amazingly the human managed to keep it together and we finished pretty well. A special shout out to Mel who flew past us with about 20m left. A great finish from her.

I got recognised by the wonderful barcode scanner who said she was a fan. That was so unexpected and a lovely comment to hear. Welcome to the Crumbelistas. Or is it the Crumbelites? Anyone got a better suggestion for my fan club?

But how did I do? We were pretty sure we had smashed 24 minutes but you never know until the official results email comes in. I was one very happy labradoodle when our finish time was confirmed as 23:45, my first sub 24 parkrun and an improvement of around 100 seconds on two weeks ago.

I was super-excited at the end and we got to ring the Spingburn PB bell. Maybe the over-excitement and adrenaline explains me wanting to scrap with the RD’s dog. Oops. Sorry. Naughty Crumble. Hope I’m not banned. I promise not to do it again.

We’re looking forward to a return to Queen’s Park (and maybe a second date with Charlie) and the new Levengrove parkrun in Dumbarton over the next couple of weeks and will hopefully get to Lanark Moor over the coming months too. I do love my parkrun tourism.

Meantime I wonder how many of his Marcothon runs Jim will let me tag along to. I’m guessing somewhere between none and not many.

Anyway that’s today’s work done. A furry good day at that.

Crumble out x

Playing with my Pom Poms
The beautiful Winter Garden
Don’t tell Maizie I stole her buff
Warm-up time
Ringing the PB bell

Springburn – Crumble’s Angels and the unplanned parkrun trip

After a few weeks on the road, it was time to visit one of our more local events again today with my first trip to Springburn since May. Got to manage my carbon pawprint you know.

With its wide paths and gentle undulations, Springburn is one of my favourite Glasgow parkruns and is the human’s third most completed parkrun with a dozen visits.

Today’s Crumble factoid: Glasgow Corporation acquired the land for Springburn Park in 1892. At this time the land was mixed agricultural land with the remains of an ironstone pit at one corner and an old quarry at the other.

The short commute meant a relatively late alarm this morning though the recycling collection at 7:30am put paid to any thoughts of a long lie. Whilst it happens every weekend my sister Maizie still gets spooked every Saturday and barks her head off like a maniac. What a pain!

We went to Springburn today with our regular parkun buddy Claire and got there nice and early. Whilst the humans wanted to stay in the car for a bit to enjoy the warmth I wasn’t having any of it. There’s no keeping Crumble from the park!

We had a nice little canter round the park first. I got to play in the leaves, played fetch with his gloves and chased some birds. No birds were harmed in the warm-up though. We did one lap of the course in reverse.

We then saw Alison, Fran, Amy and a few more of dad’s running friends. It was especially nice to see Amy and Claire running again after injury. I got lots of attention and pampering at the start and was loving it. Given the last time I was here I went for an unplanned swim in the pond (my kind of cool down) I was kept well away from there this time. How disappointing!

After a fairly congested start I got on my race face (yes I know they say it’s a run not a race but I’m not buying that fake news) and we enjoyed the downhill start as always though the long climb near the finish area is always a challenge. There were a few icy patches so we took it fairly cautiously.

We almost had a bit of a disaster on the first lap. I couldn’t decide which side I wanted to run on and crossed from left to right to left in front of and behind Jim and managed to wind the lead round his leg. He stumbled but managed to regain his balance and hop over the lead to avoid an embarrassing fall. Not quite the parkun trip we had in mind. I’ll maybe get him next time 🙂

This little incident knocked us out our stride for a bit and it took us a while to get our pace back up again (can you tell I’m getting in all the excuses in case we don’t break 25 minutes this week).

It was the first of two problems this week. When we got home the human discovered that my parkrun dogs buff had come off so we must have lost it in the park. Don’t tell Maizie but I’ll have to start stealing hers.

We managed to push on in the second half of the run today before running out of steam a bit in the last climb before the finish. We finished in 25:22 which was pretty decent. About 25 seconds slower than my last time here but happy with that (not sure if I mentioned the ice and tangling incidents which probably cost us a bit of time today).

After finishing we went back to cheer on Crumble’s Angels. They were all in great form today and both Amy and Claire seemed to have no after-effects so they’re well on the road to recovery.

I also got to say hello to a little girl who was wearing a woolly coat almost exactly like mine. She was very sweet and as nervous as I was. I don’t growl so dad was very proud (and relieved).

A great job today by Pauline and the gang of volunteers, especially the mobile disco/karaoke marshal, the doggy marshal and Bobby whose pre-race banter and count-down is second to none in Scotland.

The human’s off to India next weekend so no parkun for me it seems. Think we might venture back to Drumchapel then Queen’s Park over the next few weeks before some tourism around Christmas, weather permitting of course.

Crumble out x

The pre-run pose
Playing fetch with the glove
Don’t leave me this way
Checking out the doggy marshal
The pond (that he wouldn’t let me swim in)
Crumble’s Angels
Heading for the finish line

Dean Castle Country Park – the Joyful Kilmarnock Blues plus a quarter Cowell

The day was bright and sunny so the blog I won’t delay…

We continued with our recent theme of “new to us“ parkruns again today by visiting Dean Castle Country Park parkrun. Try saying that with mouthful of Pedigree Chum!

I was rudely awakened at 7:45am when his alarm went off. What does one need to do to get a long lie at the weekend I thought. Oh good I’m being dragged out early in the cold again. But this is the time of year when my Australian labradoodle woolly coat comes into its own so more the fool him. But can you believe he forgot my parkun dogs buff? Funnily enough he remembered his own. So selfish.

After trailing it for a few weeks we decided it was time to finally take the road trip down to Kilmarnock. We had a good drive down the A77 though I was very confused when we started following a sign for Moscow. Maybe the human is an international spy after all and that explains his overseas “work” trips…

We arrived once again super early. We had a nice wee chat with some of the core team and volunteers who were setting up, I got a nice bit of attention and a few pats then we went exploring. When one of the locals told us to enjoy the hills and that they were “short and punchy” we knew it was going to be quite a tough morning’s work.

This parkrun is set in a fantastic historic country park which has a castle. Yes the clue is in the name. Unfortunately (though it will be fabulous when it’s done) the castle is going through some restoration and refurbishment work so it’s closed to the public and covered in scaffolding so the camera couldn’t really do it justice.

Crumble fact of the week: Dean Castle dates from at least the 14th Century. Built by the ambitious, influential and well-travelled Boyd family, the Lords of Kilmarnock, the buildings and estate continued to be lived in and developed until the mid-1700s. The castle was originally called Kilmarnock Castle.

It was great to see a really healthy turnout. 143 today including a lot of juniors and a lot of first-timers (19) so this parkrun really seems to have captured the attention of the locals.

It’s for sure one of the more challenging parkruns we have done and quite a contrast with the University of Stirling last week. The hills were indeed short and punchy and quite frequent and you got to do them all twice. Bonus! This certainly made for a great workout though not a fast time. A sub 27 rather than sub 25 target this week.

There was a nice little wildlife park in the middle of the course. I wanted to go and chase the goats and sheep but unfortunately he had other ideas and I was on the lead so I had to keep on running. On the second lap the sheep started shouting at me which I thought was very baaaaaaad form.

No famous faces this week but we did see fellow tourist Shefali again. It was nice to speak to her and she takes a great photograph even if I’m biased because I’m in it.

There were also fewer dogs this week. I think I only counted three or four. In spite of the hills I was delighted to be the first four-legged runner this week. We came in with a respectable time of 26:49.

We were definitely amongst the best core teams and marshals that we’ve come across. They were all super friendly and I got a few nice comments as I ran round. There was even a doggy marshal. Not only did they have sweeties for the humans at the scanning area but they had dog treats. Amazing! The only other place I have seen that is Queen’s Park. And guess who went back for second helpings? Just call me Oliver Crumble.

It was a little bit mushy and muddy in places at the start/finish area so the jury was out for a while on whether they were going to bath me again today but the upside of a longer drive is that my paws had dried in by the time I got home so I’m off the hook.

I think that’s enough tourism for a little while now that the human has completed his quarter Cowell.

Stay tuned to see which of the Glasgow parkruns I hit over the next few weeks. Think Springburn and Drumchapel are due a visit. We’re also due a volunteer stint. Much as we love our tourism being out the house for three hours every single week for a half-hour run is a bit of a chore though I think maybe it’s the human just trying to avoid doing the gardening or housework at home. I know his game!

So another big paws up from me for Dean Castle Country Park parkun. Well worth a visit. You’ll love it.

Crumble out x

Ready for action
Hiding in the leaves exploring the gardens
The angel watching over the de Walden graves
Dean Castle – the only angle without scaffolding
Spaceman – part of the Iluminight experience
Pre-run briefing from the awesome RD Margo
We did it! (Thanks Shefali for the pic)
Those “short and punchy” hills
And chill 💤
Action shot – thanks RD Margo

University of Stirling – soggy bottom Crumble

What a big week in the non-canine world. The Bake Off Final, the Rugby World Cup final and even more politics…..

So I’m back parkrunning again this weekend just as he promised but before sharing my latest parkrun tails a little pupdate on my blog. I was delighted to see that my wee blog has now had over 1,000 hits (and over 500 individual visitors) so nice to know I’m not just talking to myself even if most of Jim’s human friends think we’re both barking mad. What do they know? Thanks for reading and for your nice comments.

Today was going to be my first day at University as we tackled University of Stirling parkun. Could I be the best in class?

It seems like university campuses have suddenly become popular parkrun locations, with Oriam (on Heriot-Watt campus) starting today too. Northern Ireland though leads the way.

This week’s Crumble factoid: on its opening in 1967 Stirling was the first new university to be established in Scotland for nearly 400 years.

Stirling is a city rich in history and we passed Bannockburn, the Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle on our way so from early on it felt like a special day. I wasn’t really paying attention but the human kept going on about having done two Stirling marathons and worrying that the climb into the campus might bring back flashbacks.

By complete coincidence we are once again following one week behind Douglas Mason’s parkrun tourism around Scotland. We had a wee look at his brilliant video again and that confirmed this week’s plans.

This was week 4 of this new parkrun. It seems to be off to a great start with between 200 and 300 each week. The human mentioned something about a parkrun p index but I’d already been to the loo so not sure why he thought that was even relevant.

I was delighted to be christening my new paw print parkrun dogs official bandana from Sally Ann Sews. Even if I say so myself I think it looks good on me. What do you think? It’s already in the washing machine!

We arrived super early today which meant an extra long warm up and explore around the grounds before the run. After almost 24 hours of rainfall it’s fair to say it was a bit wet and muddy in places. We decided on the run through rather than run round puddle technique though I maybe regretted that later.

It’s a great course, relatively flat, mainly trail, lochside and with some stunning scenery especially this time of year. Pretty much two laps of the Loch with a few glimpses of the Wallace Monument. I did try to shout FREEDOM but he kept me on the lead all the way round. A time around 25 minutes was a realistic target again for us but the puddles slowed me down a bit and I went on a go slow protest at a couple of them. We ended up around 25:30 which is respectable enough. That was a lot easier than Queen’s Park last week!

I counted 7 or 8 dogs today so maybe the most I’ve ever seen at parkrun. I think I managed to be come first or second though of course it’s a run not a race etc etc.

Last weekend I got to meet cockapoo Charlie. This week it was dad’s turn to be starstruck. If you don’t already know he’s a huge Deacon Blue fan so he was beside himself to discover that drummer and BBC Scotland presenter Dougie Vipond is a regular here. He was too cool/polite to ask for a picture so took a creepy secret selfie instead and implicated me in this heinous crime. Not sure what’s worse. Well I am actually. The latter by a long way. He’s so embarrassing.

There was no cafe trip this week as we were both a bit muddy but we stopped off for a bacon roll at Flanders Rest in Buchlyvie on the way home. Result!

So another great day out and another new parkrun ticked off. That’s my 12th different parkrun and the human’s 24th different parkrun so I’m well on the way to being an official parkrun tourist (I need to do over 20 different ones apparently) and he will bag his Quarter Cowell next week.

University of Stirling parkrun is a real cracker and another competitor for the most perfect parkrun setting in Scotland. They’ve got a fantastic and very welcoming and supportive bunch of volunteers too. We would thoroughly recommend a trip.

Bath time for me.

Crumble out!

Nice and clean beforehand with my new parkrun dogs bandana
Warming up in the shadows of the Wallace Monument
Always making new friends
Round the puddle or through the puddle?
Nice views
More nice views
Post run selfie with Doggie Vipond
Yummy bacon roll treat
I’m not dirty – I don’t need a bath
Has anyone got a number for the RSPCA?

Queen’s Glasgow – when Crumble met Charlie

Don’t worry I’ve not gone off the rails and started the drugs. This is a love story!

It’s great to be back parkrunning again after a few weeks off.

The human abandoned me two Saturdays in a row as he swanned off to Burgess parkrun in London two weeks ago (at least he didn’t do Barking parkrun or it would have been endless puns all week) and then the Amsterdam marathon last weekend (think he’s quite chuffed with himself as he wore the finishers T-shirt for the third time this morning – I just hope he washed it in between).

All is forgiven though as he promises he’s got a few parkruns lined up for me over the next few weeks.

So many new parkruns have popped up over the last few months so we had many to choose from. Dean Castle Country Park and University of Stirling look like great options and Oriam (at Heriot Watt University) starts next week. We did think about going to Mount Stuart in Bute but Stuart decided he didn’t like the sound of that so fair enough I suppose….

We decided it was time to venture over to the Deep South to try out Queen’s parkrun Glasgow in Queen’s Park. They must have known that labradoodle royalty was going to be visiting when they named this parkrun. It’s the second Queen’s parkrun in the UK, with Belfast’s equivalent now in its 8th year. A free Crumble factoid for you.

This was week two there and we had heard glowing reports about the inaugural event and enjoyed the brilliant video of the event by Douglas and the gang and read the rave Scottish Running Guide review. Yes of course dogs can read! We weren’t going to be put off by a few hills were we?

It was an easy decision really since we knew that Laura and the awesome Charlie were on duty today. I’ve been flirting with Charlie on the parkun dogs Facebook group for a few weeks now so it was time to go for our first date. Would they call it puppy love?

On arrival Charlie was there at the gates to welcome me and we got on like a house on fire. Charlie is a handsome young cockapoo and he was on marshalling duty today. We had a little play and carry on in the leaves. It was great fun.

I then went for the customary off-lead warm-up up to the flagpole, the park’s highest point. The views were amazing and it was a perfect morning.

We then headed back to the start area for the briefing. There were a lot of the human’s “running friends” there today including Barb, Murray, Craig, Jez, Keith, Michael, Stuart, another Stuart, Ewan and some of the Jog Scotland Milngavie gang.

Charlie and I said our hellos again at the start then I got my parkrun head on and focused on the job in hand. I knew it wasn’t going to be a fast one today between the hills and the human’s marathon legs but we decided to see how close to the magic 25 minute mark we could get knowing that 27 minutes was more realistic.

The course was a real workout and put us both through our paces. A different sort of hilly route compared to Drumchapel and Ruchill, there were plenty long steady climbs and some nice downhills with some awesome volunteers to keep us all going. A bit of a rollercoaster ride. Some of the views from the highest points were amazing. I made sure I was looking bashful and running effortlessly each time we passed Charlie’s marshalling point, fortunately he was stationed at the end of a long downhill. Result!

There were a handful of other dogs though I was a bit gutted that none of the corgis seemed to be allowed out to stroll in the Queen’s Park. Maybe they’re all up at Balmoral this week.

We had a wee bit of competition for first dog this week with a black lab leading the way for the first two of the three laps but we managed to overtake it towards the end and finish a comfortable 50m or so ahead. We just broke 27 minutes so happy enough with that.

They even had water and doggy biscuits at the finish area making this one of the most dog-friendly events ever so I was a very happy dog munching away at the end very contentedly… I’m pretty sure I heard Charlie say I’ll have what she’s having.

Once the standard puparazzi photo shoot was done it was time to head home and check our Strava stats. Is it just me being all vain or does the course map look like a sleeping dog’s head?

A big doggy high five from me to the core team. A challenging but absolutely cracking new parkrun. We’ll definitely be back. Thanks Charlie, Laura, Sarah-Jane and the rest of the gang.

Next week I think I’m off to University!

I’m now away to chill for the rest of the day. I’m definitely going to enjoy the extra hour in my bed tonight. Don’t forgot to change your clocks!

Hanging out with my new bestie Charlie
The pupparazzi shot – blanking the photographer
The stunning views towards the Campsies
The pre-run briefing
Play time
The finish area featuring doggy biscuits and water
Maybe not as obvious as the Ruchill whale but can anyone else see a dog?

Drumpellier Country – the Crum versus the Drum

This week it was another new to me parkrun. I got awfully excited when the human told me we were going to DC. I’m not going to lie that I was a tiny bit disappointed to find out he meant Drumpellier Country rather than the good old USA.

DC is certainly near the top of the charts for the most mispronounced parkrun name in Scotland as lots of folk say it as though it rhymes with Montpelier in some sort of attempt to bring some faux sophistication to that little corner of North Lanarkshire (see what I did there 🇫🇷).

Apparently parkrun was celebrating its 15th birthday today. Happy birthday parkrun. That’s between 76 and 83 in dog years (depending on what source you use and whether you reckon I’m a small or medium breed). I was gutted that there was no cake though. That’s the main reason I go to parkrun if I’m honest. There were plenty of balloons though, not least of whom I was running with again today.

It was great to see another really healthy turnout today. 202 humans and a fair bit of canine competition for me too. We did a nice wee pre-run wander checking out the swans and ducks (though he kept me on the lead for that part). How very responsible….and unfair. We also came across a pack of six little dogs out for a walk. None of them were getting to run. We had a good bum sniff of each other before I got my race face on. I’m such a tease.

After a fairly slow and crowded start we managed to get into a good steady rhythm as I tried to target my standard 25 minute parkrun.

About half way round I was third placed dog behind a whippet and a cockapoo. Going ok but we needed to step on a bit in the second half. I was certainly the underdog though. We picked off the cockapoo fairly easily but knew the whippet was going to be more of a challenge. These dogs are bred to race. Their name even comes from an old word meaning “to move briskly” (thanks Wikipedia). Can you guess what happened next?

Spoiler alert – I won!

So with about 600 metres to go we saw our chance. Just as we were passing the nursery area before heading back for the lochside finish we made our move. A cheeky little bit of acceleration as we moved into the short downhill. It worked. We whipped that whippet though to be fair I think its human was slowing it down a bit in the closing stages. That said I’m claiming the victory and it’s certainly one of my best yet. A huge big pawsitive.

As I said earlier I usually target 25 minutes (except at the hillier courses like Drumchapel and Ruchill) and today felt like it was more or less on the money. We were delighted to come in at exactly 24:59. Job done. And only 2 seconds slower than at Linwood a couple of weeks ago but I think that’s down to the busy start line today. Have I given enough excuses yet?

To celebrate our success Jim made me pose for another picture with the parkrun selfie frame. It’s really becoming quite tiresome.

So overall a pleasing day out for Crumble. No cake or cafe trip this week but I think I’ll survive.

Apparently the human is going to London next weekend so looks like no parkrun for me again (unless anyone wants to volunteer). No doubt he’ll still find time in his busy schedule to fit in his own run….

Crumble out!

Can’t believe he didn’t let me loose on the ducks and swans
So is this the Coat bridge that the sign mentioned?
Flirting with some locals
Starting this far back certainly cost us valuable seconds
Not again dad 🙄
And relax

Linwood no more (as our NENDY that is)

Well folks, given I’m blogging you can safely guess that the human kept up his promise and took me to Linwood parkrun this morning to tick that one off. So Linwood is officially his NENDY no more!

I’m Gonna Be the top dog parkrun blogger in the land. I think I’m On My Way to being King Of The Road. Linwood this week then maybe The Joyful Kilmarnock Blues (at Dean Castle Country Park parkun) next time. Enough Proclaimers puns or do you want another 500 miles of them? Then 500 more?

Thanks again for your kind words, chuckles, groans, eye rolls, head scratching and Insta follows over the last week. It’s been fun. I’ve got almost half as many Insta followers already as Jim has and he thinks he’s a serious influencer with his huge 114 followers…I’m a hot dog…I’m on a roll…well hopefully not now that I think of it.

Anyway Linwood it was. The first time for both of us. And we met Alison, Gavin and Kirsty with baby Eilidh in tow in the buggy. I think you already know my views on that! That’s the drug cheat equivalent of parkruns in my book. Quite an easy drive to get there through the Clyde Tunnel and not far past the airport. Much closer than I thought.

My relaxing drive was rudely interrupted when I saw a large sign for a place just beyond Linwood called Killbarking. Cheeky feckers. Quit talking yourselves with your loud human chat! Remind me never to go there. They sound an awfully dog-intolerant bunch.

Linwood definitely gets a huge big paws up from me. Pretty flat, mixed terrain, some nice trail paths, cool shaded woodland parts and some running on grass at the start. The perfect pick’n’mix parkrun and very dog friendly. There were even some off-lead dogs on the second lap to watch me. And what a glorious sunny morning too. Definitely a five star Crumble rating.

We managed to lap the tail walker again this week. I steered well clear though. If anyone tries to walk on my tail then they’ll quickly find out that this Crumble is ready to rumble!

I made it round as first dog in just under 25 minutes which must be close to a Crumble PB. Jim had an uncharacteristic rest day yesterday so he didn’t hold me back as much this week. Nice teamwork.

As a bonus on the way home we discovered there’s a Starbucks less than 10 minutes from the run. Cue a little bit of Jim’s cinnamon swirl. I’m just thinking of his waistline you know. I had to remind him though to pick the raisins out in case he poisoned me! I know his game. He’s jealous of my growing popularity.

Anyway another great day out. Looks like no parkrun for me next week. Man that’s ruff. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks. What’s next? The Crum versus the Drum? Maybe Girvan some time soon? I do love the seaside.

So that‘s Linwood done though I must admit I’m still no further forward on who this Lynne is and just what it is that she would do….or maybe wouldn’t do any more.

Crumble out!

Ps NENDY is nearest event not done yet for you slower ones at the back of the class

Always a keen bean – just about first one there
I love my off-lead warm-up
He’s such a poser!
Crumble fans assemble!
It’s all about the cake!

Ruchill – get that new T-shirt to Room 101

So it’s me again. Thanks for your comments on my first dog-blog. You’re way too kind. Let’s bring this story right up to date.

Check out the T-shirt 🙄
Action shot on lap 1
Posing with the Ruchill sign
Looking longingly at Barb’a dog treats
A well-earned post parkrun sofa chill

As some of you know I’ve been rather neglected over the last month or so as my human has been pursuing his 100th parkrun and 50th at Drumchapel (though he doesn’t like to talk about it very much). Whilst I got one token outing in August I was pretty much consigned to an unwelcome enforced “off season”. Back to business this week though to join Jim on his parkrun number 101.

From the minute the word parkrun was mentioned on Saturday morning (that’s two words in dog language no matter what you say to convince me otherwise but I’ll play along anyway) I was bounding around the house like well like an over-excited puppy ready to find out where we were headed.

I could tell by the amount of time we spent in the car that it wasn’t Drumchapel and soon enough we arrived at Ruchill which is probably my favourite parkrun and Glasgow’s most dog-friendly parkrun thanks to its wide paths and healthy but manageable numbers though Springburn runs it very close. I always have a whale of a time there and they have such a cool team. Jim has a bit of a reputation at Ruchill for turning up in fancy dress so it was a relief to see that today he just turned up as a slightly overweight over-enthusiastic middle-aged middle-of-the-road runner.

We said hello to Lynsey and the lovely volunteers from Siemens before doing the customary off-lead warm-up and toilet stop (for me not him). One of the spare poo bags blew away in the wind and it was hilarious seeing Jim chase after it all around the start area like some sort of uncoordinated unorthodox warm-up drill. No change there then from him trying to do Tommy’s drills at club.

He had his “special” 100 T-shirt on. I was clearly very impressed by his great achievement. Am I really supposed to be impressed at him running 5km on average once every 3 weeks over the course of the last 3 years? I do love that picture of his T-shirt from behind though. Shows his bald spot off just nicely.

It was one of my faster Ruchill runs in 26:28 though I think I had lost some sharpness after the enforced break. I managed to comfortably beat some of my regular rivals including Petra and Laura McA. For the first time ever I lapped another dog which was a pawesome feeling. I’ve now claimed it as my lap dog from now til the end of time!

At the finish line we met up with Barb who brought along some of my favourite snacks which I demolished before heading home to spend the rest of the day chilling on the sofa. All in all a great morning.

I hear the human is planning to do Linwood next week. That’s his parkrun NENDY apparently. They’ve got an acronym for everything. Let’s see if I get to join him. Stay tuned.