Furnace Inn Fun Run

What a wonderful way to spend the day after Christmas – The Furnace Inn Fun Run.

So its 1 degree as we make our way down to Darley Abbey Park, the Furnace Inn to be precise, a welcoming pub located on the edge of the park. The start time is 11am, enter on day. The route is approximately 3 miles around the Darley Park area taking in some of the Parkrun but flat and just a mere one lap.

Everyday is a new chance to run

I hand over £2 plus a load of change and take my number, as does best friends’ other half; Paul, looking rather lean and ready to run despite the many mince pies he has probably scoffed over the past few days.

The race was busy, organised by Shelton Striders, popular with local club runners, and fancy dress runners. A real mixture. Lots of Santa hats made the mix.

After a round of an applause or two or three for the fundraisers we soon heard the horn and were hurtled down the pathway and under a little bridge.

I was pacing Paul round the course having run 25 miles the previous day (for the 25th December), so legs were feeling a little tired.

Congestion at the start soon dispersed as we hit the wide open parkway, the mud and the puddles. A little on grass soon made way for nice trail pathway.

There is always a reason to run

Paul was looking good as I kept glancing over my shoulder to make sure he was still OK. 1 mile in and still looking strong dressed in his (Becky’s) Bolsover long sleeved top. He seemed un-out-of breath as we made our way around the cricket field and onto the pretty weir.

This was a flat route, winding its way back into the park after a minimum of tarmac. Friendly marshals pointed us in the right direction. It beat beating down the Boxing Day sales any day.

Run now mince pies later

I was still glove wearing as temperatures didn’t hit any higher than a few degrees, long sleeved fleasy yellow club top and long bottoms a must to keep me warm.

Paul was strong up the little slopes and across the bridge. Back on familiar ground we made our way around the ‘loop’ to circle back to the pub with ample waves from the family.

We were passing people, I was a little in-front of Paul most of the time yet he seemed not phased by it all one bit, very relaxed not a care in the world. This was running at its best.

Back on muddy land we waded through the churned up mud to hit the pathway once again. The pub was back in sight as Paul put in a big sprint to the finish and gave me a run for my trainers.

A great £2 spent for a little bimble around Darley Abbey. Perfect, now where’s my mince pie?

We will, we can, end of story

We came in at 22.30 for 3.12 miles, very happy with that, a potential PB for Paul and a really good ‘fast’ run for me.

A beautiful way to spend Boxing Day, and why not?


Position: 70th out of about 200

Time: 22.31 for 3 miles

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