Animal Farm parkrun and other stories

Training Diary 2 Comments

This morning I got embroiled in Pigeongate. Who would have thought a pleasant sail on the CityCat and a gentle parkrun (aka walk) at New Farm would end up involving emergency calls to the RSPCA about a rabid pigeon. Well, maybe not rabid. But it was frothing at the mouth.

I suppose I should have realised it would be “one of those days”. It started with a cat fight waking the family. Oscar was involved, but we’re not quite sure how. He was safely indoors, but when Herbert ran down to investigate, he found the tiny lion growling and hissing furiously at something he could see through the window. Most possibly himself…

The plan for today was parkrun with tri friends, followed by a solo swim.

I won’t name names of my accomplices, in an attempt to protect the innocent. Not everyone wants to be dragged into Pigeongate, after all, but let’s just say that it was the three tribaby musketeers. You might expect that we’d be legging it energetically round the northern shore of Brisbane, but today was not that day.

One of us is injured, one of us is ill and one of us is afflicted by a general malaise. I can’t figure out whether it’s reaction to the rather sudden and dramatic increase in exertion due to regular early morning appearances at Cowch training, coming down with something, or time of the month. Or all three.

Anyway, this week, I’ve skipped a run session, had a melt down (luckily witnessed by a limited audience, but one to whom I feel I will be apologising FOREVER) and replaced parkrun with a walk. Swimming is the next activity to go down the drain today – I think that’s almost a pun – so I probably deserve a high five.

But I digress. Back to Pigeongate.

To be honest, my part in it was largely standing about gawping, whilst other tribaby musketeers were helpful and practical.

This is how I think events unfolded.

A kind-hearted northside resident had been trying to walk her adorable little French bulldog when she came across an injured pigeon. She was one of life’s good souls, who couldn’t ignore an injured creature and had picked it up to try and find it some assistance. At which point it started frothing at the mouth. Which some might call bad manners. But I don’t think you should judge.

Three chatterboxes trooped past and erm, I don’t know exactly how or why, because I wasn’t really paying attention – my jaw might have been in full wag at the time – but we stopped, and some of our number offered assistance. (Well done that musketeer).

The RSPCA was googled and phoned for advice. Instructions were issued to place the poorly pigeon in a box and take it to the nearest vet. And the kindly resident (not looking the most enamoured that she was now cast in the starring role of Pigeon Rescue: the serial) was left holding the bird. Because we marched on, now joined by the Back Marker volunteer from parkrun, and left her to it.

Oh, and that was pretty much it. It possibly won’t make it onto mainstream TV any time soon. The storyline may be a little lacking.

So, we continued to the end of the course, passing other South Bank teammies who were actually running (good job guys).

Having delayed parkrun by about 20 minutes with our solicitations, I have the honour of being the last participant to finish today in a new personal record of 1 hour and 5 seconds. (South Bank Tri Club have the accolade of having the first and last identified finishers at the New Farm parkrun today!) I just think it’s a shame it wasn’t my first ever parkrun. Imagine the improvements I could record!! 😉

Anyhow, as a reward for our heroics … or to replenish and nourish ourselves after the morning’s exertions … OK, to do what we’d really come over the water for … we had a celebratory breakfast at Cafe 63. YUM. I highly recommend. Good coffee, good food and great company. Top morning.

parkrun rewards

I now need to go and hide under something suitable for hiding under.


Because there is a club ride up Mount Coot-tha tomorrow, which I have nominated myself to join. Buoyed up on a sense of achievement after an enjoyable and (slightly) faster mini River Loop ride on Friday, and I suspect, high on endorphins – so in no fit state to make reasoned decisions – it all seemed like a great idea.

Since then I’ve checked out the route and reminded myself how steep it was from a previous visit I made on foot. Now, I am just DAUNTED! Largely because I am worried about holding up all the more experienced riders.

And it’s one thing running up a huge hill. You can just stop and walk and stop and suck air. Bikes have a tendency to topple over if you just stop… (There will be no cleats, at least). And I’m taking advice and swapping back to the mountain bike. Because MOUNTAIN riding.

So, if you don’t hear from me after today, don’t worry. I will probably just be having a nap. For several weeks.

And good luck pigeon. We all hope you pull through.

Have you had any wildlife crises to deal with?

Any tips for beginners riding big hills?

P.S. I have renamed New Farm parkrun. It’s now Animal Farm parkrun. #FACT

P.P.S.I didn’t take pictures this morning – I’m not an ambulance chasing photographer! Too rude! But I tried to google a picture of a “pigeon frothing at the mouth”. Surprisingly, it seems to be the search term conduit to zombies, vampires, Hannibal Lecter and occasionally a picture of a pigeon. This was probably my favourite from amongst the oddities:

parkrun oddities

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