I left the house at 5am to catch the 0603 train from Walsall, and all went well, until we pulled into New Street when all of a sudden a feeling of dread washed over me as I realised I had let my barcode at home. I’m sure there was once a newsagents somewhere outside New Street Station that offered a printing and faxing service but I could not find it, nor was there any photo printing machines anywhere to be found.
I had twenty minutes to wait for my next train, and to decided what to do. I figured my options were:
- Go home, get my barcode and do a more local event
- Continue my journey hoping to find a printer en-route
- Pay a visit to a friend in Derby, use their printer and do their local parkrun.
I decided on option 2, I would continue my journey, and if I was unable to print a barcode I would just have to spectate or maybe offer to volunteer. On the 0646 to Nottingham I took the time to search through my bag, in the hope I might have a spare barcode stashed away somewhere. I did however find some paper and a pen, and so embarked of a devilish plot to trace my barcode from my phone screen, a task I failed at quite spectacularly.
I reached out to the parkrun community on facebook, who mostly (and quite rightly) took the piss out of me. There were a few suggestions for exceptions from the ‘no barcode, no time’ rule but not being Vassos Alexander I was not going to break that rule. One kind soul offered to print a barcode for me, if I could get them a copy within 15 minutes, a seemingly simple task that facebook prevented my completing.
While the train made progress I did some research into were I might find a printer. There is a Morrisons in Clifton, a 16 minute walk from the parkrun according to google maps, that advertised having a photobooth. I knew my local Morrisons had a photo printer attached to the photobooth, so for now all I could do is hope that this one had one too.
I arrived in Nottingham, and not finding any photo printers at the station headed up to the tram stop. At the tram stop a Polish parkrun tourist asked if I was going to parkrun, and if I would mind showing him the way. This proved to be quite the dilemma, for I was not going the correct way to the parkrun, if I led him to the parkrun there was no chance I could run, and yet if I abandoned him there was no guarantee I could run and he might not make it either. Ultimatly me selfishness won, although I did tell him the correct tram stop and direction from there while I stayed on the tram for another two stops.
I jogged from the tram, across a road, down a gully, across another road, up a twisty ramp and into the shop, I found the photo booth with a photoprinter attached. I used bluetooth to send a screeshot of my barcodes to the printer, and paid 50p for a nice 6x4 print. I then jogged back down the twisty ramp, across the road, down the gully, across another road, into a park, across another road … about 10 minutes later I was at the startline for Clifton parkrun #84, where I saw that the Polish tourist had made it despite my directions.
Running here for second time reduced my POOR rating from over 67% to just 66.04%.