Council chairman left red-faced after taking part in Market Harborough's parkrun

Participants of the Park Run with Cllr Barbara Johnson centre. PHOTO BY ANDREW CARPENTER
Participants of the Park Run with Cllr Barbara Johnson centre. PHOTO BY ANDREW CARPENTER

The thrilled chairman of Harborough District Council thought she’d smashed it when she sped round the town’s parkrun for charity in 30 minutes on Saturday (September 14).

But Cllr Barbara Johnson, who was already red in the face, was left speechless when her husband David told her at the finish line: “I don’t think you’ve done the full course!”

Chairman Barbara Johnson during the Park Run. PICTURE: ANDREW CATPENTER

Chairman Barbara Johnson during the Park Run. PICTURE: ANDREW CATPENTER

And the well-respected council figurehead admitted that it’s the second time she’s unwittingly failed to complete the three-lap event.

Now brave Barbara is set to launch an action replay and tackle the popular 5k race again a week on Saturday, September 28, after raising more than £700 for the Spectrum charity already.

Cllr Johnson told the Harborough Mail: “I was gutted when my husband told me I hadn’t completed the full course – I couldn’t believe it!

“I took a wrong turn at the end of the second lap.

“I ran a bit of the third lap before totally mistakenly heading for the finish.

“No wonder they say blood goes to your muscles and not your brain while you’re running.”

The big-hearted grandmother-of-six, who was wearing her chain of office, added: “I did it in about 30 minutes and thought that’s not too bad for an old ‘un.

“But I was mortified and it was just awful when I realised I hadn’t run the full 5k. “I felt like going straight to the nearest confessional box!

“The funny thing is that I’ve made the same mistake on a previous run there a long while ago.

“I just want everyone to know that I will be doing the parkrun again a week on Saturday and I’ll run every yard so please get behind me every step of the way.”

Cllr Johnson praised the Spectrum organisation, her charity of the year, which supports adults and children with autism.

“It’s a fantastic local group which works so hard to support those with autism or on the autism spectrum,” she said.