Monday, 23 May 2011

Parkrun & Grim

I’ve not parkrunned for a while. Mostly this is because I’ve had other places to be on a Saturday morning but one occasion was due to the fact that Frimley parkrun got cancelled for a week. I’m still not sure exactly what’s been going on but Steve seems to have been asked to step down and it’s now being run by someone else. I was really upset and I’ve yet to go back there, even though I’m sure it’ll be just as friendly.

I have reached 22 parkruns now though which means I may just make the 50 by the end of the year. I signed OH up to parkrun and we both tried Basingstoke on Saturday for the first time. OH achieved what I have yet to which is 5km in under 25 minutes. On his first parkrun. Hatehatehate. I had a bad run and was convinced that I came in around 35 minutes. I was therefore disproportionally happy to discover my time was only 31 minutes. Still not good but better than expected. The course is 2.5 laps of rather undulating parkland. It's a pleasant enough course but not being familiar with it, it felt very long and I'm not good with hills (yet). So all in all I was in a fairly black mood afterwards which probably spoilt OH's morning a bit, sorry sweetie, I'll try not to take it to heart so much in future.

The last time I ran before that, and I use this word in the loosest sense, was at Beast in the East the weekend before. I was woefully underprepared having done precisely no hill training but my confidence was buoyed by my cheerleaders. I was in no way aiming for a time, just to get round. I fully expected it to take an hour and a half and surprised myself by crossing the line in 1:19. This was put into perspective by the winning time of 37 minutes, faster than the winner of the Frimley Park 10k! The course was brutal, 1.8km of motocross track start and end with gradients so steep I had to scramble up and slide down. My favourite part was the forest trail, a single track that was very peaceful, accessed after the cargo net which provided little challenge given that the marshalls were holding it up for us!

I did trip and fall on the single track resulting in grazes and vibrant bruises (photo to follow). My knees ached so much afterwards that I didn’t run all week afterwards.

I think this was one of my favourite races. The organisation was great and the sense of camaraderie was wonderful; lots of encouraging words and helping hands meant very few people didn’t cross the line. Every single marshall had a smile, a clap or an encouraging word. The announcer name checked almost every single participant and the motocross course was designed such that spectators (of which there were far fewer than at other races I’ve done, save the Forest 5) could follow the runners almost all the way round. There’s a lot of footage of me tramping round so I’ll try and put some up later.

The t-shirt was pretty cool and the goody bag as good as any I’ve had anywhere else. I didn’t expect it to wipe me out as much as it did and the afternoon was pretty much spent sleeping. I’m almost certainly going to sign up again next year although I don’t think I could hack the Winter version. This is mainly due to having chatted with a girl on the Monday who did do it… I’m going to try very hard not to let my competitive side get the better of me.

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