I heard about Park Run earlier this year, and although i’m not really a 5k runner, preferring longer distances and a more off road style of running, i thought i’d give it ago. If nothing else it would be a good way to work on my speed and to bench mark where i was at at the start of my season’s training.
That first run was in April, it was now mid november and i was back from my Himalayan Adventure and feeling fitter than ever been, so it was time to give it another go and see how i faired.
It was a dull and drizzly day as i drove to the town moor, the rain starting to easing off only as i parked up and walked to the start, but several people dressed in running kit joining the path just in front of me as i walked, so i guessed the rain hadn’t but everyone off and i wouldn’t be running alone. When i got to the start there wasn’t any sort of croud at all, and i wondered if i’d got the time right, but then i spot a larger group at the finish, i wandered over, and spotted a few familiar faces from last time and a few faces i recognized from the fetch everyone running site. Apparently most people now gather at the finish before the race to leave their jackets, bags etc, walking across to the start just before the run is due to begin.
The run was typically well organised, with plenty of marshals, the same barcoded system of recording the results and it started bank on time again. I should also really thank the marshals here – in my opinion they deserve the highest praise, volunteering to give up their saturday morning lie ins to get up early and go out into the cold and wet for our enjoyment.
The shouted go, bang on 9am and i was off, to my surprise i found myself towards the front of the field within 20-30 metres of the leaders, even at the 1km and 2km marks i wasn’t far behind and still in the top 25 or so. Surely i couldn’t keep this pace up for long. But with my ipod on and a good selection to running tunes in the mix, i managed to stay focussed. I kept expecting that the runners behind me more accustomed to 5k’s would soon turn up the speed and start over taking, but it didn’t happen. I stayed in pretty much the same position through. I was just pipped to the post by one runner putting on a last minute spurt that went unnoticed until too late, but that was it.
I came over the line in 20:58 about 57 seconds faster than April’s time, a new PB and taking my mile times to under 7 minute miles for the first time since leaving school.