Two of my local parkruns set up the ‘double’ for New Years Day and having never done it before I thought I’d tick it off the list this year. It was also an ideal chance to get some good miles in.
We were due family over for lunch so I pretty much left my wife with all the food prep to sort while I went running but to be honest, she’d argue I wouldn’t have helped much had I been here anyway. I’d have probably just got in the way. “I’ll fling the hoover round when I get in” I said. There, a guilt-free run 🙂
Stewart’s Parkrun kicked off at 9am and Albert at 10.30.
There was a few of us from the club planning to do the double so 5 of us met at Albert Park at 8.30am. The plan was to Run the 2 miles to Stewarts Park, run the parkrun, take the longer “Boro 10k” route back to Albert Park. Run the parkrun. I reckoned on about 12 miles in total. That wouldn’t be a bad start to the year. Then home for a massive lunch 🙂
Stewarts parkrun was chocca – by all accounts they beat their attendance record by a massive 154 people! Usually I’m on the front row but myself, Catherine and Paul started way back .. only just ahead of those running with their dogs. Our only plan was to take the parkruns easy. I was here for the miles – not the times. Still, starting this far back turns out to be a bit of a nightmare when you get underway. It was so busy we ended up walking the first few hundred yards and even when you got moving a bit quicker it was just impossible to get past people. We spent most of the parkrun just picking people off and it was only when we were halfway around the second lap and we were still picking off much slower people that we realised exactly how far back we had started. 24:21 was my time for Stewarts. 143rd position. 577 runners!
One down, one to go. Just the small matter of knocking off the 4 mile section (which turned out to be 5.5 miles) in between the parks. I found this quite tiring. Since I finished the marathon in October I have eased backed on my running by far more than I’d have liked to so I knew this distance was going to be a good test for me.
As it happens, we took it easy running at around 8:00/mi pace but it seemed to take forever to get back to Albert park. We made it by 10:25 so thankfully we had a five minute rest before we got going.
There was no way I was running this at any planned pace … I’d covered 11 miles by this point and I could feel them all. Still, I knew I could knock another parkrun off so we got lined up a little closer to the start line this time and soon got underway.
It’s easier to pass people at Albert due to the wider paths so I got into a reasonably comfortable pace and counted the 2 laps down.
As it happens, I ended up running this a little quicker @ 23:50 but Albert is a quicker course than Stewarts. 140th position. 590 runners!