My friend in the UK told me about the ParkRun‘s and that they had now started in Australia.
According to its website Parkrun started in 2004 in Bushy Park, Teddington, UK (love that place – I used to run there myself) and it was a 5k timed event and the only one of its kind on a free and weekly basis.
It’s a great concept where runners sign up once on the website and can then run at any event in their country and they are free. Results are posted, prizes are given out and weekly newsletters are sent out. Brilliant idea.
If you are a runner reading this, I don’t know about you but races entries can seriously add up over time, so I liked the idea of running this as it was free.
So I entered yesterday and got my own bar code that I printed off and took with me and this morning I went along to New Farm Park in Brisbane ready to race at 7am.
I was amazed at how many people were there (a hundred or so) and they all looked very fit so I was a bit daunted but my wonderful friend Nadia who I had brought along assured me it would be ok.
The race was very well organised and someone gave us (the newbies) a talk before the event just to run through runners etiquette which I liked as it reminded me of when I ran in the UK, some of the races and some of the runners I have come across here in Brisbane haven’t always been that hospitable so this was a good start.
The problem for me was it was 7am and already hot. Only having been back from the UK a week I had a feeling I might suffer.
So we started the race. My Garmin as predicted played up on me but I managed to get the timer working and I was off. Nadia shot off into the distance but I got my head down and started pounding the pavement. The route was along the river in New Farm, nice on the way up but hell on the way back as there was no shade and the sun was hotter.
So I settled into the race, my music playing and pushing as much as I could. I felt pretty good and do you know something, those really fit looking people that made me doubt my confidence, I was surprised but I was able to pass a lot of them.
On the way back to the finish I started to struggle as the heat was almost unbearable for me but I kept pushing as much as I could and managed a consistent 5.00-5.17 min per km pace which for me not having trained much in the last 4/5 weeks and in the heat was not bad. Today’s race was not about timing for me but for confidence and a benchmark to improve on so I was happy.
After I crossed the finish line I queued up to hand in my barcode and token to have my time recorded, grabbed some water and a piece of water melon and Nadia and I went for a well earned coffee.
I’ll definitely do the ParkRun again but perhaps once it gets a bit cooler.