Day 8…

…my inner competitor made a bid for freedom.

About 30secs after posting yesterday’s blog about doing a short recovery run today, I remembered that I’d been meaning to check out parkruns.  I found out about them from Steve and Katy Run, who found out about them from There’s a six pack under here.  I registered yesterday afternoon and, barcode in hand, headed off bright and early to my local run.

As it was my first run, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.  What did we have to do with the barcodes?  What was the route?  How many people would turn up?  Would I be the slowest one there?  Loitering with intent, I overheard two women talking.  One was obviously a first-timer like me.  I knew this because she was asking What did we have to do with the barcodes?  What was the route?  How many people would turn up? Would she be the slowest one there?  Inserting myself sneakily into the conversation, I gleaned the answers.  Save the barcodes until the end of the race.  Follow the pack round the clearly marked paths.  Many. No.  Reassured, I chatted until the start and set off.

Isn’t it amazing how races, however informal, bring out the competitor in me?  To begin with, I was competing against myself.  Could I run the whole 5km?  Answer, yes.  But then, 20m from the end, someone overtook me and I sprinted for the line.  Me.  Sprinting.  It’s not an edifying sight.  I didn’t win the sprint finish for the hotly contested 198th position, but trust me, I tried.

So.  5km in 35mins and 47 seconds.  199th out of 203 runners (or 58th out of 61 women).  Not a glorious start, but I did get round without stopping or walking.

Charlotte, the first-timer I was chatting to at the beginning, came 175th in 31:42.  Sandhya, our guru, came 185th in 32.45.  My thanks to both for their friendliness.

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About abradypus

A Bradypus or Sloth am I, I live a life of ease, contented not to do or die but idle as I please; ... [Michael Flanders and Donald Swann]
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18 Responses to Day 8…

  1. shazruns says:

    Must check out Park runs, I only do a slow slow pace but if I see a runner in the distance I will try for a bit to catch them up usually a pointless task! Well done for your run today

  2. stephenamp says:

    Really glad you had what sounds like an excellent experience. We’re probably going to try it next week too so it’s good to know little details about the barcodes and things too. And maybe it’s that sprint that kept you inside the first 200??! Great effort!

  3. jensruns2011 says:

    Well done today! 🙂 Planning on checking out the parkrun by me as I have a friend who always goes and says they’re great fun. Good luck with the rest of Janathon!

  4. Funnily enough, I have been checking out Parkruns too….I’m just trying to muster up the courage to enter myself. I KNOW I’ll be the slowest one there, but someone has to come last eh? Thanks for the heads up on the bar codes…it’s good to know what happens in advance…..and a massive well done to you xx

    • abradypus says:

      Thank you. I was beaten by the couple with the baby-buggy! lol. Basically, you turn up, run and as you cross the finishing line you are given a tag with your position. You then take it to the scanning person and they scan your tag and your bar-code. And then, as if by magic, your results appear on the web later. At least, that’s what happened at my local parkrun. I imagine they’re mostly the same.

  5. Well done. I have done the Cambridge parkrun 17 times now – it is a great way of seeing if you are improving and there is often someone running at a similar pace as me who I can run with.

  6. Brilliant! I am busy telling people about them, but have never run one myself, partly because I worry I will take 40 mins and look foolish. I must get out there and do one!

  7. fortnightflo says:

    Yay – go you!!!! Am going to follow your example and do the Milton Keynes one next week. That was a really good time for an outdoor 5k race…the competitor in me is already thinking whay do I need to do between now and Saturday to beat it….
    PS – Do you knit thiings to order…I love the fact you knitted your cat and wondered if you would do mine???

    • abradypus says:

      Do a gentle run on Friday would be my advice! Re the cat, I’m happy to give it a go. Does your cat have distinctive markings? Post a piccy on your blog and I’ll do a test.

  8. sooozie says:

    Well done for doing your first parkrun! If you do it another 49 times you get a t-shirt.
    I have done the Cambridge parkrun a few times and really like it as the volunteers clap and cheer everyone on and they don’t seem to mind how long it takes me to finish. Same again for next Saturday?

    • abradypus says:

      I’d seen that 50 gets a T-Shirt…and am wondering whether my next mad idea will be to have one by the end of Janathon 2012! Which means I’m definitely considering going again next Saturday.

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  13. abradypus says:

    Reblogged this on abradypus and commented:

    To celebrate their 10th and my 6th anniversaries, I went back to my roots this morning for a muddy lollop around Wimbledon Common parkrun.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you to Cathy White for organising Janathon, without which I might never have heard of parkrun and certainly wouldn’t have laid the groundwork of my parkrun habit.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Susan Jones for telling me that there was a parkrun near me (and for taking one of my all-time favourite race photos, though that’s another story). Thank you, thank you, thank you Sandhya Drew for taking the fear out of that first parkrun (and for dragging me to Malahide and more recently for brandishing your cattle prod to make me knuckle down and look for a job).

    And thank you, thank you, thank you to all the Wimbledon Common parkrunners who welcome me each and every time I pay a visit home.

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