I was feeling lazy today, so I opted for the brand new and relatively local parkrun at Riddlesdown near Croydon.
With 154 runners at its debut run, I have a feeling that this parkrun is going to be a stunner. And deservedly so. The two lap course is essentially flat (which came as a pleasant surprise after the steep hill I drove up to reach it), and the park itself is vast. We were warned to stay out of the long grass (skylark nesting territory apparently) so for parts of the course overtaking opportunities were limited, but a little patience and a few excuse me’s took care of that.
As luck would have it, I ended up running most of the parkrun with Paul, an experienced (and usually extremely speedy) runner nursing an achilles injury whose idea of a gentle stroll paced me to my second best 5km time of 29.27. As an added bonus, I got to pick his brains about interval training, race pacing and various other running related matters.
Paul is one of 20 runners from the Stragglers running club who are taking part in a 24 hour baton relay from Lands End to John O’Groats to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, YMCA London South West and the National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy. Good luck, one and all.