There was no parkrun in my training plan this week. Normally, I would query such an omission, but as I was due to spend Saturday night running muddy laps around a marsh, I decided to take the hint and volunteer instead.
Four tweets later, and I was on the roster at Hilly Fields parkrun, with ‘athoner Adele (@AdelePrince).
After an extremely windy spot of marshalling at the top of the hill which gives the parkrun its name, it was back to the café for coffee and a chat, and an unexpected tweetup with Em (@slowishrunner) who is another of the Hilly Fields core volunteer team. After which it was time to head home to pack my bag for my second ultra-distance run in two weeks: the Moonlight Challenge.
The Moonlight Challenge is the shortest of the three challenges organised by Challenge Hub, the other two being a 24 hour challenge in May and a 50 mile challenge in July. All three take place at the same venue, Marshside Fishery, Back of Beyond, Nr Canterbury and consist of a number of flat, 6.55mile laps along a mixture of road, concrete farm paths, grassy farm paths and ploughed field. Or rather, given the recent rain, road, concrete farm paths, grassy goo and slip-slidy mud.
The event is extremely low key. Being a challenge not a race, entrants are free to choose the number of laps that they complete, so if you’re looking for a marathon-length recovery run*, or a fun way to get a little bit of night-running experience, this is pretty much perfect.
How did my challenge go? I couldn’t face food after about lap 3, and by laps 4 and 5 my basic plod had drifted to nearer 13 min miles than 12 min miles. On the other hand I did (barring the unrunnable goo sections) run the whole thing, I didn’t have any trouble starting lap number 5 and I fell ever-so-slightly in love with my new Petzl head torch. So on balance, I’m pretty chuffed.
Especially given that a diary SNAFU meant that I’d forgotten that I’d even entered the event until 10 days ago.
*I kid you not. Someone said this. Mind you, having completed Enigma‘s Quadzilla (four marathons in four days) last week, he’s entitled.