No longer ‘just’ sixteen as Paul Di’Anno once sang – I am however, a new participant of parkrun. A completely free, well organised and countrywide scheme of 5k timed runs. Saturday saw myself and a couple of mates, along with almost 400 others, circling Hove Park in Brighton at a lung bursting and leisurely pace with barcode in hand. Almost all of my running has been solo, I’m not even one for music in my ears and yet I found myself jostling for position as young kids and mothers, personal trainers and clients all chased personal bests. I had a blast!
Actually, my lungs did… and my knees. Running on pavement is something I don’t do, it’s not as big and clever as I once thought at ‘just’ 16 and Arthur Itis, the resident lodger in my bones was having a bit of a grumble on Monday. I missed my target time of 25 minutes by a full 15 seconds as I found pacing myself with others around difficult to say the least. Not starting my stopwatch was daft but understandable, I was feeling quite daunted and nervous as the run was about to start but soon enough, the butterflies dissipated into the fresh morning air and fear was replaced by focus.
Tim sprinted off as the run began and by the end of the first lap he was way ahead of his needed pace for a new personal best, striding purposefully in 4th place somewhere in the distance ahead. BOOM! His turn of phrase not mine but he nailed his PB by a minute and a half, his brother Lance also lowered his, so it was smiles all round.
http://www.parkrun.com/ Check it out, it’s not often these days that you can point to a sociable event that’s genuinely free.