Brockwell Parkrun – 06/09/2014

Parkrun has turned into a staple Saturday morning activity for me over the past few months. I think it’s a quite brilliant concept, and there’s a high chance if you know me, I’ll have probably bored you to death raving about how good it is. For anyone that doesn’t know what it is, I’ve included the following bit of info;

Parkrun is the name given to a collection of 5km running events that take place every saturday morning in several countries around the world, but mostly here in the UK. The beauty of these runs is that are absolutely free to enter, all you have to do is turn up with a pair of running shoes and a pre-registered barcode and away you go. It’s great for encouraging all sorts of people to get involved in free, regular exercise and the atmosphere at these events is always cracking – friendly faces all around. The first ever Parkrun was held in Bushy Park in October 2004. Bushy is kind of like mecca to parkrunners all over the UK. I haven’t made it there yet, but I absolutely will do so in the not too distance future.

So as mentioned above Saturday morning usually involves a relatively early rise and a mile and a half jog over to my nearest Parkrun at Brockwell Park, just outside Brixton. I’ve ran around Brockwell 15 times now, with Saturday to be my 16th jaunt around the perimeter.

I still haven’t quite mastered the pre-race jitters that seem to come before any event I partake in that is going to involve me hurting myself in some way. No matter the scale of the event, I always feel slightly sick before I get going. I’m hoping this will pass in time as I experience more and more race situations.

I also don’t have the ability to not be competitive. I always turn up saying to myself ‘I’m not going flat out today, I’m going to enjoy it and take in my surroundings’, before promptly setting off like a mad-man down the opening 400m straight. The problem is, that with a large number of people taking part at Brockwell (usually around 200), I nearly always end up with someone in my near vicinity about half way through the race, and I just have to beat them. Or at least try to.

This Saturday was no exception. I knew I had 5-a-side football a few hours later, so I didn’t want to be completely cooked before I’d even started. However, with about 2km to go, some blonde chap who didn’t look much like a runner glided past me. It’s like I’m suddenly possessed. I immediately pick up speed and latch on to his feet, and before you know it a pedestrian Saturday morning run has turned into a 2km sprint session. Coming round the final corner I had enough in the tank to kick past him and finish in a fairly respectable 19:16, good enough for  18th place on the day.

After a leisurely cool down run, I headed to football in the afternoon. I also had our first pre-season friendly of the 11-a-side season on the sunday morning, so all in all, a great run out this weekend. However, the real highlight of the weekend was definitely Katie breaking the 50 minute barrier over 10km for the first time, with a 49:26 in the Regent’s park race! Really, really happy for her.

It’s Challenge Weymouth Ironman next weekend and I’ll be running the marathon leg as part of a team we’ve put together. Should be a great test, and I’ll definitely have a crack at my current PB of 3.29.


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