It was a running/fun-filled Saturday morning. Out we all rushed to get to Hilly Fields on time for our Parkrun, Edward running, me on the barcode scanner and Hector doing a bit of everything in between. We continue to have more and more runners turning up every week, a combination of warmer weather, word-of-mouth and bikini diets(?). Amazingly, since we started the Hilly Fields Parkrun back in September, I have never taken on the role of barcode scanner. I can’t say it’s my favourite (this being Run Director, of course), too much concentration needed and, as the numbers increase, a line of tired runners wanting to get home/get to the cafe/flop on the ground – you do get to congratulate people on their achievement though. Edward ran, though didn’t feel great ahead of the run, but still managed to run within about ten seconds of his PB. Once we’d scanned in the last few runners, we ran down the hill to catch a bus over to Peckham Rye, where I was to run the Peckham 10k.
We were very early, underestimating the distance, so found ourselves sitting in the cafe (to keep warm, it had suddenly turned cold again!) chatting to two runners who had just run Hilly Fields and then to another regular HF runner, Parkrun is a very socially-enhancing event you know! I ran this race two years ago and, though I found it a bit disorganised and was upset to find they had run out of water at the end, I still came back for more, well it’s local, small and cheap! So off we headed to the start line.
It was a bit unclear as to where the actual start line was, I wasn’t entirely sure when to start my Garmin and couldn’t hear anything the race organiser was saying (a mega-fone might help in this situation). So we suddenly seemed to be running in a random direction (back to where we came from as it turned out).
I was now reminded of how chaotic this race is, as we ran through the Saturday morning footballers (who gave the best cheers!) and along narrow and uneven paths, to squeeze through a narrow gate at the top corner of the park. I do think the park is big enough and varied enough to avoid sending a group of runners through a gateway, along pavements and across the path of cars, it’s amazing we got to the finish line unscathed! While I narrowly avoided road traffic accidents, Edward and Hector enjoyed exploring the safer parts of the park and stumbled across this chap:
When I finished, Hector ran up to me to tell me he had seen a turtle ‘this big’! I think it was probably someone’s tiny pet terrapin until they realised how big they grow, he also had a similar size friend who was teasing the ducks by sticking his nose out of the water.
I found the 10k distance a bit challenging as I hadn’t really trained towards it properly, so didn’t manage a PB – I looked down at my Garmin when it said ’9k’, looked up at the loop of park still to go and knew a PB was out of my grasp this time. Oh well. I did, however, find it in me to sprint to the finish, especially when I saw the boys cheering me on, it really helps to see friendly faces as you go.
It is a lovely park, and I enjoyed meeting the ‘turtle’ after the race and also a restorative breakfast in the cafe afterwards, but there are quite a few flaws in the organisation that might put me off running it again. Here are my own stats, as I can’t yet see the results on the race website.
Distance: 6.17 miles
Time: 56 minutes 21 seconds
Average Pace: 9.08
Best Pace: 5.52
I am a little back to front with my blog-writing at the moment, I will try and write about the London Marathon later this week.