I was initially a little sad to be missing my beloved Hilly Fields Parkrun this morning and then I thought about all those Parkrun tourists who leg it up and down the country (and around the world) in search of new courses. I got online and located the nearest Parkrun to Platt Fields, the South Manchester Parkrun. I was lucky enough to be driven and accompanied by Edward and his Dad, who popped up at various points around the course, cameras in hand, to cheer me on and capture the northern spirit on show.
I was struck straight away by how different this run is from my usual Saturday morning jaunt when a large group gathered round for the pre-run briefing. The run director gave strict instructions about running through deep puddles and not trying to duck out to the side. I found myself behind all the tall people, shuffling across the start as if in a big race but soon weaved through to gain some leg room. This course is flat, but I hadn’t counted on the massive puddles slowing me down and had the wrong shoes on, but I embraced the experience and ran at the water with a big smile on my face.
I was checking my watch all the way round, sensing a potential PB and, as the finish line came into view, I picked up the pace slightly and crossed the line in 25 minutes and 54 seconds, which I think is an all time 5k PB. Just what I have been aiming for over the past few months, result!