Park Life

For many thousands of runners 9 am on Saturday is a special time. Throughout the Uk and these days worldwide we will be stepping up somewhere green and pleasant  to run a 5k with a group of other enthusiasts.

I’m not going to go into a big explantation here because a lot of readers will know what I’m talking about. If you don’t. Google Parkrun, and its all there! Parkrun is a brilliant motivator to get you our racing, running against yourself or simply enjoying 5k in a park. I started out at Bushy Park when that was the only Park run and 40 local runners set off from the upmarket coffee bar at the carpark by Diana fountain. Now Bushy can attract a s many as 1000!  These days I mainly run at Kingston where we average 60-80 runners, although I have run as far a field as Aberdeen and Iceland!

Today I ran at Richmond  which is my local park. I’m fortunate to live just five minutes from both the Kingston and Ladderstyle gates, and have a very natural route which takes me around the perimeter path and gives 7.75 miles, although there are variants for longer and shorter routes. The general consensus is that the perimeter path single lap is 7.25 miles total.

Richmond parkrun is of course a 5k route which is based by Richmond gate. Today was a bit special because two local triathlon clubs (Thames Turbo and Ful on Tri) had agreed it as a venue for a mob match. Numbers were accordingly boosted, with a  total of 451 finishers. Conditions were great with the weather bright and sunny and although a bit chilly at the start, much warmer than recently.

I had a good run which I really enjoyed, but a bit slow on the time at 25.36, although I did get seriously delayed at the start which probably knocked off 20 seconds. Still 262nd out of 451 not too bad and I was second fastest in my age group.

If you are not a park runner already, get involved! Its a great discipllne, very enjoyable and a good cornerstone for overall training. If you are a regular, make sure you try some different events. Inspired by Richmond I’m going to run a number of new courses over the coming weeks.

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