No, no, not my fiftieth birthday; that was on the first day of the month and I celebrated at Bromley parkrun. This morning was my fiftieth parkrun! And fortunately, having anticipated this for some time, I managed to align several significant moments, numerological and otherwise:
- my 50th parkrun – as I may already have mentioned
- my 5th consecutive parkrun – the first time I have put such a sequence together
- the 5th event in my #50at50 challenge
- the first time my dad has seen me run
- my runningest sister also ran – although she did forget her barcode and so doesn’t appear in the results
At the start line I had a target of nineteen fifty in mind for obvious reasons, but wasn’t too optimistic. Although I started the month at Bromley comfortably running 20:50 inside a target of 21:30 and ran 20:08 the next week at Dulwich inside a target of 20:30, the subsequent two returns to Dulwich produced 20:17 and 20:08 against a target of 20:00.
I mentioned in my post on Bromley at the beginning of the month that some fluid on my right knee was causing me some concern and this has persisted since becoming more obvious as the weeks pass. As a consequence I hadn’t run at all since last weekend’s parkrun when I arrived at Dulwich Park this morning. The support of friends, and particularly family, makes a difference though. Several friends wished me well on my fiftieth parkrun at, or in one case shortly after, the start and I then had my family – my dad and his wife, my own wife and our daughters of four and six – cheering me as I passed on each of the three laps.
My result of 19:55 was very satisfying and something of a surprise given my non-training. I attribute this to the facets of the day already described and in particular that the first time I passed my family my eldest daughter was crying. I think I ran that second lap more quickly because I wanted to be there for her. It momentarily crossed my mind that I might need to stop and support her, but of course when I completed my second lap she was fine. It transpired that she’d fallen off her bike just before I arrived the first time.
After I had recovered, talked with my family and some friends and cheered other parkrunners over the line, my eldest daughter and I set off on a ‘training run’ once around the park. She is now ready for tomorrow’s junior parkrun 🙂