Different cake

Parkrun cancellations are relatively rare and even when they do occur they are advertised on social media frequently and as far in advance as the decision allows. As a consequence of how rare they are, quite possibly encouraged by my laissez faire optimism, I rarely specifically check that an event is going ahead, and so perhaps I tempt fate a little more than I should. All of which is quite likely an over-elaborate introduction to explaining that my sister and I had arranged the she and her family sleep over on Friday night with a view to joining me at Dulwich parkrun yesterday for my first parkrun at age 50 and the first event in my #50at50 calendar. Fortunately I tweeted my anticipation on Friday night …

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All of which is certainly an over-elaborate explanation of my first Bromley parkrun yesterday! The course in Norman Park is close to flat and yesterday we ran the Summer course which I understand contrasts with the Winter variant in that it includes more running on grass and a longer lap repeated just over two times.

It seems the tendonitis in my right ankle is continuing to recover and certainly my gradually increasing running has resulted in my cardiovascular fitness improving. My only concern as I approached the start was that I had some fluid on my right knee. It is only slight and I have concluded that I put my knees under excessive stress whilst running the downhill section of the distinctly hilly Crystal Palace parkrun five weeks ago in 21:55, foolishly repeating the error at the same venue two weeks ago in 21:30. I set out yesterday simply intending to match the latter time on a much kinder course with three further weeks recovery under my belt. My sister hoped to improve her 22:16 5k PB set last year at Weymouth parkrun and my brother in law was aiming to run inside 26:00.

I learned that Bromley parkrun regularly provides pacers on the first Saturday of each month and yesterday there were pacers for most, possibly all, whole minute targets from 18 to 35 minutes. My sister and I set out agreeing to track the 22 minute pacer in the first instance. Quite soon, and as we had anticipated in a field of over 500, we lost contact with each other and I never did see the 22 minute pacer. As my run progressed I felt comfortable and noted I was running just inside 21:30 pace. I was somewhat surprised to hear my watch chime 4k and, finding myself comfortable and so close to home, raised my pace just a little. Shortly after I noticed the 21 minute pacer just ahead and raised my pace a little more to ensure I caught up before the finish.

As soon as I had finished and stopped my watch I turned back to wait at the finishing line for my sister. She seemed to appear very quickly …

I love parkrun! I have said this many times, tweeted the hashtag (#loveparkrun) many, many times and may even have blogged it more than once. As a positive, open, welcoming community it surprises and warms me afresh each time I return. Whether that community is the online social media parkrun community pointing out the cancellation at Dulwich, and also tweeting advice about parking at Norman Park, or the first parkrunner I spoke with who outlined the Summer and Winter courses, or the friend from Dulwich parkrun I met at the start who shared some exciting news relating to a potential new local parkrun or the pacers who contributed so much to so many people*. Not least, lest I forget, my sister …

event statistics

my sister 21:50 PB – 26s improvement!
my brother in law 25:25 – 17s outside PB
me first event of my #50at50 year
100th event across all disciplines 🙂

race data summary

offiical finish time 20:50
target 21:30 – 0:40 inside
splits pace
biometric summary average HR – 155
max HR – 169 (estimated personal maximum – 172)
average cadence – 179
approx start weight – 71.1kg

* Or the friendly faces of the organisers of my running club who were volunteering operating the run timers at the finish line. Or the 23 minute pacer who kindly explained his technique for pacing other runners and how to volunteer myself as a pacer in the future.



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