Anyone else near Winchester want to join me on Saturday?

I'm almost there with the ParkRun decision now. I did a test run (1 lap of 3) of the circuit this morning and completed it in abut 10 mins. Worryingly my Garmin thought it was only 1.5km so I don't know if they've mismeasured it. I did walk and partly jog 3 km first to take younger daughter to school so I wasn't 100% fresh when I started. I hope I can get round two more times although running on soft grass (with holes in it) after so long on tarmac is a bit of a change.

I also ran it without music (never done that before) as I thought I was getting very dependent on following bpm for pacing. I've decided to try and maintain 7min per km on the Garmin instead. On the not so promising side the ParkRun website describes it as a "fast" course. We'll see about that. Don't think I'll be challenging for the lead and certainly hope not too many Mo Farah types show up! I have e-mailed the organisers (which were at an athletics club e-mail address) to check that slow people are allowed (I know they are but I thought it would be polite to warn them). I said I'd be very pleased with 35 minutes - I expect they'll all have finished their coffee by the time I get there :-)

So as soon as I get a nice friendly reply back I'll register and get my barcode. Can any of you experts tell me how the barcode and timing works so I don't look like a tech numpty as well as a running numpty?

11 Replies

  • Well done you, look forward to hearing how you get on. Their description as a fast course would take the terrain into account, so there won't be any big hills in the route. Ours is described as a fast course as its very flat, what they don't take into concideration is the gale force winds that blow up and down the beach!!! Good luck for Saturday.

  • Hi Oldgirl,

    Thank you for your encouragement with this and the exercise classes! The course is completely flat - which is good for me. It's where I did the early runs of C25K so I am fairly familiar with it (in fact I was remembering some of the tunes from C25K as I was running around it this morning - especially the "It's Easy Now" one from about week 7 that used to elicit some colourful words from me). It should only be windy in bits - most of the way there are trees and hedges along one side of the fields (and lots of lively dogs in the fields)!

    My main reservation is still with my own running ability. I have done 5K several times, PB 34 mins but that was 5 months ago. I am hopeful that I can still do 5K, but as I've said before, I'm finding that since 5x50 started I can't easily run for as long as I used to, even though I am going faster in terms of mins per km. I think I have to stick as close as possible to that 7min/km pace that I think I can sustain for the first attempt.

    I will report back if/after I do it!

  • Congratulations on taking the plunge. :) The first time entering a competition is always the worst. Everything is unfamiliar and everyone else looks as though they know exactly what to do and can do it ten times faster than you - even the other first-timers! Just do it and then you can relax and enjoy the next one properly. It'll be great.

  • Thanks for the response - I'm sure I can master it, just wondered if anyone had a useful clue. I'm also sure that the first time will be the most difficult in all respects. Now I'm going to (probably mistakenly) look up the results for last week's run in the next-nearest place - because I suspect that's where many of the runners will come from. Hope it's not too scary!

  • Quite a few there that aren't so fast - more than at my nearest one anyway. I think you'll be fine! :)

  • Hi! Good luck on Saturday, I am going to venture out to do my second Parkrun I think, this time at my daughters park, so it will be nice and flat, with no ankle deep mud for me to fall over in like my first attempt at my local parkrun! :-)

    I was last from the off, I did let the organisers know I would be slow, but they were ok about it; and the tailrunner joined me a bit after I had fallen over and stayed with me to the end; and I was cheered in by the helpers even though I had made them stand around for minutes after the previous finisher!


    The barcode thing works by them giving you a token as you pass the finish line, you then hand the token and your barcode which get scanned by a helper, then magically a couple of hours later you get your time on the website and by text or email, it was all very well organised and everyone was friendly so I am looking forward to my second attempt on Saturday!

    Happy Parkrunning! :-)

  • Hi Poppy -

    That's very helpful. I wonder how the token thingy works - doubtless all will be revealed. Getting excited now :-)

  • I think the tokens are numbered - so everyone gets given one in sequence as they come in, and the 'clicks' on the timer are then tied up in order, so they know how fast each of the finishers was. When you hand in your barcode, they scan that it, alongside the token number, and that ends up with your time on the website. I think. :)

    I shouldn't worry about the 'fast' bit - just means people have a good chance of getting a personal best.

    See if you can come up higher than 203rd of 203! That was my placing. :)

    Enjoy it!

  • Poppy has explained it really well, so I just wanted to wish you good luck :D

    Remember, it's supposed to be for all runners, of all abilities so don't get too nervous!! Having said that, I know that I did, but I don;t know why because everyone was really friendly and helpful :)

  • Good on you -- you have all my admiration for "taking the plunge". You will be fine and I realy look forward to reading about it.

    Next time I'm in the UK I will do one too, promise ;-P

    They have nothing similar here and if they did it would be ungovernable -- remember what happened on that 3k "walk" I stupidly took part in?

    GOOD LUCK and kick a**!!!!!

  • Good luck for Saturday. Parkrun is absolutely for all abilities and I can testify to that as a runner who comes in near the end and a helper who is very happy to stand in any weather and wait for the back's all about taking part. Let us know how you get on

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