Oh yay, oh yay, oh yay! Let it be known that Dan, this very morn, dids't complete thy Richmond Parkrun.

It was sunny and absolutely gorgeous out. I got up in time to do my stretches, then got a wonderful "good luck" message from a lovely lady friend to wish me luck on my virgin parkrun. That gave me a boost as I prepared Beverly (my scooter - I haven't named her that. It's the stupid model name! A Piaggio Beverly...) and wheeled her into the street. I was going to ride the 3K to the park as I didn't want to wear myself out by running there. Kissed Mrs Dan farewell, then I was off. I straddled Beverly and started her throaty engine. Strapped on my helmet, gloves and jacket and I was off. It wasn't long before I arrived at the park and found a bay to park in. Packed away helmet, gloves and jacket under the seat then made my way towards the park. I stood an waited with about 20 other folk, as the meeting area started to fill up. Some were doing stretches and one girl caught my eye. She was decked out in lycra capris with a pretty fit body, very tall and she was doing these really weird horse like gallopy, trotting style stretches! She looked like she was taking part in a human dressage competition. What I was most impressed about, was that she had absolutely zero embarrassment at this bizarre warm up routine!! It did look odd I must say.

The area filled up REALLY quickly. About 250 or so people were there eventually and I felt quite excited. I scanned the crowd of runners to see if any other geezers were wearing skin tight running tights like mine, in the hope that I wouldn't be the ONLY bloke with certain bulges on display. I didn't see one other guy wearing them! They all had shorts on. One gentleman in his 60's with long hair and beard (he looked like he used to play in a heavy metal band in the 70's) had very loose brightly coloured flowers shorts on! What a dude! There were looooads of delicious lovely ladies there too, who sported their lycra with confidence and I saw about 50 ponytails bouncing up and down as everyone talked excitedly to each other. Not knowing a single soul there meant I was mute, but I wasn't too fussed about that as I was drinking in the atmosphere and looking forward to the run.

After the chap gave us newbies his talk about what was ahead of us and told us "the rules", we assembled at Bishops Pond for the start line which was about 200m away. We had been told that if you were intending to run the 5K in 17 minutes then get to the front!! - "Who the hell can do that sort of time unless they're Mo Farah?" I thought. I placed myself about two thirds down the line. I'd done this exact run route on my own two days ago so knew it pretty well and was glad I did actually. I knew the easy bits, the hard bits and when to slow down and speed up and before I knew it - we were off!

I'd forgotten to start Endomondo in my excitement, but thought sod it - I'd get my time later from the results page. The start was VERY crowded and it was a bit tricky to sort myself out, but before long I was on Sawyers Hill and passing people to get myself into a comfortable position. I overtook quite a few people over the first K and a half and was feeling good. Breathing was incredibly calm and my cadence felt relaxed and quite speedy. I'd remembered Mr. Detruffe (on here) telling me about the "tow effect" - the way you're almost carried along in the wave of competition and fun and it was true - I was being pulled along mentally because I didn't want people to pass me! In effect over the entire 5K, only 2 people did overtake me, but I was enjoying doing a proper run with a lot of fellow runners and trying out everything I had taught myself over the past 12 months. I learned that I am pretty fit now and not as shuffly as I thought I was. I could gauge my speed and when to turn on the power which came in useful when overtaking people.

We reached Sheen Gate and turned left back onto the Tasmin Trail - a rocky stony path, but very level. There was an incline to negotiate and a few folks started to slow up. I felt like slowing up too, but NOT TODAY!! I pushed myself and made some good progress in my quest to finish in the best way possible. Turned a corner around some trees where the sunlight dappled and danced on the stony path and then the lovely downhill and sharp right turn section. It was easy to turn the turbo boosters on going downhill and I flew up the other side, knowing that the finish line wasn't that far away. An extremely chirpy volunteer cheered us on with 300m to go and announced to those of us passing him that this was a 25 minute marker. "Wow!" I mused. "I've gone faster than I thought". If the finish line was 300m ahead I was gonna go for it, but I was tiring now and really felt the old legs get heavy. I kept going though, ignoring all negative thoughts and suddenly saw the finish line.

In my head, I heard the theme tune to 'Chariots of Fire' and my body went into slow motion. Perfectly toned lycra legs moved effortlessly through the air, sweat beads flew from my brow as my arms pushed me forward.......

Sorry. Back to reality. I was at the finish line and heard a beep as the volunteers clicked their stop watches. I was handed the token and took myself in the queue. And then I leaned forward to touch my toes in exhaustion and let out a huge "uuurrrhhhhh!!" of tiredness. Boy, I felt good though. Absolutely bloody marvellous. I'd done my first parkrun and managed to run it well - I've yet to see my time - but I know the main thing is that I enjoyed it. I'll definitely do another one.

SO ......thanks for all the encouragement you've all given me. You really do drive me on and it's cos you all said I could do it - I DID!! YAY!!!!! Thank you.

I'll post my time later.....


34 Replies

  • Well done. You better had let us know the time as the Park Run web site doesn't seem to be working at the moment so we cannot spy on your result!!

    Have you now become a convert to running with others?? Lots more Park Runs???

  • Yes, I think I have actually. I'll deffo do another. Re the website, I too have had problems with it?? Maybe they're updating results.....I'm dying to see how I did.

  • That's a brilliant story, and thank you for all the juicy details; it's amazing how hung up one can get on clothing/equipment insecurities, which for me, stem from childhood: Am I the only child with a hand-knitted school cardigan and sensible shoes?

    You must be so chuffed with yourself, and quite rightly too! I am keen to experience this 'tow' effect, and the motivation from running with others. Keep us posted on your progress, you are such an inspirational person.

    Thank you SO much for your kind donation to my justgiving page. You are a star! x

  • It's a pleasure. And thanks for YOUR kind words.

  • Well done Dan, sounds as though you ran it really well; I'm sure the lycra looked fine.

  • You bet your buns I looked fine! Kaboom!!! Hahaha!

  • An entertaining write up as usual! Well done on the run and joining Parkrun. I've just spied on your result, it's a good one!

  • Ah, yes! Thanks aftabs. Very pleased with that time for my first parkrun outing!

  • Well done you! So glad you enjoyed it. They do become quite addictive. Brilliant write up, thank-you. I loved reading it. The website does seem to go off as results are loaded - did you sign up to get yours sent to you by text or e-mail (the text messages seem to go out first).

    Now you've done it once, you need to go again so you can see that little NewPB! comment against your name (still gives me a buzz!)

  • Thank you so much. Yes I got an email with all the stats. Very interesting read too! I'm sure I'll try and beat my's what makes us human innit?! Hahahah!

  • Nice time Dan! You should be proud of that. I knew you'd love it. Great to see the NHS C25k team up there too.

    Keep running, keep smiling.

  • Yes sirree! It was great. I might even talk to someone next time....!!

  • Hi well done :) sounds like you had a fun time. Like you I took part in my first ever park run at Victoria park in Glasgow. It was fab and I really enjoyed the experience! 185 took part and I came in at 163 so I wasn't last. This running is so amazing with support from all involved. Happy running x

  • Thank you nuttynellie! (great name by the way). Hope it was a sunny as it was here, down south.

  • Thanks. Was dry but not sunny but wasn't too bothered as was just having fun. I was amazed at how many people took part. All ages and yes all shapes but everyone is so friendly. Think I've got the running bug! Happy running and enjoy the bank holiday weekend :-)

  • Victoria Park? I need to go back and look again, i thought all this time the nearest Parkrun was a Pollok Park! I can get to Victoria Park easy peasy, i can walk even, compared to pollock via subway and bus.

  • -Awe that's great. Am going next week so maybe see you there:-)

  • Excellent Dan, well done, so glad you enjoyed it! It makes a change to running solo I find, although it seems to me everyone is in their own little world anyway. I also find I'm thinking you're not gonna get past me buddy' which helps with the times. x

  • Absolutely it does. But how on earth do people do it in 17 minutes??! Amazing.

  • Well done on going to your first parkrun. What was your time? Good luck for you next one!!!

    S X

  • Thank you! Check this ;

  • Well done Dan, another Brilliant post. Glad you enjoyed the Parkrun - hope your enthusiasm rubs off on me coz I'm considering doing one - although not in anything like the time you can do it. Just want to see what it's like - especially before my R4L, as I'm using Parkrun as a trial for that. Look forward to seeing your time. Best wishes.

  • Fitmo it is really well organised and exciting. 374 people is a LOT of people and it was encouraging to see so many people with the same enthusiasm as us lot on here!

  • Well done, very entertaining blog as usual - parkrun is great fun and I get that 'Chariots of Fire' in the head thing too. :-)

  • Well done Dan! Sounds as if you had a fab run - and many more to come by the sound of it.

  • You gotta do it. People on here said it was fab....and it is!

  • Brilliant. Have only done a couple and at one a guy came through on a bike telling us to make way for the lead runner who was on his second lap (wasn't half way through the first) He was going at such incredible speed didn't know whether to cry and give up or stand and cheer.

  • Good grief?! Was he a Jamaican chap? Tall? Wearing yellow and going by the name of Monsieur Bolt perchance?

  • Awh guess I cheated and saw your results post first, oh well! Lovely post, great images in there (I meant the nature rather than your lycra clad package btw :p). It's a lovely atmosphere at parkrun isn't it. Looking forward to hearing about your new pb next week :)

  • Yes, please banish all lycra bulges from your mind and focus on the nature. Hahaha!!

  • Fabulous...and what a great blog...reading it I felt like I was there!!! Love the did you manage to be in colour and the background black and white??? I hope Richmond Parkrun has recovered from being exposed to Dan in his skin tight lycra....... ;)

  • AHAAA!!! YOU Juju, are the only person to have spotted this! I was wondering how many would. In fact, it IS a "cheat" as I played around with it in Photoshop. It's very easy. You just draw a path around a shape then select it, then inverse the path, change the inversed path the B+W, then save the file and there you have it!

    Clever or what?!!!

    I have had ZERO emails complaining of my running attire thank God which means I can safely go next time without a care in the world!

  • Well done Dan you did it! Firsts are always a little scary. I have set myself a difficult one for my long run later and apprehensive to start.... Hope I can do it as so nearly there.... Good luck and the photoshop edit looks good :)

  • Well done Dan; as they say up here in 't North....job's a good un!!

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