Richmond parkrun lowdown, TurboTortoise style

This is rookie reporter TurboTortoise, writing from the green wilds of south west London, in the absence of HU's anchorman Danzargo from yesterday morning's parkrun. Apologies for the lateness of my report - I am not good at deadlines, but better late than never and all that.

As many will have noticed the weather was pretty changeable yesterday. But the grey and rainy start turned to hot and humid sunshine just before 9am, and as I walked through the hazy landscape towards Richmond Gate I did a double take at a bizarre sight in the distance - what looked like a pair of swans' or geese necks in the long grass, circling each other in a strange courtship ritual... it took me a few seconds to work out that it was in fact a man, bent double in the waist-deep grass, vigorously windmilling his white-sleeved arms (he had very pink hands) - clearly his super enthusiastic warm-up.

It being the first Saturday of the month there were pacers present, as well as some visiting parkrun dignitaries from around the UK and abroad. Despite the early bad weather putting off quite a few people, the start was as bottlenecked as ever - and I soon lost sight of the pacers.

However as I wove my way down Sawyers Hill I caught up with Mr 30 Minutes. He was going like the clappers, much faster than he should have been, I'm sure! 'Oh I'm well ahead of schedule,' he confided (yes, I even managed to get a few words out as I ran beside him!) 'But with this parkrun you have to go as fast as you can on the first half because the second half is all uphill.'

You're telling me. That last couple of kilometres gets me every time. As we veer left across the grass, and north towards Sheen Gate, I'm tempted to keep on going, straight out through the park gates and home. But, as ever, I turn left again, back onto the trail, and carry on toiling up the long, slow incline, back towards Richmond Gate. I can see the some of the faster runners, way up ahead, cresting the final hill. This part of the course is beautifully scenic, but oh, it's tough!

I briefly attempt to distract myself by looking at the rear ends of the runners in front of me (cf. Danzargo's report last week), but I have to say, there's nothing particularly lush or peachy about the bums (male or female) in this particular field today. What a shame! I wonder whether I've just got a duff batch, or perhaps Dan has been using some poetic licence?

I've tried to keep something back for this last bit, but it still really hurts, especially that kilometre with its nasty little ups and downs. I do manage to put on a final surge of speed for the finish, however.

My time was 26:47 - not a PB, but I'm not hugely bothered, because that (which I got two weeks ago) stands at 26:46! I guess no one could accuse me of not being consistent!

Happy running, folks!

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20 Replies

  • An awesome run TT, despite the lack of worthy bums to distract your attention, and a fab time too, especially with those hills. Feel proud, feel very very proud :)

  • Thank you AM! Don't know what to call you these days... Cougar Mum... Rrrrr!

    Perhaps I'm being too critical about the bums, but Dan's description raised my expectations so!

  • Seem to be stuck with AncientMum unfortunately -can't find any way of changing it, lol. That's the thing with bums I guess, peachyness is in the eye of the beholder :)

  • A sub 30min run with hills? High 5! My Parkrun is pretty flat and I was jumping for joy at getting a sub 35min run yesterday with no stops. Bring on my week 9!

  • Patience, Betty... patience! You are doing really well if you can already do a sub-35-er on week 8. It took me several months after graduating to have the courage to do a parkrun, and I regret that, so you are doing absolutely the right thing.

  • Brilliant stuff, you're doing c25k proud TT. Had a good lol at the mental image of the 'swan' warm up thanks. :-)

  • Thanks notbad. The swan man had me UTTERLY mystified at first!

  • Thank you KK. Funnily enough trying to go fast never feels any easier, you just kind of gain speed over time, almost without noticing it. I think I covered about 4.6km in my graduation run last July, and I was completely spent, so it's taken time. Though it has been lovely discovering that I can - and am allowed to - run more slowly sometimes.

  • A very impressive time TT! Well done and I'm sure you'd be even more amazing on a flat park run like mine. I think that Mr Dan was probably using poetic licence and if I thought for one minute that runners behind me were looking at my bum, I'd probably die! That, or zoom off to avoid inspection and get a PB of 21.12... I wish! :)

  • Thanks Mousey! I'm possibly being a bit mean about the bums and their poor owners. They were just kind of skinny. But then you don't really get gorgeous muscly sprinters' cheeks so much on those long-distance guys.

    ...but if you zoomed off and were at the front of the field, then surely everyone would be behind your behind...? ;-)

  • From the depths of a basement editing room in darkest London - I take my hat off to you TT! Well done. I did my 10K this morning, then hastily sped home, showered then straight to work!! NOT the way I wanted to spend the day celebrating. However, hopefully we can hook up on a parkrun in the near future.

    26'47 is amazing. Fantastic! Oh by the way - there was no poetic licence with the beautiful lycra bottoms. I think Richmond has a plethora of them.....sometimes!

  • Well done on the 10K Mr D. Must have been tough to face a day in the basement after that :( x

  • Thanks Dan - just noticed you've posted your 10k report... haven't read it through yet, but did quickly note your time... FANTASTIC!

  • I think you have double turbo in your tortoise engine! That's fantastic running! Well done you.

    The swan-courting-ritual warm up... Doesn't everyone do that?!!

    Looking forward to your next report :)

  • Thank you Jaqs! People certainly do have some interesting warm-ups!

  • Well done TT - I do not think I could ever dream of doing that time!!

  • Thanks c4ts. I have gained quite a few minutes on my graduation 5k time, more than I'd dreamed of in fact, so it it totally possible with a bit of persistence.

  • Well done TT - I need to get my fear of those hills out of the way and tackle that course soon! Almost another PB too - great times!

  • Thanks Aussie. You MUST come to Richmond!

  • Two things to note:

    1) I don't do lycra

    2) You'll be in front of me...

    Just sayin'... :)

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