Yet another 1st Parkrun!

Seems like everyone is at it. I had registered, printed off my batches but still wasn't sure if I was ready to rock up to run with strangers on an unknown course at 9am on a Saturday morning. I didn't set my alarm but when my partner woke up early I took that as a sign that I should drag him out to watch me throw my body twice around the local nature reserve. I promised him an on-site coffee van and he agreed to accompany me.

My nerves were in overdrive and despite over 4 toilet trips before we even left home we arrived early. It was a slow 15 minutes before we were convinced this was the right location - lots of people in lycra, pink jackets, trainers galore.

One more toilet trip was required before the pre-run briefing and then we were off.

Hang on folks! I thought there would be some ordering of runners into expected finish times. Nope! I had no idea where to put myself in the crowd and as I'm still learning about my personal pace I made the schoolboy error of following other people's pace. We'll before the first lap was over I was feeling uncomfortable and having to fight the urge to quit. I struggled to slow down, dragged on by the sight of runners ahead of me. By 3.5k I was broken and not familiar with the course I lost my confidence and walked a few short stretches but I ran again for the final 1k - legs flying off in all directions. The volunteers generously clapped me over the line and waited very patiently whilst I fished around in my pockets for my barcode.

My official finish time was 34.11 but according to my ipod the distance was 5.4k - perhaps due to my legs not running in a straight line!

It wasn't as scary as I expected and now I have a time to beat. I'll be back ๐Ÿƒ


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15 Replies

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  • Well done. As adults we often have to rock up and meet strangers. we just have to bite the bullet. Bet you're glad you did now

    Parkrun is a tad addictive. Fun though

  • Yep. Definitely glad I bit the bullet. I'll know what to expect next time and own the race more

  • Well done YvetteK! I'm a Parkrun newbie as well. Isn't it great? (Discounting being lapped by children, overtaken by men with prams, running too fast on the opening lap, feeling like death as the finish line approaches and envying those who can run fast uphill). I love it :-)

  • Thankfully there were no prams but I have to admit being overtaken by three tiny dogs

  • Were they on a lead pulling a tiny runner? I call that cheating.

  • No. Even worse, they were keeping up with their female owner who appeared to be older and larger than me. Sigh!

  • That is a brilliant time, well done you! You're faster than me, and yes as Misswobble says, it is addictive! Did you spy any 50 or 100 t-shirts? That's it you're hooked!



  • I saw a wee lad with a 50 T-shirt - he disappeared way ahead of me. ...

  • Glad you enjoyed it!

    The whole thing about where to start (if in doubt, I go the back) and what pace to run (don't worry, absolutely everyone goes off too fast at the start) is just something that comes with experience.

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, wouldn't it have been even more special if you had been given some level of direction before the start? That 'broken' feeling, as you put it, will inevitably put some people off. Clearly not you though! Well done.

  • In their defence I think they did have a 30 Minute pace guy but I didn't get to identify him before we set off - could have followed him more steadily.

    Must pay more attention next time!

  • I don't think they need to be defended. They are enthusiasts with a passion for running. Now there's nothing wrong with that and they should be applauded for getting out of bed early on a Saturday morning and arranging an opportunity to run for the likes of me and you. Now, because of that enthusiasm they may not pay attention to the needs of the new participant. It doesn't mean that they are bad, it just means that the new runner should bet aware of what they're going along to do..... And if you need to pay attention in order to enjoy the experience fully, they should tell you. That way, you'll go back.

  • I'll be back and it's great that people volunteer in this way. I hope to pay it back some weeks and volunteer to, particularly on rest days

  • well done and a great time :D usually at my parkrun they tell you line up roughly where you expect to finish, which is easier said than done sometimes .. I have had some really good times doing them , done 12 now , looking forward to doing more :D

  • Your Parkrun sounds much ore organised!

  • it is all a bit strange at first, soon get used to it :D

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