Couch to 5K
54,955 members87,494 posts

A tale of two parkruns

A tale of two parkruns

Last weekend I was in London with my choir for the weekend, we were singing Saturday evening at the London Welsh club.

When I was planning my weekend I decided to do Highbury Fields parkrun on the Sat. This kept me on the straight and narrow Fri eve (despite joining a group of friends at a BYOB Jamaican/Latin American restaurant to celebrate a 40th birthday!) :-)

I got up nice and early on the Saturday but had several visits to the loo (presumably my Welsh stomach complaining about the exotic food of the night before?). I went to get the bus but had to detour via the loos in Euston and then again back to Boots to buy Imodium :-( so missed two buses.

Ended up getting a taxi on which I spent most of the cash I had on me! Taxi driver went flying past Highbury Fields till I realised and stopped him!

Made it to the start with 20 secs to spare so no time for a precautionary trip to the loo.

Off we went. Its a lovely venue. Five and a bit laps of one corner of Highbury Fields. A steady climb up to start, then a nice slope down and then a flat section. I was doing great but on the 4th lap I realised I just had to go to the loo again! I lost about 2 mins there :-(

Off I plodded for the last lap, this time last behind a young lady. I almost caught her up just before the line. My Garmin said 33 mins 24 so adding 2 mins for the loo I thought I would get a PB.

I then jogged back to Tavistock Square - mostly downhill :-) - because I didnt have enough money for a tube lol. It was a lovely run actually.

I was a bit disgruntled when I got my official time at 37 mins something! Mainly because the lady before me got 34 something and if I had had a more competitive streak I could have overtaken her before the finish GRRR! (Calm down Andrea!)

Anyway, it made me more determined to have another go this weekend so me and my infamous multi marathon running big sis trotted the 35 mile up to Cardiff parkrun in the rain.

I was going well, keeping an eye on my pace on my Garmin and pushing as fast as my short fat hairy little legs would go. Then I realised part way round I hadn't turned on the flipping timer, what a plonker, but I knew I was doing a good pace at least. For the last 2 k I was behind a really fit looking rangy tall guy and decided I would keep up with him no matter what. I assumed he was within reach of little old slowcoach me cos he was injured or something.

My big sis came back to find me after she had finished (24 mins) to run the last section with me. Then I heard loads of people shouting my name! 4 blokes from my running group were also there and had hung around in the rain to cheer me in! Bless!

My very own unexpected rent a crowd! this galvanised me into really pushing myself (nearly threw up which my mad sis reckons is proof you have put a bit of effort in!) and I got to the line with the aforementioned tall athletic hombre.

I was chuffed, especially when I saw my official time of 33 mins dead!

I am still chuffed. But when I looked at the results I noticed the "fit hombre" that I was working so hard to keep up with is in the 75 to 79 age group!

Wonder if I'll still be doing parkrun in 24 years time!

18 Replies

The picture is not of me I hasten to add. I have fatter legs!


Haha - I can sympathise with the dodgy tummy problems :-/

Sounds like you've done really well and as for the old chap - he's had years to practice ;-)


He was very well known on the course and he was a darling, he was asking me how I had done and now I have joined Cardiff FB group I see he is very very well thought of in Cardiff running "circles" been mentoring newbies for decades!


A 73 year old man has joined our casual Sunday running group - he's better than us, he just likes the company and tries to encourage us. In his day, he could run 6 minute miles and was a regular marathon runner. He looks years younger than 73 and is a great advert for the benefits of running.


Oh Andrea i laughed out loud about the athletic hombre! Reminds me of my first park run when I was chasing an 80+ year old and wanting to beat him!!!

33 mins is a fab time especially with a loo stop! Well done you!


Wow, wow wow. You're going great guns.

I watched the Cardiff half on channel four this morning. It made me want to do it next year.

I love the pic! :)


I was there watching it, supporting several running club friends who were participating, I had a chance of a last minute place but knew I wouldnt be able to do it justice. BUT I have already signed up for next year :-P


Me too...well, the places aren't open are they? I've just registered my interest :)


How strange! I have paid and have had an email confirming my entry and everything!

Have a look at this.


What a wonderful blog, it really made me smile. And 33 mins is a fantastic time. Well done!


Ha, what a tale of tow different Parkruns! I'm impressed you blew all your money on a taxi to take you to a Parkrun and after all that what a shame you needed another toilet stop!

Well done for chasing the tall, athletic guy and what an inspiration he is to us all.


Brilliant - blimey, I'm well in admiration at your tenaciousness in keeping going and doing the parkrun with a dodgy stomach. And it sounds like you've got a brilliant running club thing going. That old 'ombre is a great inspiration isn't he - I sooo reckon you'll still be running and inspiring others yourself in 24 years time. That's the great thing about running - that you can imagine yourself doing it into your old age - it's one of the things that keeps me going with it.


Lovely blog!

It all sounds fantastic to me (except the upset stomach that is).



Oh Andrea-what a laugh!! Well done you. My son used to live off Highbury Fields-near the Arsenal football ground. My Dad was born there too, so I know the area. What a lovely Park for your run?? So glad you didn't report an "accident" whilst running-on your short, fat, hairy legs, that is :-). I too am of the same build, so not taking the rise.

Well done for taking up the chase, both with the athletic guy and the lady who beat you into 34mns, grrrrrr. You really wanted to do that run didn't you-must have cost you a small fortune?

Well done! :-)

Keep 'em coming-and Keep on Running!


Seemed a nice place to live (if you have to live in London lol!). I hadnt planned on spending so much on getting there but once I have a run planned it seems I am pretty tenacious these days! I comforted myself with the fact that I would have spent that amount and more on booze if I had thrown myself fully into the partying the night before!


Lol!! Yes, you more than likely would-so justified eh? :-)



Well done Deryn! You're fantastic! So inspiring!


In a previous life I've swum a few charity 5ks - so really laughed about that older runner. There were always people in their 60s & 70s swimming 5 k faster than me. The way I look at it - there's plenty if time to get faster! Now learning to run I'm regularly being overtaken by people obviously older - and I just think good on them.


You may also like...