Basingstoke parkrun # 234

The last couple of weeks have been about preparing for next year. I need to write up my awesome bike fit session at Athlete Service in Henley last week, but I’ve also been working out with Nic how to split my winter training time. One thing we agreed was that I should try to keep a race distance run in my weekly programme. Having come across parkrun for the first time earlier this year, and been along to watch Em run it, it looks like it would definitely fit the bill on winter Saturdays. So, this morning, off I went.

Result: 19:12 (11th/244 overall)
Date: Saturday 3 November 2012
5km run (2.5 laps of tarmac, grass, mud)
Event website:
Full results:

I know I’ve discovered parkrun a lot later than many, but if you haven’t yet, you should! There’s bound to be one near you. They happen every Saturday morning. They’re free. It’s not a race. But there’s a mass start, a marked out accurate 5 km course and accurate timing. So, it’s you against the clock, with 200+ other runners to keep you company, running times between staggeringly quick (sub-17 minutes) and not so much.

The Basingstoke one is a few minutes drive away from me. I arrived at about 08:40, when there were still plenty of parking spaces in the War Memorial car park at the top of Crossborough Hill. There were a lot of first timers like me and obviously a lot of regulars, including Graham Hall from Sony whom I started (and only just didn’t finish) along side at the Basingstoke Half Marathon a few weeks ago.

The run (not race! it’s hard to remember…) started almost dead on-time at 09:00. I hadn’t quite managed to position myself close enough to the front and spent the first 500m or so frustratingly boxed in. I could see Graham haring it off with the front runners and next time I’ll pay more attention before the start. First km was done in 3:37 though, about on pace I hoped. The next one I let a few runners pass me by taking the scenic route round a couple of the corners (I’ll know better next time) and what with the muddy, slippy, grass and the little drag back up the hill, it was a 4:01 second kilometre. Hmm. And then my insides started grumbling and I had to back off the pace. Still, next km was 3:53 and at that point I caught Graham, obviously also not having his best day. Fourth kilometre was another 4:01, internal grumbling ongoing. Last night’s curry not so great the following morning. I got overtaken by the fastest lady on the day, Ellie Barnes (who I’d seen in GB Age Group kit at Reading Triathlon) and the fastest junior, Michael Lennon. I struggled through the final kilometer in 3:40.

So… 19:12, not bad for a first parkrun. And definitely ticks off that session for the week. I was home and showered before 10:00. If Em and I can make parkrun fit in regularly, that’ll be great.

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