Harrogate Parkrun 10-3-2012
Along with several hardy members of OutFIT I took part in the Harrogate 5k parkrun on Saturday morning. I was supposed to be running the Trollers Trot 25 miler in upper-Wharfedale, but my hip problems combined with the prospect of the Hardmoors 55 miler next weekend saw me opt for this shorter option.
Parkruns are a fantastic idea, organised by runners for runners, they offer weekly free timed races all over the UK. Each race is coordinated by volunteers drawn from each parkrun’s membership group (in exchange for your registration, you say you will volunteer three times a year) and that’s all there is to it. Once you are registered, you are free to enter any organised parkrun, so if you’re on holiday in a different town and they have a parkrun going on you can simply rock up and join in.
The Harrogate route is comprised of three and a bit laps of the Oatlands Stray, a flat course of half grass/half tarmac. Runners of all shapes and sizes and outfit choices were present at the start line. I positioned myself behind a group of quick looking youngsters at the front and guessed that I may be able to use them to pace myself. Once we had started and I’d tried to keep pace with them for half a mile it became apparent this wouldn’t be possible. They had gone off at some ridiculous sub 5 minute per mile pace, whilst my target of 18 minutes 30 meant I should have been running at around 6.10 minutes per mile. I soon realised my mistake and let the kids go (as if I had a choice!) and the first lap came and went quickly as a consequence. The second lap was too slow as I tried to catch my breath and lap three saw me settle down at about 6.40 mpm pace, too slow to hit my target. I finished in 19.36, a minute slower than I wanted but respectable nonetheless. I knew 18.30 was a tough ask and anyway, anything under 20 minutes is respectable in my book and I was 8th out of 150+ entrants too… it’s not often I get to say that.
Several members of OutFIT also did the run and then, gluttons for punishment that they are, came down to Tewit Well Stray to do an OutFIT circuit session straight afterwards. Impressive performances all round from Karen, Simon, Paul, Caroline, Al and Eirene!