I ran my first parkrun event on Saturday in Bristol’s Ashton Court. It had been 5 years since I’d participated in an organised race and having never run the 5km distance before I used it as a marker to gauge my running fitness. However it’s pretty difficult to just treat something as a private time-trial when you have a nasty, competitive streak and are surrounded by a hundred other runners!
The main challenge with the parkrun route in Ashton Court is that its first half is a non-stop climb and not something I was fully prepared for. I started too fast and felt a bit demoralised when a man running with his dog overtook me three-quarters of the way to the top, but I kept going and overcame thoughts of stopping to catch my breath which had been lost somewhere near the bottom of the hill. The profile of the run is below and borrowed from abradypus’s wordpress blog.
The parkrun event was well organised and unlike a dreaded ‘Charity Run’ you can just turn up 5 minutes before the start and run in a small group of participants. I completed the run in 22:21 which was a little slower than I’d hoped but had been expecting a slightly flatter route. I’ll be back again soon to take on the hill.