31 Jan 2015 at 12:29
I’ve never done a park run before. And to be honest I wasn’t wholly looking forward to it. I wouldn’t know anyone, no doubt I’d be wearing totally inappropriate gear and I’d be very slow. I set myself a goal of doing it in under 45 minutes, but wasn’t wholly confident I’d do that.
I could hardly believe when I opened my front and found that it had started to snow. Perhaps they’d cancel it. No such luck, though. So off I drove, forgetting that my new car is wheel rear drive. It was a bit of a slippery-slidey drive to Dunorlan Park, just on the edge of Tunbridge Wells. I got there to find a couple of people parking up at the same time so I walked with one of them to the starting line, where there were around 60 people waiting to start. It turned out there were six other newbies. Just before the start I heard someone say hello to me and it was none other than our local MP Greg Clark, who was taking part for the sixth time. More of him later!
So off we went. It didn’t take long for me to trail most of the pack, but then again that came as no surprise. After all, there were only three others in the 50-54 age group and only five people over 54. Anyway, what I hadn’t bargained for is that around half of the distance was on the grass, or in this case the mud. And in parts it was very squelchy and incredibly difficult to run on. The 5km course through the park was divided into two identical laps. I have to admit it was a bit humiliating to be lapped by three runners just before I had completed the first lap, but I’ll get over it!
I started to feel my right leg at the beginning of the second lap. It felt as if it were about to detach itself from the rest of my body. Well, a slight exaggeration, but I was determined to carry on. I just couldn’t face not finishing no matter how long it took.
Several people said to me that the found these runs quite addictive. That was music to my ears. I have a bit of an addictive personality anyway so I hope to get to the point where I get withdrawal symptoms if I don’t go out for a run several times a week. I’ve been out each Saturday and Sunday for the last three weeks so I think i have made a reasonable start. Tomorrow I’m going to go for a run with my ten year old Goddaughter Zoe near Saffron Walden.
Anyway, I did finish, and although I have got some pretty disparaging twitter comments from people asking if I was hopping rather than running, I shall treasure this one from my friend Andrew Kennedy, who is the local Tory Party agent.
He should also be very proud of his local MP. Greg Clark clocked an amazing time of 23 minutes 6 seconds and came 8th. Total respect. Still, he didn’t quite lap me. That would have been the end :).
Next Sunday we’re in Norfolk. I’ve just seen that there is a park run at Blickling which is only a few miles from our house. So I guess that’s a decision then!
I do know that running 5km isn’t a big deal in the wider scheme of things. But today, it is a very big deal to me.