I’m still struggling to find the time to run, so I’m trying to enjoy any runs that I get to do as much as possible. Last week was the first parkrun at Mountbatten School (Romsey, Hampshire). I knew it was starting, but I’m also well aware that parkrun HQ request that people don’t flock to inaugural parkruns. However, as this one is only 4 miles from my house, I felt it was OK to run there on its second occasion.
Another reason why I wanted to do this run was because of my ‘Wilson Index’ (named after Dave Wilson, an uber-tourist). It’s about getting a consecutive run of event numbers, starting with #1. Completing this event (#2) has increased my Wilson Index to 5. I won’t be returning for event #6 as I’ll be RDing at Southampton then, but I’m aware of another event that is in a planning stage, so I’ll wait for that to start and go to its event #6! Once I’ve got that, then #20 will be the next number that I’m after!
The sad part of going to Mountbatten School parkrun is that buggies are not allowed on this course. It’s a sensible decision as it’s a muddy cross-country course (with a cambered section), but it did mean that M would not be able to participate. I spoke to Stu and he kindly agreed to push M for th second week in a row, although this time it was back on home turf (or rather tarmac) at Southampton.
Seeing familiar faces
As I got close to Mountbatten School, I saw a pack of runners. I couldn’t see their faces, but I knew who they were by their running. It was only after I became a runner that I realised how distinctive people’s individual gaits were.
I was surprised that people had chosen to run to the parkrun as although it’s a manageable run from Southampton, I was well aware that trail shoes were required (and road running in trail shoes is not comfortable!)
I parked my car at Mountbatten School and saw Alison, a Lordshill Road Runner. She had driven the support vehicle for the group of runners that I saw. Her car was full of trail shoes!
It was lovely to see some familiar faces at Mountbatten School parkrun. The core team are regular parkrunners who I’ve seen at Southampton and/or Eastleigh over the years. I also saw Robert from Stubbington Green and Dave Williams from Havant parkrun (who set a new record for his age group – well done, Dave!
It was lovely to be at another small parkrun – there were 165 runners this week.
The route is three laps around the edge of a school field. It’s not as boring as that sounds as there are quite a few twists and turns and different sections.
Ali caught up with me at the start of the second lap, so we had a good chat. She’s training for London Marathon, so was one of the people I saw running to the event.
The final section of each lap is a straight section next to a fence. It sounds easy, but it’s cambered and very slippery. Unfortunately, Ali lost her footing on this section and went down. She got back up fairly quickly, but had gashed her knee and it seemed to be bleeding quite badly. I felt really bad for Ali, but she got up and continued running, eventually finished a minute ahead of me.
How did I do?
Most runners know what their weakness is – will their legs or lungs give out first? For me, my asthma has played a big part in my running journey and my lungs have usually given out first. Before I was diagnosed, running a mile flat out was enough to make my chest ache for a week. However, I’m now dealing with a complete lack of fitness, so my legs hurt and my lungs ache. It’s quite depressing that I’m running more slowly than when I first started parkrunning nearly 9 years ago.
My final time was 33:53. Given my current fitness, it’s not terrible, but I’m determined to return and get a sub 30-minute time one day.
Overall, I really enjoyed this event. Everyone was friendly, the marshals were great and the course was more varied than I expected. I’d like to return when it’s a bit drier, so maybe I’ll come back in 18 weeks time for run #20!
How was your weekend? Did you parkrun?