The last time I was in Australia, I took part in three parkruns: North Wollongong twice and Orange parkrun. I could have attended the same parkruns this time, but I wanted to take the opportunity to do some parkrun tourism. (Also, it would be depressing to see just how much slower I am than I was two years ago!) Bathurst parkrun was my NENDY (*Nearest Event Not Done Yet) from my brother’s house.
Getting to Bathurst parkrun via public transport
I figured that it should be easy enough to get to Bathurst parkrun as it’s only 55km (<35 miles) away. However, I hadn’t realised that public transport is not the same in Australia as it is in the UK. (The only times I’ve relied on public transport in Australia were when I was in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, which are considerably larger cities than Orange… also I only wanted to travel around in the cities). There is only one train a day from Orange to Bathurst at approximately 4pm, so that wouldn’t work. I then decided to check the information on the course page:
Getting there by public transportNo public transport. 500m from Bathurst city centre.
Aarrgghh! I was resigning myself to doing Orange parkrun again when my brother offered to lend me his car. I spent Friday evening swotting up on the rules for driving in New South Wales and then at 6:30am, I set off with my mum and M. They weren’t going to participate, but agreed to keep me company.
Bicentennial Park in Bathurst
We arrived in Bicentennial Park in Bathurst with plenty of time to spare. Straightaway, we could see an old steamroller, a large children’s playground and a toilet block.
Mount Panorama Punish
After a quick look around, I headed over to the start area. There were some flags up advertising a local race: Mount Panorama Punish. It’s a 6.2km race around the iconic motor racing circuit. It has a 174m elevation gain! Sadly, it was scheduled to take place on 27/10/19, which was after we returned to the UK (and a fortnight after Bathurst 1000, the 1000km touring car race).
Everyone lined up at the start for the race briefing. The Run Director asked if there were any visitors. A group of people had driven up from Sydney (200km), but I think I was probably the only person from the UK.
The very first part of the course was on grass and then it was onto some lovely smooth concrete paths. Also, the first part of the course was downhill, which was good as I hadn’t warmed up.
If you watch the video below closely, you’ll be able to spot me in the parkrun apricot t-shirt, as well as getting a good feel for the route of the parkrun.
After running alongside the river for a while, we followed a path that curved around and then up onto a bridge. There was a marshal there, but there were also signs painted onto the ground.
After crossing the bridge, the path curved down and around to a path on the other side of the river. From there I could see a number of campervans in a grassy area and what looked like some market stalls. I assumed it was a farmers market, but didn’t get a close look.
So how did I do?
Frustratingly, I was unable to keep my time under 30 minutes. I wasn’t surprised. My last parkrun in Southampton had taken just over an hour as M had decided that she wanted to run. Then I missed the last parkrunday as I was in Singapore Airport at the time.
32/92 female; 9/17 VW40-44. It was my 12th different event in 2019 and it filled a gap in my Wilson index!
Doing some exploring
After I’d finished parkrun, we decided to do a bit of exploring before heading back to Orange. I had seen what appeared to be a farmer’s market whilst running, so we agreed to walk there.
First, we had a stroll along some of the course. However, M didn’t want to stay in her buggy, so I let her out and she had a run. I think she’s got my enthusiasm. Sadly, I don’t think she’s got Stuart’s running technique!
The farmers’ market turned out to be a Rotary Club fundraising event. Mum splashed out on some buttons. Then we treated M to a ‘snag’!