parkrun Tourism Down Under: Cowra parkrun

Stuart and Tamsyn in the Cowra parkrun selfie frame.

On the morning of my brother’s wedding, Stuart and I decided to go to Cowra parkrun. I’d tried out Bathurst parkrun the previous week and we did Orange parkrun a couple of years back. As parkrun starts at 8am in New South Wales and it’s about an hour’s drive to Cowra, it was an early start for us.

We were able to leave M at home being looked after by her grandmother, which meant that Stu and I were both free to run at whatever pace we felt like.

We arrived with plenty of time to spare and were able to park near to the start. (Given the highest attendance at Cowra parkrun is 110 and most people come in family groups then I think parking probably isn’t normally a problem anyway). I was pleased to see that there were toilets by the parking.

The start of Cowra parkrun

We headed over to the start and spoke to some other tourists – Kiwis who now live in Australia.

Runners at the start line of Cowra parkrun.
At the start line of Cowra parkrun.

We lined up at the start. I didn’t want to go too close to the front, but I also knew that some of the others were planning to walk. I positioned myself in the middle of the small group. Stuart was in about the second row, wearing his parkrun apricot t-shirt.

Runners at the start of Cowra parkrun. Stuart is near the front.
That’s Stuart in the parkrun apricot t-shirt near the front. I’m somewhere further back!

The course

The course description says “This is a two-lap out and back course along a concrete path, taking in some of the Prisoner of War Campsite. The start and finish area is a short walk along the pathway from the Prisoner of War Tower and Campsite area along Sakura Avenue.” The course is approximately u-shaped.

The first part of the course is on a fairly smooth and level concrete path, as can be seen in the photo below.

View from the finish line at Cowra parkrun.

The second part of the course climbs up towards the water tower (that can be seen in the photo below).

Stuart and another runner passing a water tower.
Stuart chasing Craig May, a parkrunner from Dubbo.
Stuart and another runner towards the start of Cowra parkrun.

Chasing times and other runners

Despite the early start (and time of year), I found the temperature to be quite warm. I really wanted to achieve a sub 30 minute time, but knew that it was going to be tough.

Tamsyn running at Cowra parkrun.
That’s me near the end of my first lap. Stuart can be seen heading out for his second lap.
Stuart heading towards the finish of Cowra parkrun.
Stuart heading for the finish line.
Stuart giving a thumbs up at the finish of Cowra parkrun.
First finisher!
Stuart crossing the finish line at Cowra parkrun.
Stuart at the finish of Cowra parkrun.

When I saw Stu towards the end of his second lap, he was extending his lead. I felt so pleased that he was going to be first finisher. The last time he did that was at Penrose parkrun, back in May 2016.

Finish line in sight

I just wanted to make it to the end without stopping to walk. Another issue was that I was also trying to avoid all of the millipedes on the path as I hate killing creatures, even if it’s accidental.

One of the many caterpillars at Cowra parkrun.
One of the many millipedes on the path.
Runners at the finish of Cowra parkrun.

I was so pleased to cross the finish line. I had a little lie-down and a drink before we posed for some photos with the selfie sign.

Stuart and Tamsyn in the selfie frame at Cowra parkrun.

How did I do at Cowra parkrun?

Although I didn’t manage a sub-30-minute run, I achieved my highest ever finish position of 19th! I was 3rd (out of 6) in my age category and 7/21 female runners.

Tamsyn's result from Cowra parkrun on 12/10/19: 30:36.

Cowra prisoner of war camp

The parkrun takes place just over the road from Cowra prisoner of war camp. It was the site of the Cowra breakout in 1944 when Japanese PoWs staged a breakout in which over 250 people died.

Cowra Prisoner of War Camp information board.
Panels depicting aspects of the Cowra Prisoner of War Camp.
Small green bird.

My brother’s wedding

As the purpose of my trip to Australia was my brother’s wedding, I thought I’d just share a few photos from the event. The wedding took place at the Beekeeper’s Inn and the Cornish rugby colours are black and gold. M was asked to be a flower girl, so she had a bee outfit to wear.

M dressed as a bumble bee.
Wedding line up: Treeve and Cathy with their best man and three sons. The bride is wearing a traditional dress and the men have on black suits with Cornish hunting tartan ties.
My brother, Treeve, his wife, Cathy, their three sons and their best man.
Tamsyn and Stuart wearing formal attire, with M dressed as a bumble bee.
Stuart, M and I not wearing running attire for a change!

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