parkrun Tourism Down Under: Cowra parkrun
October 13, 2019
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.
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.
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.
The second part of the course climbs up towards the water tower (that can be seen in the photo below).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.