On Saturday I attended my second ever parkrun “Inaugural” – my first being “Home”. At Blandford Forum in Dorset, it is very different to Yeovil Montacute.
The course is an out and back on the Jubilee Way – essentially a cycle path running out of Blandford. The Start/Finish was under a road bridge and one of the downsides for me was that the starting area was very narrow. So narrow in fact that other path users had some real problems getting past. At one point a chap had to carry his dog through the throngs of people!
The problem was exacerbated by some degree that we had to start late. 165 runners were all crowded on this narrow path for the 9am start (Which is standard for every parkrun in England) only to find out that we had to wait for the local triathlon club to finish their swim session in the local pool and come across. This meant we didn’t start til 9.15.
It was a bit frustrating – I mean, surely if the club really wanted to come they should have finished their swim session early? It wasn’t very fair on all the runners that did make it on time.
Speaking of runners making it on time, here’s the Yeovil Montacute contingent, all bright and early! Photo by Nikkii Small.
Anyway, I wasn’t sure whether or not to have a tilt at a PB or not. I’d checked out the route beforehand to see how flat it was and it wasn’t too hilly. However, I had run a tough 6 x 1km Interval session on Friday night, so with only 14 hours recovery in my legs a PB was always going to be ambitious! I set out at Sub 21 pace anyway to see if I thought I could do it. I knew after the first KM that it wasn’t going to happen.
The first 1.5km was quite enclosed, with little room for manoeuvre. Overtaking in the early stages was tricky. This section was not the most interesting parkrun I had been on, but after that the route took a short sharp downhill to go under the main road and then opened out onto a path through some lovely open countryside running parallel (By about 40 meters) to the same A road. Another KM out, make the turn and run back.
When face with that hill on the way back, knowing the PB had gone I thought I’d save my legs a bit and walked up it. Then my lace untied!
The last KM was a fairly flat stretch and crossed the line in 22.44, so 45s outside my PB.
The finish funnel was very confusing, largely because of how narrow it was. There were so many people going back and forward I wasn’t sure how the time keepers were keeping track of everything! Must have been quite a challenge.
They did have water at the end though which was quite nice!
I enjoyed my run, but I have to say it was all a bit confusing. I must remember that it is a brand new event. I’m sure they will find their feet and things like this smooth out, after all we had our issues in the early days too!
I had to shoot off early (On wedding duty) so didn’t get the opportunity to meet the ED or have coffee OR cake! But in summary, for me, there really is no place like home – though I would like to revisit in 6 months and see how things change.
The following photos are taken from the Blandford parkrun Flickr Group.