The problem is the beginning. Doing Parkrun involves getting up insanely early for a Saturday when I've just come off shift. It means warming uo with my eyes still half closed. It means a freezing cycle to Sconce Park where I can never make the speed trap register my existence. It means loosening up a the park feeling slightly foolish among the real club pros in expensive shoes and running tights.
The problem is also the during. The insane fast start down the hill, then my legs starting to feel leaden on the steep drag up to the circuit. The icy chicken wire bridge, the slog through the wood and the boggy bark path, the dreaded out of rhythm stairs that people slip over on. The muddy turns I fall over on. Being passed by older people than me. The final drag up to the finish line, being overtaken by flashy sprint finishers WHO I END UP DESPISING.
But yes, afterwards is fantastic, once I've got over that line, and handed my token over while doubled over trying to get my breath back. I have a cup of tea at Rumbles, sometimes a sconce too while regaling twitter of my rubbish athletic feats. The sense of achievement that I've taken part in a 5km cross country race while everyone else is sleeping. The joy of letting my muscles rest before heading home.
Today I was 25th in a time of 24.25, miles better than my last slog but a minute and a half off my best. 106 folk finished behind me. I was fourth in my age group yet again. But it was a great morning to be out, despite the misty grey climate. Such a good event, best community activty to happen in this town in a long long time.
|Pre start limbering and mingling|
|Gathering by the birches|
|The hideous finishing drag|
|Post race child labour|