Monday, 8 December 2014

Park Run in Cornwall

When I was at school I was keen on running, I used to train at the melbourne athletics stadium in Chelmsford and compete in 800 and 1500metre races for the county. I also used to heavily compete in cross country running for my school. But once I moved to Cornwall my surfing took over and so did my cycling and I barely used to go out running at all.

When some of my family started doing Park Run in Essex I was intrigued by the event, each week I would see pictures on their facebook pages and times and new PB's and at the back of my mind thought maybe this could be good fun?

When the family came to visit this weekend they wanted to keep up with their Park Runs and not miss a week so decided to attend the organised Park Run in Cornwall as tourist runners. I thought when better to give this a go than with some of my family. I was already thinking that I would be slow and that I wasn't particularly fit and I would certainly struggle against my family who run every week.

Arriving to Lanhydrock and having read the course is down hill to the river then back up hill to the finish I was slightly nervous to say the least when I saw just how steep the valley was. I haven't been running in years so thought I would start off gently at my own pace and just try to enjoy my first run. Within seconds all the runners had disappeared off into the distance and I was left at the back of the group trailing along behind.

At the end of each Park Run you are able to achieve a time for your circuit and was pleasantly surprised that my first ever 5km run with absolutely no prior training I managed to achieve a time of 35 minutes and 48 seconds. Admittedly I was only 4 people off being the last to complete the course and the other runners in front of me were serious runners completing the course in 16 minutes but for my first one I was pleased.

Once my legs stop aching I'll decide if I am brave enough to run the course again without the support of my family by my side and try to improve on my time and get fitter by taking part in the free Park Run events.

For those that haven't heard of Park Run here's some more details. There are over 300 locations across the UK where you can take part in timed 5km runs. Anything from 50 to 500 runners often take place in each race and all races are put on by local volunteers and are completely free to enter. If your not running one week you can volunteer as a race marshall and support the events in other ways. For more information visit http://www.parkrun.org.uk/