Saturday, 14 April 2018

Preston Park parkrun

 79 miles is a long way to go for a parkrun.  I am not in the habit of touring for the sake of touring, I like my Saturday lie ins far too much, but today I needed to go to Brighton to pick up race numbers for tomorrow's 10k.  70 miles is a long way to go for a 10k, but my daughter is running her first marathon and as I am not marathon fit then the 10k is as much as I can manage to support her.

Anyway, back to parkrun.  I checked that it was going ahead, the marathon and 10k start in Preston Park, and read up about parking on the course page and then set out at daft o'clock to make sure I got there in plenty of time.  I did, but then had a bit of a parking nightmare, as I couldn't park in the park and had to find on street parking that wasn't 'permit holders only' and that was big enough for me to incompetently parallel park my hire car.  Then there was a stress filled 10 minutes where I had to work out how to pay - downloading an app on my smartphone as this seemed to be the only way to pay and making my way to the start just in time to listen to the first time runners' briefing.  

We were soon on the start line, the mist that had plagued my drive down had cleared and it was starting to get quite warm.  The course is a three lapper, all on tarmac paths with the added excitement this week of running through inflatable arches.   There is an out and back section - I always love an out and back section so I can people spot.  I spotted a bloke with a beard (I know - how unusual and in Brighton too?) and thought 'Oh, he looks a bit like Paul Sinton-Hewitt,' and didn't think much more about it until looking at the results.  It had been PSH, I should have said hello, but I didn't get the chance.

I didn't go for an all out effort today.  I finished in 26.19, trying to save something for tomorrow, but it felt quite comfortable and I managed a sneaky sprint finish to overtake someone just before the finish line.  The volunteers on the course were super, really vocal in their encouragement and support - thank you to all of them!

I didn't hang around afterwards, as I had to get to the Event Village to pick up race packs, a four mile round trip with the deadline of pre-paid parking hanging over me!   It is another early start tomorrow morning as we return to Brighton.

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