The Day I Became A Parkrun Tourist

Posted: January 28, 2017 in Fitness, Health, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

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When my daughter announced she had got an audition at a prominent Dance academy we were very pleased. When she told me it was 120 miles away in Leeds and she would only need to be there half a day…. not so much!

Anyway, my new mental philosophy is to try to turn a negative into a positive. The audition was on a Saturday and Saturday is Parkrun day. A quick google found me not only a Parkrun close to the Dance school but a Hotel slap between the two. It didn’t take long for a plan to form in my mind. Travel up on the Friday night, sleep in the Hotel, both be fresh as daisies for our exertion in the morning.

The plan went with out a hitch and, despite the weather being on the drizzly side, I left the Hotel and ran the mile to Woodhouse Moor, known colloquially as Hyde Park. The buildings I passed along the way were stunning and a real credit to Leeds.

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So, this leads me (Leeds, Get it?) on to the park run itself. Situated in a very pleasant park behind some of the Leeds University campus, the course consists of, mostly, tarmacked paths with some grass/ mud (mostly mud on a rainy morning in January). Being a smaller area than my home Parkrun of The Memorial Park in Coventry, Woodhouse Moor requires almost 3 full laps to complete the 5k route. The route is quite undulating with 250 feet of elevation change. Strangely enough the route felt more down hill than up but this must have been my imagination or the famous “runners high”, who knows?

The run started just a few minutes late with a cheerful briefing and a round of applause and a few friendly jeers for the visitor from down south and also a visit from the Leeds University Mascot.

I completed the run in an official time of 24:29 helped, in part, by the downhill sections no doubt. This is now just a few seconds off my PB for 5k so my leg is definitely getting stronger. I just hope that this is a sign that my injury is a thing of the past.

Post race there were sweets and cakes laid on by the University. Unfortunately I didn’t partake as I had to be back to my hotel to shower and check out but I did have time to chat to a couple of runners. One of which had come over from India and was only running his second ever Parkrun.

Summing up I had a fabulous experience of a new city and a new to me Parkrun. If you are reading this and are thinking I could never run 5k, it’s cool, you don’t have to. walk, jog, run, it’s totally up to you but please go and try one. There is bound to be one close to you.

Take a look at http://www.parkrun.org.uk/ it might just provide your path to fitness and turn you in to a runner like it did me.

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