Category Archives: Parkrun

Rory parkrun Challenge

10 weeks of parkrun in memory of Rory

There is a challenge known as #7weeksofparkrun, the idea is to run at seven consecutive parkrun venues and the first letters of each venue’s name combined spells out the word ‘parkrun’, which my running friend Steve Stockwell (aka blog7t) has completed.

Capture

I have decided to run at 10 venues with the first letters of each venue to spell ‘Rory Sowden’ and complete the challenge on my 100th parkrun.  I have decided to do this challenge to combine two things that I love, our son Rory and Parkrun.  Once completed I will able to take a screenshot of my results page together with Rory’s name, which I will be able to keep forever.

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Always Loved, Never Forgotten #Running4Rory

In order to complete the challenge. I will need to complete the venues in reverse order and finishing at a venue beginning with ‘R’.  My plan is to complete my 100th parkrun at ‘Royal Tunbridge Wells’ due to there being a Tunbridge Wells SANDs group (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death charity) and I’m hoping I might be able to raise awareness about Stillbirth during my challenge.

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Club T-shirt I will be able to claim at end of challenge

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Dunorlan Park – home to Royal Tundbridge Wells parkrun (Photo courtesy of blog7t)

 

This is not a difficult challenge, it just requires planning in advance.  The problem I had was finding a parkrun beginning with ‘Y’, after searching the parkrun website I found there is only two in the UK, York or Yeovil Montacute.  Either way both venues requires a fair bit of travelling.

 

Below is my planned list of events I hoping to visit on the planned dates, which could be subject to change due to other commitments and any cancellations.

 

 

Week Event Planned Date
     
Week 1 Nonsuch 21/05/2016
Week 2 Eastbourne 04/06/2016
Week 3 Dulwich 11/06/2016
Week 4 Whistable 18/06/2016
Week 5 Old deer park 25/06/2016
Week 6 Sittingbourne 09/07/2016
Week 7 Yeovil Montacute 16/07/2016
Week 8 Riddlesdown 23/07/2016
Week 9 Orpington 30/07/2016
Week 10 Royal Tunbridge Wells 06/08/2016

 

 

I’ve currently completed 90 parkruns and will start my quest at Nonsuch Park in Cheam this Saturday.  If anyone of my running friends wishes to join me at any event, feel free to come along.

Lullingstone Park Runner of the Month July 2015

This morning I woke up to a very nice e-mail from Parkrun, informing me that I had been chosen for Lullingstone Parkrun’s monthly award.

Congratulations Ben SOWDEN
You have been selected as the winner of this month’s Sweatshop Prize at Lullingstone parkrun.
Please print the attached certificate and present it to the manager of your nearest Sweatshop branch to claim your prize.

I am so pleased that I had been selected, especially as Lullingstone holds a special place in my heart.

Our son Rory was sadly born asleep on Saturday 30th May 2015.  The weekend before our tragic event, I remember that he was moving loads inside Mummy’s tummy and I had felt him kick on many occassions.

On the Bank Holiday Monday 25th May 2015 we finished off putting up the Winnie the Pooh Wall stickers in the Nursery.  Then In the afteroon Me, my Wife and Baby Bump  (I say Baby Bump, because at the time we did not know what sex our baby was) visited Lullingstone Country Park and had a nice walk along the river Darent.

After losing our Son I stopped going running for a while and the first run I ever did was on Saturday 20th June at Lullingstone Parkrun.  I found myself being drawn to there and before the event I went and sat on the same very bench us three had sat on almost 4 weeks before.  I was thinking back to when we last sat there ‘everything was perfect’ we had just finished the nursery and we were so happy and so excited about becoming parents.

View from 'Rory's' Bench

View from ‘Rory’s’ Bench

I had always really liked Lullingstone Parkrun, even though the course is tough, I really like ‘off road’ runs and views at the top are stunning.  I used to alternate between Lullingstone Parkrun and my home parkrun Shorne Woods.  I have purchased a parking permit which can be used for both Country Parks.

So, on the 27th June 2015 I went to Shorne Woods to see some familiar faces and then 4th August 2015 I was drawn back to Lullingstone.  I have ran there every week since and since returning I have tried to improve on my times every week. My PB is currently 30:37 and the closest I’ve got was 30:50 on Saturday 1st August.  My aim now is to improve on my PB and get a sub 30 mins.

Attempting to sprint at the finish.

Attempting to sprint at the finish.

When I run now, I always wear my Sports Band with a special message from our Angel Rory, I always think of him when I’m running and try to do my best to make him proud.

Running in Rory's memory.

Running in Rory’s memory.

It feels amazing to be rewarded for doing something that I really enjoy doing and that helps me feels closer to my Son.  Thank you Lullingstone Parkrun and thank you Sweatshop.

8 Weeks of Parkrun

You’ve heard of the 12 days of Christmas, this is my brief story of the 8 different parkrun events that I’ve had the pleasure to visit in the last 8 weeks.

Week One – 23/08/2014 – Tonbridge Parkrun #43

I ran at the inaugural event on 9th November 2013 and I thoroughly enjoyed it and I promised that I would go back again to improve on my time.  So on this parkrun day I decided it was about time to go back.  I picked a great day to go back as a the parkrun was supported by the local running club, Tonbridge AC, who provided all of the volunteers and pacers.  To show their appreciation to Tonbridge AC, the regular runners and volunteers decided to dress up in a black and white theme.

Tonbridge AC runners with Pacing times on their backs.

Tonbridge AC runners with Pacing times on their backs.

I really enjoyed the course and had a good run, I tried to keep up with the 27 min pacer but eventually finished in 27:18.  Despite not managing to get a sub 27 mins I managed to improve on my previous time by 1:29, which was very pleasing.

Week Two – 30/08/2014 – Maidstone Parkrun #73

I’ve only ever ran this course once previously on New Years Day and again I though it was about time to have another crack of the course.  The route is an out and back which starts at the Kent Life Museum and the follows the River Medway to the turnaround point in Whatman Park.

River Medway

River Medway

The course is quite narrow in places and in the early part of run there were a few bottle necks, so I would suggest any faster runners to start at the front.  I was aiming to improve on my time and bring it down similar to my times at other parkrun events, around 27:15. I finished slightly slower than I hoped, however I still managed to achieve a course PB with a time of 27:25.

Week Three – 06/09/2014 – Bognor Parkrun #15

I was spending a weekend in Pagham, West Sussex with my family and was pleased to find that there was a parkrun only 5 miles from where I was staying, which was Bognor Regis Parkrun at Hotham Park.  This is a very unique and special Parkrun, there was a real community feel at this event and the course was very quirky.

Me in my 'Run for fun' T-shirt not looking like I'm having fun.

Me in my ‘Run for fun’ T-shirt not looking like I’m having fun.

The course is fairly flat and I went off way to quick at the start and suffered for it later on in the run, however I managed to get a sub 27 min, which I’ve only ever managed at one other parkrun course, being Bexley Parkrun at Danson Park.

Week Four – 13/09/2014 – Dartford Parkrun #8

Dartford Parkrun is one of my local Parkrun events and I planned to go here because my running club, Dartford Road Runners, decided to have a pre-park run warm-up session.  However, I got up too late and missed the session, but I did manage to get to the park in time for the parkrun.

The course is two laps of Dartford Central Park, it is mostly on tarmac paths and fairly flat, with the exception of a small grass section.  The 2nd lap is slightly longer than the 1st as it incorporates ‘Jaggers leg’.  Jaggers leg is where the route goes round the Mick Jagger statue that is the corner of the park.

Start of Inaugural Dartford Parkrun. (Photo Courtesy of Parkrun Flickr Page)

Start of Inaugural Dartford Parkrun. (Photo Courtesy of Parkrun Flickr Page)

I remembered from the previous week that I started too quick, so i decided to start further at the back and start off slower and then work my way through the field slowly picking up my pace.    That was the plan anyway, but my mile splits were 8:35, 9:01 & 8:59.  Despite my run not going to plan is still managed to get a course PB and just sneaked under 27 mins, with my official time of 26:59.

Week Five – 20/09/2014 – Orpington Parkrun #109

I had decided to visit Orpington on this day as they were celebrating their two years anniversary.  To mark the occasion the theme for the morning was ‘fancy hats’ however I couldn’t find my fancy hat so I just wore my running cap instead.

I arrived at Goddington park early to get parked as I thought it may be busy.  Whilst doing a warm-up, it was great to see all the runners arrive in their fabulous hats, which ranged from Robin Hood to full Darth Vador face masks.

Start of Orpington Parkrun 2nd Anniversary (Photo Courtesy of Parkrun Flickr Page)

Start of Orpington Parkrun 2nd Anniversary (Photo Courtesy of Parkrun Flickr Page)

At the briefing before the start of the run we were informed that was a surprise that we will be running the course in reverse.  The route comprises of 2 larger laps and 1 small lap of Goddington Park, it mostly on grass with a small section on a concrete paths.  I would recommend to wear trail trainers when the course is wet, because it can get quite muddy and slipper, however due to having the warmest September on record the course was dry and was fine with normal road shoes.

I always find this course tough and found it harder in reverse, however I was pretty pleased with my time of 27:46, it wasn’t a PB but it was my fastest time at Orpington this year.

Week Six – 27/09/204 – Great Lines Parkrun #53 

Myself and Ian Pullen planned in advance to return to Great Lines for their 1st Anniversary, this was my 2nd run at Great Lines with my 1st being their inaugural event.  The Run Director, Tony Giles and his hardcore team decided that to celebrate the event they encouraged everyone to wear fancy dress.

Ian had asked if I was going to wear fancy dress, I said to him that I only had a batman costume, then lo and behold Ian tells me that he has got a robin outfit, so that was that!!!

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I picked Ian up in my bat mobile (aka black peugeot 206) and we made our way to Gillingham.  We arrived early and then made our final touches to our costumes before making our way to the park.  It was great to see so many people who also made the effort to dress up too.  Even Tom Collins dressed up, however his costume was an elite athlete and to mark the occasion he broke the course record with an amazing time of 15:55.  As soon we started we could see Tom pulling away from the rest of the field with every stride and made it look so easy.

Ian (aka Robin) decided to run with me at my pace.  I found it quite difficult to run in the costume, it was very hot and I found it hard to breathe, in fact I remember crossing the line and then throwing up in the bushes. I don’t know how people run a marathon in fancy dress, we found a new level of respect for those guys.  We finished with a time of 27:32, which was only 20 seconds slower than my previous time, which I was pretty happy with.

Afterwards we had grabbed a cup of tea from the local cafe and sampled some of the cakes that were baked by the runners and volunteers. What a great way to start the weekend.

Week 7 – 04/10/2014 – Bushy Park Parkrun #539 

Today was the 10 year anniversary of Parkrun and myself and Ian had planned to go where it all started.  I picked Ian in the Bat Mobile about 6.30am to ensure we got to bushy park in plenty of time and get parked.  We knew that a record number of runners were expected to attend, Ian had done Bushy Park about 4 weeks previously and on that day there were 900+ runners, so we knew there would be in excess of 1,000 runners.

When we arrived at the park about 7.30am it was a beautiful autumn morning and the mist was clearing and it was great to see the deer in the park too.  The car park was fairly empty, however it soon filled up pretty quick and then the car park was gridlocked.

As the start time got closer we had a little warm-up and then could see the crowds of people making their way to the start.  It was incredible to see the amount of runners there, before the race started their were a few presentations and golden bar codes were given to the original 13 runners who ran the very 1st Parkrun at Bushy Park 10 years previous.

The course is one lap of Bushy park and is fairly flat, as I had never ran this event before I thought I would take it easy.  However at the start I think I got caught up with the moment and flew off with the other 1,704 runners.  I started to pay for it later and struggled on the last mile, but I still managed a time which is quicker than most of my other Parkrun PB’s. My official results was finishing position of 913 with a time of 27:02.  Ian had a great run and achieved his all time 5k PB with a great time of 21:24.

1,705 runners at the start of the 10 year anniversary (Photo courtesy of Parkrun Flickr page)

1,705 runners at the start of the 10 year anniversary (Photo courtesy of Parkrun Flickr page)

Not only was it impressive seeing 1,705 runners at the start, it was even more impressive how the volunteers managed the finishing funnel, it was like military precision.   There was a great atmosphere and it was so good to be part of the celebrations and the park is stunning, I will definitely go back in the future.

Week 8 – Shorne Woods Parkrun #82

Shorne Woods is my home parkrun, so after all the touring in the last 7 weeks I decided it was about time I went back home.  I really like shorne woods and it’s only about 5 miles from home so I try to cycle there when I can, which is also a great warm-up.

When I woke up it was wet outside, but the forecast predicted that the rain would stop in time for the parkrun and would hold off for a few hours, so I decided to cycle there as planned.  The course is mainly on gravel paths around shorne woods country park, with a few twists and turns, mud and puddles.

Despite the rain, 79 hardcore runners lined up at the start of which 9 of them were parkrun virgins, which is great to see more and more people joining Parkrun.  I had a 10k race booked up for the Sunday so I wanted to take it fairly easy and decided to start of slower I managed to keep to even pace of approx 9 mins per mile and finished in a time of 27:43, which is my fastest time this year at Shorne Woods.

Taking in part in the wet t-shirt competition (Photo courtesy of Parkrun Flickr Page)

Taking in part in the wet t-shirt competition (Photo courtesy of Parkrun Flickr Page)

The end of my touring streak

I am unable to make it 9 out of 9 as I will be away this coming saturday with my Wife and Family.  Now my little touring streak has come to an end it will be nice to continue to do some more local parkruns and catch up with some more familiar faces.

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Main Gate and External Wall.

Main Gate and External Wall.

I had a weekend away booked with my wife and family, we were staying in Pagham, West Sussex.  Recently when I checked out the Parkrun website I was delighted to find that not only was there a Parkrun nearby, I had a choice of two, Chichester and Bognor Regis.  Both Chichester and Bognor are fairly new courses, starting on 02/08/2014 and 24/05/2014 respectively.

I was like a kid in a sweetshop, when I knew I could get my Parkrun fix, but how do you decide which one to choose.  Firstly I looked to see which was one the closest to where I was staying, according to google maps, Bognor is 4.7 miles away (approx. 12 mins) and Chichester is 6.5 miles (approx. 15 mins).   So, there wasn’t much in it, so next I thought I would look at the course details and see how many laps they both are, as I personally don’t enjoy multi lap events.  I then found out that the course at Chichester is 3 laps and Bognor is 1 small lap and 3 bigger laps, oh dear.  How I do choose now, I though I look at the photos of the two courses and see which is more interesting. I looked at the Flickr pages and no disrespect to Chichester, the course looked like it is laps of a rugby field, I’m sure it is more interesting than that, so I started swaying to Bognor as the background looked more varied.  Then I stumbled across a video of the Bognor Parkrun, created by Parkrunner Dennis McLinden, shared on facebook.  After watching the following video, my mind was made up.

On Parkrun morning I was up early and made my way to Hotham Park following my Sat Nav and found the park fairly easy.  My Sat Nav took me to the London Road car park, which is a pay and display car park, which was only 50p an hour.  However I had spent all my change in the arcades the night before, so I began to find somewhere nearby to park.  On London Road there were parking bays with restrictions of maximum 2hrs parking, which was sufficient as I wasn’t planning on hanging around afterwards as my Wife and family would be waiting for me.

I made my way to the park and I followed a few other runners to the start area by the boating lake.  I was there quite early and there were only a few runners at first, then more and more enthusiastic friendly people arrived and nearly all them had brought a cake with them.  A lot of people smiled and said hello to me and I also got talking to a guy called Chris, (who I now know as Christopher Waller from the results page) he was a Parkrun newbie and he was asking me how the bar codes work, I was happy to explain.  We were both talking how great Parkrun is and how it is accessible it is for all and it was great to see the youngsters lining up at the start.

Small, but perfectly formed finishing funnell.

Small, but perfectly formed finishing funnel.

Start line, next to the boating lake.

Start line, next to the boating lake.

Just before 9am we were briefed by the run director and for the first time I was able to put my hand up if there were any Parkrun Tourists, but what was more pleasing was the number of first time runners who put their hands up, hopefully they enjoyed their run and return to Parkrun again in the future.  Then bang on time we were off for the start of the small lap, as we left the start area, we bared round to the right and we soon got to the hairpin turn, which I recognised from the video.

The Hairpin.

The Hairpin.

We were soon approaching the start area again, where the volunteers gave as all great support every time we passed.  On the start of the 2nd lap we turned left and then exited the park boundary walls.  On the outside we followed a footpath that ran alongside the boundary wall and then we turned right through the main gates back into the park.  Then we followed a path that took us back to the boating lake and the start area.  Then we turned left towards the hairpin turn,  once passed here we turned left over the mini railway line and then ran parallel alongside the putting green, which took us to another car park.  From the car park we entered back into the park and headed towards the clock tower.  Once pass the tower the start/finish area is in sight and then it’s only two more laps to go.

External Alleyway

External Alleyway

Hotham Park isn’t the biggest but there are lots to see and do in the park, such as the Miniature Railway, Nature Reserve Area, Boating Lake and the Clock Tower of Sir Richard Hotham’s Chapel.  The route is very quirky, it has lots of twists and turns, it is all on concrete footpaths and best of all, it is flat.

Welcome to Hotham Park

Welcome to Hotham Park

The Park is an area of 22 acres located in the High Street, Bognor Regis.  It first became a public park on 1st January 1947, having been purchased by the former Bognor Regis urban District Council from the executors of the late William Fletcher.

Locally, the park is the most important heritage amenity in Bognor Regis. Sir Richard Hotham, the founder of modern Bognor Regis, built and resided in Hotham Park House and grounds. The House remains intact, and forms an intrinsic part of the heritage of the town.

Sir Richard Hotham, who developed Bognor from an insignificant hamlet into a fashionable seaside resort, having come to the area to partake of the beneficial sea air, built Hotham Park House in 1792. In 1787 he laid the first foundation stone of this new seaside resort thereby becoming the founder of Bognor. He was only to live here for seven years before his death in 1799.  The fine mansion was named The Lodge at that time and had its own private chapel. The clock tower is the only remaining part of Sir Richard’s chapel.

Clocktowr of Sir Richard Hotham's Chapel.

Clock tower of Sir Richard Hotham’s Chapel.

Because the park it is flat it is quite a quick course, but it is quite easy to get too carried away and go off too quickly, just like I did.  I was hoping to get a time similar to my other Parkrun times, approx. 27:15, which is an average about 8:50 mins per mile.  After the first mile, my Garmin beeped and I looked down and to my amazement it said 8:17.  After that I took my foot off the gas a little bit as I knew I wouldn’t be able to sustain it. At mile 2, I was either starting to feel the effects of going off too quickly or from the beer from the night before, my 2nd mile was 8:58 and then towards the end I was just shuffling along and my 3rd mile was the slowest of them all at 9:09.

Me in my 'Run for fun' T-shirt not looking like I'm having fun. (Photo courtesy of Bognor Regis Parkrun Flickr page)

Me in my ‘Run for fun’ T-shirt not looking like I’m having fun. (Photo courtesy of Bognor Regis Parkrun Flickr page)

When I crossed the line I was surprised with my time 26:50,  which is quicker than my PB’s at Dartford, Maidstone, Orpington, Shorne Woods, Tonbridge and Great Lines.  There is only one Parkrun course that I have ran quicker, which is Bexley back in August 2012, so I was well chuffed.  Not long after finishing I sat down to try to catch my breath I then saw Chris crossing the line.  We both congratulated each other and had a quick chat on how we both enjoyed the event.   As first timers to Bognor we both thanked the Run Director and then made our way towards the car park.

Chris on right hand side

Chris on right hand side. (Photo courtesy of Bognor Regis Parkrun Flickr page)

I did really enjoy the race, the volunteers were amazing and done a great job ensuring that I didn’t get lost, which I worried about doing when we were explained the course.  There was a very friendly atmosphere and a very close community feel amongst the runners, who have some amazing baking skills.  Refreshments were available after the run at the lakeside kiosk, sadly I didn’t have time to stay and try some of the treats. I recommend anyone holidaying in the local area or someone looking to do some Parkrun touring to check out this unique event,  it will not disappoint.

Lake Side Cafe

Lake Side Cafe

Boating lake

Boating lake

Some of the Parkrun Volunteers at the start.

Some of the amazing Parkrun Volunteers at the start.

Tonbridge Parkrun #36 – 23/08/2014

After receiving my text last week from Dartford Parkrun with my result and confirmation of my PB, I started to look through all my text results and compared my time to other Parkrun courses.  My Dartford Parkrun PB (27:15) is very similar to my PB’s at Shorne Woods (27:17), Great Lines (27:13) and Orpington (27:23).  

Then I noticed my time for Tonbridge Parkrun 28:49, which I did on the inaugural event, since then I’ve always wanted to go back and have a crack of a PB. During the week I saw on social media that Tonbridge AC were going to provide marshals and pacers, so I thought this maybe a good week to go and have the opportunity to achieve a PB.  So on Parkrun morning I travelled along the A227 from my house in Gravesend all the way to Tonbridge.

(For a detailed description of the inaugural event I recommend you read Steve Stockwell’s Blog http://www.blog7t.com/2013/11/tonbridge-parkrun-inaugural.html)

Tonbridge AC runners with Pacing times on their backs.

Tonbridge AC runners with Pacing times on their backs.

The start area is in the park behind the Swimming Pool and very near to the castle, this has changed since the inaugural event due to problems with flooding of the rugby fields earlier in the year.  There is a public car park near the Swimming Pool, which is £1 for 1hr or £1.40 for 2hrs on a Saturday, from the car park you walk over the bridge which takes you right by the start area.

Entrance to park from Swimming Pool Car Park.

Entrance to park from Swimming Pool Car Park.

Bridge to start area.

Bridge to start area.

 

When I arrived I noticed that they had a gazebo up selling cakes for after the run and there were many people dressed up.  The event Director then stood up and welcomed everyone and explained the reason why they had dressed up, due to Tonbridge AC were giving there support they decided to have a black and white theme to show their appreciation. Due to the race director had quite a few announcements make and protocols to follow, the event started a few minutes late.   

Cake Stall

Cake Stall

 

The course follows a narrow path around the edge of the park and alongside the River Medway, which surrounds the whole parimeter of the park, there were a few bottle necks at the beginning, but once we had crossed over the first of many bridges the field started to spread out.  Initially I was sticking close to the 28 min pacer, but I soon passed him and then saw the 27 min pacer and I thought to myself I wonder if I can keep with him,  so I moved through the field and then kept the pacer in sight.

We were soon onto the path of the original route,  the route ducks under the railway line (I literally did have to duck) and follows the footpath and many bridges towards Haysden Country Park.  We went through a small trail section and then crossed over a wooden bridge to Barden Lake.  We had to loop clockwise round the whole lake and then follow the same route back to the start.  

Barden Lake.  Photo courtesy of N. Chadwick. © Copyright N Chadwick and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Barden Lake. Photo courtesy of N. Chadwick.
© Copyright N Chadwick and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

 

As we reached the lake I was fairly close to the pacer and thought I’m not going to attempt to overtake him, I thought If I can keep close to him my time will be similar or better than some my other parkrun PB’s.  Once round the lake the pacer said well done guys we are only 2 seconds off our target, so I started to think could it be possible that I could get a sub 27.  We continued to follow the route back and after ducking under the railway line the pacer seemed to speed up a bit and I couldn’t quite keep up with him.  At this point I remember I was running alongside a girl who was also trying to keep up the same pace, but she also slowed up and was breathing heavily, I tried to give her some encouragement and said ‘keep going and try breathing through your nose and out your mouth’ and she replied ‘Thanks, are you aiming for 27 mins too’ and the I replied ‘Yeah, I’m trying too’.

We now went over the final bridge and were back in the main park and I could see the gazebo in the distance.  The pacer seemed to speed up even more and I couldn’t keep up with him, so now I just thought keep him in your sights. I knew if I kept him in sight I will still get a course PB and my time would be similar to my other Parkrun PB’s.  Finally we got close to the line and I managed to increase my pace for the last few metres.  Once I crossed the line I stopped my watch at 27:17, which I was happy with because it was a big course PB and it is consistent with my other Parkrun PB’s, but I was slightly disappointed that could keep up with the Pacer and get a sub 27mins.

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Finish Area, with one of many youngsters finishing.

After catching my breath I queued up to get my bar code scanned and whilst in the queue I was encouraging other fellow parkrunners’ across the finish.  It was then I noticed that there was a huge turnout of runners, 260 in total, and many of them were juniors, which is so great to see.  A lot of people were taking advantage of the cake stall, sadly I left my money in my car so I didn’t get a chance to sample the delicious looking cakes.

Queue for Barcode scanning, mostly in Black & White.

Queue for Barcode scanning, mostly in Black & White.

 

On the way home following the A227, I stopped off a Camer Park in Meopham for a breakfast roll and a cup of tea, whilst sitting outside enjoying my breakfast I thought to myself ‘what a nice way to start the day’.  By the time I got home I received my text message with my official results,  my position was 113 and my time was 27:18.

I recommend everyone trying this course,  it has everything, footpaths, trails, bridges and the best part is running round the very picturesque Barden Lakes.  I really enjoyed the run today, the scenery is great and the sun even made an appearance, hopefully I won’t leave it too long before returning again.  Thank you to all the Volunteers and pacers who did a great job and made today’s experience a pleasant one.