Last weekend, various running friends pointed their cars west and headed towards Port Fairy for the much anticipated parkrun launch. Port Fairy has always been a favourite spot of mine, especially as it was where I started my teaching career, so I was really looking forward to a weekend of running and frivolity in Port.
We were able to join up for dinner with a few of the others who had arrived for the Friday night and, as usual, had a great time. Each time I meet up with this group of adventurers, I’m reminded how warm, welcoming and accepting the running community is and how lucky I am to have found them.
We almost got a sleep in the next day as parkrun was only a 5 minute drive from our beach house although we headed there early to make sure we knew where to go. With plenty of parking, a clean toilet block and stunning view of the beach from the car park, the start location is great and easy to find.
The briefing included a welcome from the Territory Director and a local Councillor before Run Director Kate got us ready to start. The start line is a short walk along the track and had room enough for the 137 participants.
Once we started, it wasn’t long before we were headed uphill – not a huge hill but enough to remind the lungs and legs that they existed. The course is 3 laps around a meandering track in Russell Clark reserve and includes concrete path, gravel and grass. Out of all of that, I probably found the spongy grass most challenging, even though that section was flat. Don’t let me scare you off – the hills really aren’t that big and they’re compensated for by downhills. Even more than that, it’s very pretty so you are suitably distracted. And I needed it – I really, really don’t like multi-lap courses. Exactly how much I don’t like them came back to me about halfway through my last lap as I passed all the people who had already finished and were hanging out and enjoying themselves in the finish area. I put my head down and continued the slog.
There was certainly plenty of encouragement out on the course from volunteers and fellow parkrunners and I needed this to finish that lap and shuffle/sprint for the finish line. A big thank you to Courtney (from Warrnambool parkrun) for her support at the end – it always helps to have someone push you in those last few metres to get to the flags.
I was very happy to see all my friends again at the finish but was even happier to catch up with my husband who completed his first parkrun (after 3 years of me nagging him!) – very proud of him 🙂
Well done to all at Port Fairy – another great parkrun in the region and yet another excuse to visit this little piece of paradise.
photos taken by volunteer photographers at Port Fairy parkrun