It’s very unusual for me to do 2 events on one weekend, especially since my achilles started to make its presence felt. Usually, if I’m running at something on Sunday, I’ll volunteer at parkrun so I have a rest day. However this weekend, it was hard to choose between the parkrun launch and Mother’s Day classic….so I did both!
My alarm clock went off even earlier than on Saturday and I was out of the house in the dark, heading into town to meet up with my friends. I arrived early so sat in my car, watching the rain fall down, when a police car pulled up alongside me. Not that I was doing anything wrong but I swear I have an inbuilt guilty conscience – what had I done!? As it turned out, I hadn’t done anything – it was a parkrun friend who knew we were meeting up and wanted to wish us all luck.
After a quick photo stop, we headed off for the usual pre-race toilet break then joined the masses at the waterlogged Eastern Beach and tried to keep as warm and dry as possible until the start. Shedding our waterproof layers was hard – I don’t mind a bit of rain but the rain, wind and general coldness might have been enough to keep me away if I hadn’t been with friends.
We actually managed to miss the starting gun – the warm up and festivities at the stage area were still going on while the starting gun went and we turned at the noise to find a small group setting off across the line. We headed over and started in our own time. As the walkers and runners start together, there was a little ducking and weaving but there was plenty of room to spread out.
I ran with my friend for the first 1km and was impressed with myself as I managed to keep running, despite the steady hill heading up to Eastern Park. Knowing I didn’t want to push my foot, I switched to a 3/1 run/walk strategy after that. The rain had held off and it was just a very light drizzle which kept me cool without being annoying. And few things could take away the joy from running in this spot – Eastern Park is one of my favourite places to run in Geelong.
The last couple of kilometres were the hardest as we came out of the park and headed down towards and beach and the brutal sea ‘breeze’.
I was pleasantly surprised at my time as I crossed the finish but then looked at the other part of my watch and realised it wasn’t really the 8km run that was advertised – my watch was registering a bit over 7.6km. I checked with my friends and found similar results – definitely shorter than intended. But an enjoyable run nevertheless.
We stayed around a little afterwards to cheer another fellow parkrunner over the start line which is exactly when the heavens opened, ensuring all 4km runners and walkers were well and truly drenched. My walk back to the car felt more like a swim which just caused me to giggle – who the heck would not only choose to do this but pay for the privilege?! Me, that’s who 🙂
Overall, a great weekend, made even better by the friends I ran with and chatted to throughout. As much as I love my ‘alone time’ when I run, there’s definitely something to be said for being part of a supportive team of runners.