Tuesday, 2 December 2014

parkrunning in Parys

The past two weekends I've done the parkrun in Parys, which brings my total to 6 (1 x Delta an age ago, 2 x Woodlands, 1 x Modderfontein).

I'm not a big parkrunner mostly because I avoid running in the morning wherever possible. BUT... as I've been in Parys and the parkrun, which is only four events down, starts a three-minute run away, I just can't resist. It is a nice opportunity to mingle with local runners and a few people that I've gotten to know here and there.

The route follows the Vaal River and it is really pretty. The only oddity is a loop, to make up some distance. Loops, like at Woodlands, can be useful for those starting out. They can skip the loop and not get results for a while as they build up to doing 5km (run/walk).

Image of a section of the route from the Parys parkrun FB page.
I run the parkrun like a time trial and goodness knows I need to do some faster-pace runs... And that's where parkrun has a great slot for regular runners - as a Saturday morning time trial.

My kick out of parkrun is in receiving my results later in the day. My first time there I was 3rd lady and 2nd in my age category... This past Saturday I was 4th lady but 1st in my age group (and I improved my time my around 15 seconds). It felt like a tough run, probably because of the Gilloolies hill session I did on Thursday evening and the faster-than-conversational run I did around town on Friday evening.

Tracy Rankin spoke at FEAT about parkrun, which really has taken South Africa by storm. There's is much more to it than being a free, timed, 5km run. There are the people involved (volunteers and participants) and the places and parks all around SA - and the World.

To take part, register on the parkrun website (free), download and print your barcode and take it to every parkrun you do. They all start at 08h00 at 44 locations (and always more being added) around SA.

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