Part of my 30 by 30 challenge is to run a parkrun in 10 different locations. So when Jo contacted me to ask if I fancied a bit of tourism to Orpington, I decided this was a good opportunity to check another one off of the list. Plus it’s Juneathon and I should stop slacking.
The day started off with missed breakfast, a walk/jog to the bus stop a mile away just to miss the bus, some stropping to TFL and a hastily consumed banana from Tesco Express. I finally reached Orpington where Jo gave me a lift the rest of the way.
Orpington parkrun is held in Goddington Park. It’s a pretty route, taking in 3 laps of the course, with 2 laps going round a rugby pitch, which is apparently a mud bath in winter. Luckily it was dry today, which was good as I didn’t really fancy wallowing like a hippo.
Briefing over and we were on our way. The course is deceptively tough, covering a mix of tarmac, grass and trail. Each lap has a lovely downhill stretch, unfortunately this does indeed mean a climb back up again, making for some tired legs on the third lap, whilst keeping an eye out for rogue tree routes.
After last Sunday, I’m harbouring dreams of going sub-30 again by the end of summer, but today was not going to be that day. I enjoyed the first two laps, chatting with Jo and Jane, before stopping to stretch out my left calf again. Calf stretched, I carried on into the third lap, aware that I was being used as a pacer by a small child. As I came up the hill for the final time, I was painfully aware of said small child moving ahead of me.
And further ahead.
The finishing funnel looming, I put on a sprint finish and just managed to pip him to the post.
He did great, running a personal best time and I high fived him for forcing the sprint finish.
I finished in 32:31, a time I’m happy with considering that I was there to enjoy it. It’s also my second fastest parkrun since having Rose and on a tougher course, so a good effort all round, with my final kilometre being my fastest in 6 minutes dead.
Afterwards, we stayed for a quick chat with coffee, thoughtfully provided in the pavillion.
I really enjoyed Orpington parkrun. Today saw their largest ever turnout, it was well organised and friendly. I’ll definitely be back at some point to beat my time.
And to continue with my Juneathon effort, I also ran an extra mile when I got home. Yay me.
Thanks Orpington parkrun volunteer team for a fun morning!