A new month means a new parkrun – not just for me though, this was an inaugural event.  New for all!

Route description
Three slightly uneven laps around the park.

Course profile
Flat through the middle.  It’s uphill round the back of the lap, steep at first and lessening…before a twisty, steep descent that’s quite similar to Drumchapel and takes a bit of confidence to take full advantage of.

Underfoot
Mostly paved, with a couple of short grass sections (barely 100m in total)

Shoes
Road shoes, though grippy ones are better in the wet!

Difficulty
3/6.  Tackling the hill and the descent three times makes this tough.  Difficulty increased by the tight path at the top next to the wall, and the immovable bench making it narrower still.  Be sure to keep your head up!

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That’s enough about the set up – time for my own adventure…

A fierce wind made me rethink my original plans to cycle the twenty or so miles down to Peebles, so bus it was.  Made good time, and got to the park in good time for a change of shoes and a chat with a few familiar faces, both local and fellow ‘tourists’.

A few thank you’s to those who helped make the event a reality served as the appetiser before the main event got underway.

I took up near the front as they tried to sort runners roughly by speed.  Running from right to left through the middle of the park, this was the widest part of the course, but still makes sense to get folk sorted in anticipation of the pinch points later in the lap.

I might have run a marathon last week but I still fancied a decent performance for the record books, so a speedy start it was.  My legs felt surprisingly good, which might be what happens when I take the week off.

I was probably 15th or so down the opening straight, but gradually picked off places as I went through 1km in 3:48.

The first time up the hill was a bit of a slog, and the downhill a little scary – I was holding myself back and still struggling to make the corners!  Second km down in a more reserved 4:01.

The third kilometre had more up than down so 4:02 isn’t too surprising.  By now I was ninth, and that’s where I’d stay.

I tried to hunt down fellow clubmate and brief co-leader in Coll during the later stages but never really got on his shoulder.  Navigating around the runners on earlier laps is a tricky at times and kept my on my toes, too!

Fourth kilometre passed in 3:59, with the final downhill my finest effort.  The finish line was a bit further away than I thought but a split of 3:52 to got me across in 19:44.

A successful morning then, and look forward to tracking how the event progresses over the coming weeks.

Went for the obligatory coffee and carrot cake at the Ramblers Coffee Shop.  Very tasty!

A few photos to finish…Men’s 10k report up next at some point in the next week.

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* it might be called Haylodge parkrun…this doesn’t appear to be settled yet