This morning I visited Portsmouth Lakeside parkrun to run in their 2nd event. I was one of 135 runners who made it along on this lovely sunny morning, the conditions were perfect. There were lots of milestone shirts on display including a 250 shirt worn by Danny Norman, amazing achievement. There were also a fair few tangerine home run shirts showing where people had come from and a few cow cowls on display too, so very popular with parkrun tourists this morning. It was nice to see and chat with a Southampton contingent this morning braving the trip to Portsmouth. There were club runners, runners with buggies, runners with dogs, runners of all shapes and sizes and abilities, this is one of the things I love about parkrun, it’s all inclusive, come one come all.
The aptly named run starts adjacent to the Lakeside North Harbour business complex, and runs down around the lake. The course takes you along flat tarmac paths to start off then on to gravel paths and allows runners pleasant views of the lake and its surrounding wooded area.
Event director, Rob Hall, gave an all in one pre run brief and course directions for first timers. The course sounds confusing with clockwise turns here, anti clockwise turns there, run on the left, run on the right, but as soon as you get going it becomes very apparent and is actually a remarkably straightforward course. The way it’s routed also gives you opportunities to encourage runners coming the opposite way.
So with the briefing and course directions out of the way it was time to head to the start area to kick things off bang on 9am, like clockwork. This is a fast flat course, I would go as far as saying a PB course, only because I managed my fastest ever parkrun time and I stopped two or three times to take pictures! James Baker took 14 seconds off the course record set last week by Julian Manning, with an amazing time of 16:14, he was flying.
This is a great parkrun, it has all the right ingredients in my opinion. Very easy to get to, oodles of free parking (bonus!), coffee shop, mini co-op and other retail outlets to hand. It’s fast, flat, great surfaces for those adverse to a bit of mud, great scenery and PB potential.
A big thank you to everyone who gave up their time to make Portsmouth Lakeside parkrun happen this week. It doesn’t just happen, people make it so. Please remember the volunteers when you are enjoying your run and think about having a go too. It is great fun and you see a different side of parkrun. If you are thinking ‘I don’t know anyone else doing it’, or ‘it’s always the same people, I don’t want to butt in’, please put those thoughts to one side. You do see familiar faces, often it’s because there is a gap on the roster and the Volunteer Co-ordinator is pulling in a favour. A gap that you, and a friend if you like, could help to fill. All you need to do is get in contact by e-mail, Facebook, Tweet, or even have a good old fashioned face to face conversation with someone one Saturday morning, stick your name down on the list. You’ll love it and you’ll have another reason to feel accomplished before loads of people have even surfaced for the day. What are you waiting for, get involved!