The one with the stupid yellow Camero. It’s Saturday morning, it’s 5:45am and I’m getting ready to head out the door to go run Clermont parkrun for the second time before flying back from Florida to the UK. Last week I’d rented a big white Ford F-150 pickup truck, this week I’ve been pursuaded that I really needed to rent a Camero and it had to be bright yellow, just like Bumblebee! Who am I to refuse the wishes of both my kids and my inner child!
So under the cover of darkness I crept out of our apartment and stealthily made off into the night. OK, that’s not completely true, as well as being loud in colour the V8 engine of the Camero isn’t exactly subtle. As with last week, even at 6am the temperature was up there, 28 degrees and 96% humidity. I had to use the intermittent wiper on the drive up due to the moisture in the air. After what seemed like a really loud and short amount of time I was parking up at Clermont Boathouse.
Usually the sunrise is magnificent over the water but this morning at 7am it had yet to break through the cloud layer. The blast furnace yet to cook us, the possibility that I could beat last weeks time crept into my mind, it feels cooler than last weekend, it could be on! Chatting to the run director, Kimberly, before the new runners brief she assures me that it will be along in due course! I’m hoping that she’s going to be proved wrong as its hot enough as it is.
This week the attendance was slightly less than the previous week with 69 runners toeing the start line compared to 108 the week before. At approximately 7:30am we were given the 3-2-1 countdown and released to run wild and free, or something like that. I recognise last weeks first finisher, Luiz Prestes, taking off at great pace with a good number of runners accompanying him. I started on the 3rd row and try to keep up with another runner I recognised from last week, Liz, she’s from Guildford and also sporting an Apricot top like me. She’s off at a much better rate than me so I’ve got no chance of keeping pace, my Garmin beeps at me at the first mile, 7.49, I can’t sustain this so back off a bit to a slightly more comfortable 8.20 pace, my heart rate sitting at around 154bpm.
I’m glad I did back off as the sun did indeed break through and things started to heat up a bit, if I’d tried to sustain under 8 minute miles I’d definitely have blown up. The second mile, even at the reduced pace, was really hard work as the temperature started to rise, but running back towards it you are treated to the customary spectacular views over the water. I’ll also chuck it out there now that I must have put on a stone in the time I’ve been here, I’m certainly feeling more fat and bloated than when we arrived, the food is ridiculous.
Running past the start/finish we get cheers of support from the volunteers at the finish funnel, I hate running past the finish on any run but the support makes it far more bearable. My Garmin beeps at me for a second time, 8.20 and holding on. The third mile seemed to drag on forever, the second turnaround point just didn’t seem to get any nearer. As the sun is beating down I perform my customary sunglasses shuffle, put them on, can’t see through them, attempt to clean them, try wearing them again, get fed up and return them to where they usually live, propped on top of my head! This distracts me briefly as does the guy with the undone shoelace in front of me. Beep, 3 miles up, 8:19, nice and consistent.
With the boathouse in sight I managed to put on a burst of speed over the final 100 metres and make up a place seeing me across the line in 22nd place and the 17th male out of a field of 69 parkrunners and 4th in my age category VM40-44. Did I beat my time from last week is the question? The answer is a resounding no! I’m about a minute off the pace, I ran a 25:23 this week. My PB at Clermont Waterfront parkrun remains 00:24:29.
Full results for this weeks parkrun (#147) are Here. Last weeks first finisher did it again this week, Luis Prestes, he finished in an incredible 18:04 and was busy scanning barcodes by the time I finished! Top fella! I also have to mention Hector Clemente, as with last week, he took pictures at the start, then ran the course in 23:22 and continued taking pictures at the end (I’ve swiped a couple of them off Flckr). Fantastic stuff.
I really enjoyed running Clermont parkrun whilst on holiday in Orlando, I can’t recommend it enough. The core team are very passionate about their parkrun which is very evident. They are very warm and welcoming as are the local runners. Bottles of water get laid on for all finishers, which is much needed at the end of a hot 5k run. If I ever get the chance to make a return trip it will definitely be on my itinerary to visit it again.
Thank you Clermont, see you again.