Havant parkrun and Queen Elizabeth parkrun double

The one with the resolutions and the New Year’s Day double. First off let me start by wishing you all a very happy new year, welcome to 2017! I’m not going to bore you with any of that “new year, new me” stuff because I’m starting the year off by running a couple of parkruns and doing a bit of blogging, so basically a relatively normal weekends activity for me! It does differ slightly in as much as I will have run not one but four separate 5k’s this weekend, three of them being parkrun! We’ve been very fortunate this year with the Christmas and New Year period, we’ve been able to run five parkruns in the space of eight days, thanks to the wonderful folks that tirelessly put these events on. Thank you ever so much, I’ve capitalised on this and have now ticked off 61 parkruns!


The morning started off with a short trip up the road to my home parkrun. I had contemplated joining a friend and ticking off two new tourist locations by doing the double over in Brighton, but the thought of a home run to kick off the year appealed highly. It was quite lucky that I stayed at home as it turned out that she ended up at Havant and QE anyway! So I’ve started the year off where the love affair began, Havant, followed by a quick jaunt (mad dash!) up the road to the beautiful but tough Queen Elizabeth course. Neither of these courses are what you would call flat or easy. There are many inclines and descents with very little flat, there is mud and puddles, the conditions underfoot are tricky with odd camber and lumps and bumps, it’s not a walk in the park, to coin a phrase! Both the courses are challenging in their own right, fortunately the weather has been relatively kind to us of late so they’re not as challenging as they could be.


Havant parkrun

There were 252 people at Havant today with a healthy tourist contingent making the trip to do the Havant and Queen Elizabeth double, a nice Q to tick off the list for those alphabeteers! It had started spitting a bit just before 9am but it wasn’t too bad really, all that was going through my head was that it’ll be softening QE up nicely! There were loads of friends and familiar faces there today, it is nice to run my home run on occasions like this, it’s like putting the band back together!


I had decided that I wasn’t going to push hard and take it relatively easy seeing as it’s not the last run of the day. Much to the displeasure of a few I followed the Havant golden rule, “no nancying around the puddles!” and plowed straight through the puddles on the first corner, there were a few squeals as I inadvertently splashed a few people, sorry about that! #sorrynotsorry. Again I fell into the usual trap along the back straight at Havant of thinking I’m further round the course than I actually am! It’s my 30th run at Havant, you’d think I’d know by now, but no, it catches me out every time, that little dogleg.


I caught up with a QE Social Run regular, James SHARMAN and fell in behind him for the second lap, we had a great little sprint finish at the end, top running from James, maybe next time I’ll out sprint you! Still, very happy with my position of 103rd and time of 27:13, a great start to the year. There was no post run coffee, cake or Cornetto for most of us, instead a stream of cars full of sweaty runners poured out of the carpark, dedicated parkrunners heading off to get their NYD double run done!

Queen Elizabeth parkrun

After a brief mad dash up the A3 we arrived at the amazing Queen Elizabeth Country park. I’d spent a lot of time in 2016 here and love the place. Judging by the crowd of people there were a lot of people doing the double. Loads of faces from Havant there as well as quite a few from Fareham also over for the double. I’ve never seen this many people there, it could well be a course attendance record! My friends Matt and Amy HEDLEY made the trip up too, both had done Havant first and Matt was going to run QE with me whilst Amy supported and cheered us on. They’re both relatively new to running and parkrun itself, these courses slightly more challenging than their pancake flat Southsea home run!


As suspected the light rain had softened things up a bit, QE is the home of the chalky clay mud, it’s amazing stuff, so slippy yet sticky, it’s like running through treacle and no way near as tasty! QE really is up there as a tough old parkrun, more so when it starts getting a bit claggy underfoot. It was nice to run the whole course with Matt today, I normally run parkrun on my own so it made a pleasant change to have company especially as it was tough work after Havant.


We finished it in something like 29:30 (official results not yet in), thank you Colin ROWLAND, top photobombing sir! I finished in 121st place, given that last time I ran QE on Christmas Day there were 61 runners there’s quite a difference! It was a tough old morning doing the double but what a brilliant way to start the year!


Would my parkrun experience be complete without a Cornetto, err, nope! Luckily for me the cafe at QECP was open and stuffed to the rafters with sweaty runners! Along with a decent cup of coffee they have a nice little range of Cornetto’s available. I went for the always reliable Strawberry to sort out my post run nutrition, whilst the ever lovely Aimee CHAMBERS and Rachael GETTY went for the classic and mint choc respectively, strong choices there ladies, strong choices!

#parkruncornetto, it’s totally a thing!

Volunteers

I’ve got to say thank you again to all the volunteers throughout this Christmas and New Year period. We’ve been totally spoilt with 5 events in 8 days and it wouldn’t be possible without these guys giving up their time and quite often their runs to allow us to run. My sincerest thanks to each and every last one of you, you are amazing #lovevolunteers

Fin…

So I’m going to round this NYD blog up with some plagerisation, I saw these sentiments posted about running in general, but I thought I’d modify them slightly to be about parkrun as the words rang true.

The thing about parkrun is that it’s not just exercise! It’s not just achievement! It’s a weekly discipline that has nothing to do with speed, weight, social status, sexual orientation, political affiliation, where you live, what car you drive, or whether anyone anywhere loves you. It’s about the slow and painful process of being the best you can be!!

Happy New Year one and all, be the best that you can be!

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