From the biggest parkrun to one of the smallest. Aldenham has around 30 runners each week, compared to the thousand at Bushy.
I ran with my friends Avril and Chris, who were on their first parkrun (and first ever 5k). Avril chose Aldenham on the basis that it was round a lake, so must be flat and pretty. As a bonus, we found when we arrived that it’s on a farm, complete with sheep, ponies and petting zoo.
The course itself is two laps round the lake, with a welcome short-cut on the second lap. The ground is slightly uneven and muddy in parts, which isn’t a problem if you’re happy to take the odd detour here-and-there, maybe more of a problem if your gunning for a PB.
We ran round at a slow but steady pace, finishing in just over 40 minutes. (Just under for Chris as he had a much better sprint finish than me or Avril!) I finished 35th, which was my best ever finishing position, and a big improvement on 365th last week. (Let me have this moment – no-one need mention that there were only 35 runners.) Results are up here: Aldenham 19.03.2016
The volunteer team were really welcoming and supportive. Many thanks for organising the event and for your encouragement on the course.
And most of all, congratulations to Avril and Chris on your first parkrun. I hope you’re still as keen as you were at our post-run coffee, and planning for your next event. (Particularly if it’s at nearby Harrow or South Oxhey which I’ve not done yet…)
Running with parkrun newbies is my absolute favourite, so if you’ve got in mind that you might like to try it out then please let me know.
Plea for help: I’m going to write up a special blog post on tips for beginners. What worked for you when you first started? What made you decide to run in the first place, what kept you motivated, what challenges came up and how did you deal with them? I know what worked for me, but it’s different for everyone, so very useful to get different points of view.
And finally – I’m raising money for Alzheimer’s Research UK over the course of the year. Please see my JustGiving page page if you’re able to help.