I went very local this week, heading to Highbury Fields, which according to Tourist Tool is my second closest parkrun to home.
I was here with Laura Fountain’s Lazy Girl Running Group, which I go along to on Wednesdays. The 0-5k ‘beginners’ had just graduated from a 10 week course, and were trying out parkrun for the first time. A few of us 5-10k ‘improvers’ came along to join in, including Helen, who didn’t fancy the run but decided to help out with barcode scanning instead.
Highbury Fields is Islington’s biggest park, and also parkrun’s smallest. ‘Fields’ is definitely an exaggeration, as the park is a grass crescent between houses, which you have to run round five and a half times to reach the allotted 5k.
I’ve run Highbury Fields parkrun once before (last year – don’t worry, no repeats!) and remember finding it very difficult to keep count. This time I spent almost the whole run thinking ‘one lap done – on the second, one lap done – on the second, two laps done – on the third’, which did work, but was not particularly inspiring!
So I have a new plan of action for next time. I figure that I start to get lapped about 3 laps in, and by the fourth have a fairly constant stream of people coming past. I should wait until I stop being lapped, at which point I can assume I’m on the last lap and make my way to the finish. Failing that… GPS?
Although the laps require a lot of concentration, I do like the mish-mash of being lapped, while lapping someone else, while being double lapped by someone else again. It means you get to see pretty much the whole field from slowest to fastest.
26.29 was not a bad time for me this week (see results). I ended up losing taking part in quite a long sprint finish with someone who later told me they’d been using me to keep pace for the last two laps. Which probably sped me up by a few seconds and looked impressive over the line, so all good!
Post-Olympics, we were celebrating the #IamteamGB sports day, which meant balloons, cake and costumes at Highbury Fields, and an all-time record attendance at parkrun, with over 97,000 runners and 9,000 volunteers taking part across the UK.
Many thanks to the volunteers (including Helen!) for organising the event. And a particular congratulations to the Lazy Girl Beginners on their first 5k 🙂
I’m running a different parkrun each week of the year to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Please head over to my JustGiving page if you’ve a few pennies spare and want to help this great cause.