Albert Park, Australia
On the Australian parkrun show the other week they wondered whether anyone had run both Newcastle parkruns – Newy here and the one in the UK. A couple of people have, as it happens, but I like the idea. Adding Albert park here in to the mix allows me to do the New/New and Albert/Albert double, with just the Middlesbrough Albert park to go.
The route is a loop of the lake, which is a natural 4.8 or so kilometres all round, needing just an offset start to make up the distance neatly. We arrived just in time for the end of the briefing, in glorious sunshine.
It was a fairly large field, 244, and a record for them. 44% first timers, and 58 of those had run at other parkruns – a huge number of tourists making the long trip from the UK. And not talking about the cricket. At the start a young wisp of a girl hared off, and I had a go but lost ground to Linda early on. Whenever we’ve raced before I have lead, this was not a good sign. A couple of weeks backing right off on distance has been very unsatisfactory, I feel like I’ve lost a pile of fitness, struggling round 5k, and none of my niggles are fixed. Nonetheless, I managed not to slip back too much, though my splits are back to slowing as I progress. I caught the wisp near the end, discovering in the results that she was Sonia O’Sullivan’s daughter. Sonia was behind me all the way, while Linda was taking the first lady spot and her second age-group record. The run route is close to the lake at spots, but not supposed to be at the point where, as the report put it, after 108 events, someone fell in. They were helped out by other runners, so not too much harm done…
All I can add is that it must have been hilarious, I wish I’d seen it! I checked the report to see if I had again been spotted, and sure enough I had. No 100 shirt on the day, but I am not incognito in the results, and any curiosity over the 180 runs must soon be replaced by “what? How many?” My tally gets mentioned, certainly, but/and it is nice to be noticed. We ran another loop to cool down, though it was pretty warm, before walking the 3k back to the station. It’s a lovely run, which definitely felt like the ‘main’ run in Melbourne, but then it is pretty central. I want to suggest that it’s the one to do if you can only do one, but Westerfolds is scenic and tough, Berwick Springs a pretty and faster two lapper – essentially, you can’t go too far wrong, just get to a parkrun.
Results from Albert-Melbourne parkrun, event 109, 28/12/13.
Reading: Lee Child, Gone Tomorrow, Orson Scott Card, Children of the Mind.