Narre Warren South, Australia
Coming towards the end of my Australian parkrun tour, I’ve three left including today’s. Just a week or so ago there were six of a potential eleven to go, but with the bonus Christmas and New Year runs completed, all of a sudden I’ve just Newy and Curl Curl after today.
Today was special, holding the chance to run with friends and fellow parkrun tourists, Adrian and Tam, while Linda would also be happy to give me a running-style ass-kicking to go with the scrabble one she’d (after a few goes) meted out the night before. Berwick Springs is a distance from Melbourne, nearly an hour on the train from the centre of the city, but it’s on the metropolitan train system, so not expensive. The course is as flat as, and this is another circular course, albeit two laps. It should be more significantly quick compared to Albert’s sandy track than either of us could make it, but no matter – it was definitely a pleasure to be on a solid surface. My parkrun odyssey out here started with mostly out and back courses but now has a nice mixture.
New Farm – out and back.
Southbank – loop.
Minippi – out and back.
Torrens – out and back.
Canning River – loop.
Claisebrook Coves – out and back (plus a bit).
Westerfolds – loop.
Albert Park – loop.
Berwick Springs – loop, two laps.
The day was slightly overcast, changing every half an hour between warm and cool with drizzle. It’s 3k from station to start, an easy run down a dull road, with a couple of Macdonalds and other fast fooderies if you’re desperate. No facilities at the start of the run – they’re a 10 minute jog away, which meant Linda had to hustle with 15 minutes before the start. I spotted another 100 shirt, to go with Adrian’s and mine, and the wearer of a 50 shirt turned round to reveal Moray, who had welcomed me so effusively to South Bank. I figured he had also marked my card when I ran past him at Minippi, as he wasn’t far behind despite not having much training time in his legs.
We assembled on the start line, without Linda. A little more chat and then she appeared, now belting it towards us – will we go? Do they realise she’s joining us? She made it, on the line as the countdown started from five, and we were off to complete two loops of the lake. The course snakes gently around, such that the second lap was just as interesting as the first, while also feeling fairly nice and short.
Quickly we assembled into three groups of two, a pair up front, Linda running with a tall youth, and me tagging on to a blue vested man. Moray was behind. At 2k I was feeling the pace, but figured I should hold on for as long as possible to his vest tails. 3k came through reasonably quickly, so far 3 fairly even 3:45 kms, but it hurt a lot. Worryingly, it wasn’t just my legs but just as much my engine – I can only have had a small loss of fitness, but I’m feeling it. I let blue shirt go and could feel Moray close, hold and then pass me. Textbook stuff.
I had a bad patch around 4k before a rally towards the finish, hoping to slip under 19 minutes. I missed by a way, but it might have still been there with a better-paced run. Lovely atmosphere once I’d recovered, though, with Adrian and Tam coming through with their daughter, completing Tam’s 100th in the process. One of the local organisers came over to thank us for supporting the run, and plenty of people were there from Albert park, too. A lovely run, scenic even without sunshine, and there seemed to be a group of people who are very grateful to have a parkrun near them to save travelling – I certainly spoke to several who were glad it was there, had thought of setting one up or who had got involved as soon as it was. 9 Aussie parkruns in, a couple more to enjoy.
Results from Berwick Springs parkrun, event 13, 1/1/14.
Reading: Janet Evanovich, High Five.