Launceston parkrun, Tasmania

My 5th Australian parkrun of the trip, and 16th overall, and… not an out and back! Or at least, not a simple out and back, as it has a loop in it. You still run out on the same km as you run back in on.

Launceston parkrun route
Launceston parkrun route.

Another lovely parkrun. The day started cloudy, completely cloudy, but by the time we were running, a little after 9, sun was poking through.

Launceston station (disused)
Launceston station (from when Tasmania had railways), on the way to the start.
Launceston parkrun start line
Start line. The briefing is behind me, by the Univ of Tasmania stadium, hence no one here at 8.45.

The run director was new but did a lovely job, and for once was rewarded by those who were due to do their 50th today almost all being there, to stand out front and have a photo taken. Reading out a list of names of people who are on 49 runs and might be here must be unrewarding. And there were also some visitors from Brisbane/Cairns, who seemed a little cold.

The run is pretty flat, starting right next to the river Esk, before turning left (and dropping down a couple of metres) for a loop round Heritage forest before heading back the same way. The surface isn’t tarmac, there is a grassy verge in a lot of places if you want to run on that, but otherwise it’s a decent loose stone firm path. Pretty quick, in other words. As is usual for me in Australia, the front was out of sight – front two, this time – and third was a long way ahead, too, while I worked my way through to loosely hold on to the few ahead of me.

Launceston parkrun finish
Launceston parkrun finish (yes, also the start).

Scanning happens back at the stadium, smiling happy people taking care of it from a booth. Another perfect excuse to get up on a Saturday morning.

I ran in my 250 shirt, nice and anonymous before and after the run until cooling down, going a slightly longer way through town. “Parkrunner”, I heard a man comment to his wife. He was right, but why was someone who knew enough about parkrun to spot a parkrunner by the number on their back (250s are rare here, so many people don’t recognise them) walking through the centre of town at 9.40 on a Saturday morning?

He missed out. I did not.

Scanning barcodes at the University of Tasmania stadium
Scanning barcodes at the University of Tasmania stadium. Great stadium by British university standards, and pro 20-20 games are played here. US universities wouldn’t think so much of it.

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