Palmerston North parkrun, New Zealand

Out and back, flat and fast. There, that’s your lot.

Palmerston North parkrun route
Palmerston North parkrun route.

Wait, there’s more. I hit the run on a sunny day, or eventually so, anyway. We started with cloud cover, but it was still warm, humid even. I jogged down from the hostel, which was a nice 2.5km over quiet streets, and found a crowd gathered (to the left of the bridge as you head South, not the right as the map shows, though it’s so close you can’t go too far wrong).

Other side of the bridge, Manawatu river.
Other side of the bridge, Manawatu river.

The run route undulates, very obviously so, which might seem to be at odds with the promise made by all the runners you meet around the country who have been here already. But they’re right – it is flat, essentially. The undulations aren’t ones you (or I, at least) can really feel, just enough of a down slope in places to gee you along, but never enough up to feel you are working hard.

Runners gather by the start.
Runners gather by the start.

Although not that old – today was event 19 – it already gets a decent crowd, sometimes over 200, today 176. As a sporty city, it gets some quicker folk, too, so although I ran consistently, and my quickest of the year, to finish in 19:04, that was only enough for 7th. A good workout all round.

Heading for the start, 7:50am (8am start)
Heading for the start, 7:50am (8am start).

Afterwards people sat around on the grassy slopes just above the run, chatting, and I shared a laugh with a fellow runner about Mrs May and her mess. Yes, Brits really do believe that benefits and immigration are a problem, and there’s no money so the country can’t afford anything. Hahahaha.

It’s not funny, and it won’t be funny in Ireland. But from here, in the sun – pah. Which is why I came.

On the way back – bridge in the distance is the finish.
On the way back – bridge in the distance is the finish.

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