My final bit of time in New Zealand, with just time to squeeze in one last parkrun. I started in Christchurch, running Hagley, and could now run what is for now the other one in the city, Pegasus (edit – Foster started on 27/10/18).
Pegasus is actually a separate place, a little North of the centre of Christchurch. It’s mostly pretty new, so there’s not that much there, but it does have a lovely sculpted park, with a path that runs, weaving as it goes, round its edge. The course is two equal laps, running through the start after lap one, then veering off to the left for the finish after lap two.
It isn’t actually perfectly flat, with a slight downhill at the start as you head off the grass and onto the path a few metres in. On a cool Autumn morning, with volunteers draped in clothes to stand around, there was a fair breeze, too, which made the back straight and run in to the finish testing. But it was behind us at the start, and that helped get me going. Even though I must have lost more time than I gained from the wind, I thanked it for helping me to my quickest mile in some time, comfortably under 6 minutes, and managed to hold on to two more just-over-6 minute miles to come in with my quickest parkrun since December 2016. It’s also my quickest in New Zealand, with Lower Hutt the next fastest. Not that that means much about the relative merits of other courses, as my fitness has varied – Palmerston North and Anderson are definitely fast. I was chuffed, though.
The course has lots of small curves in, and has a relatively small field (so you may not have a group pushing you on). That said, it’s a great atmosphere, a lovely run, and surprisingly quick. I can only think that all those little wiggles forced me to check in with myself, reminding me to keep pushing, rather than allowing me to drift down a long straight. It’s a lovely run, with great people, and highly recommended whether you fancy a blast or just easing yourself round.
Apparently it also has a great cafe nearby, but I had to dash off to hop on a plane to Auckland and thence to the Gold Coast. I got an envious look or two from people seeking out their warmer clothes and anticipating colder days to come.