A lovely sunny morning by the sea was the perfect venue for Lee on Solent’s 3rd Parkrun and the first of today’s two runs. With the Solent waters lapping on the shoreline and a clear view of the Isle of Wight it’s an impressive location for a run. The sun was quite hot today but the glow I came away with was that of sharing my passion for running with new and old friends.
On arriving I could see Auz Grey (Gosport Runners) in his florescent bib, the team that he is part of put on a great event and they should be very proud of what they have achieved. I’ve only recently got to know Auz and today’s event was a far cry from the South Downs marathon we both ran last month. The next runner I spotted was Ros Clarke, she ran with our club a few years ago but then had an injury that stopped her running. We have chatted on twitter but it’s years since I’ve seen her, so it was great to catch up in person. As we were chatting Brian Penniall, from work, came up to us looking eager to run, so this was to be a new event for us all.
I started far too quickly, eager not to be boxed in further up the course, but on reflection I probably didn’t need too 🙂 Due to this quick start Ben Strudwick from the Crusaders, who I didn’t know but I recognised from his facebook photo, overtook me with an “Alright Roger” so that was us introduced too. I saw quite a few familiar Crusader faces with the course being out and back twice and I shouted encouragement wherever possible. Lyndsey Howell was sadly sitting on a park bench but once we’d established she was ok I pressed on.
Crusader Sarah Moulding, was taking photos, so I owe her thanks for using some from today. With Brian overtaking me at half way he will have bragging rights at work on Monday, so well done Brian. My final surprise of the day was seeing Stubbington Green’s Simon Hearndean who had said hello while we were running, but had sunglasses on so I didn’t recognise him !! I first met Simon 20 years ago but he has spent a lot of that time in the navy so again it was great to shake his hand and say well done. Park runs are just that, a run and not necessarily a race, I think this is the route of their success judging by the variety of people all enjoying it.
All in all a very rewarding 5K that lasted 23 mins 37 secs, which was fine rather than “great”, but much more importantly an enjoyable coming together of the local running community. As I drove back home reflecting that a sub 7 & 3/4 minute mile pace was ok the final twist was, that I had time to go out again, so 3/4 of an hour after I’d finished I set off heading for our local creek/golf course.
The 5 mile run was at an 8 & 3/4 minute pace so again, quite pleasing after my earlier efforts. So todays “irunoffroad” comprised of the coast, a creek and the outskirts of the golf course 🙂