Fareham parkrun has arrived, with the venue being Cams Hall estate and the course being an out and back route along the Fareham Creek Trail . For anyone thinking about running this event the car parking is only a short distance away in the Lysses car park (70p an hour).
Naturally with today being the first running of this event it attracted both local runners, parkrun enthusiasts looking to add a new venue to their list and “first timers”. Armed with my barcode I bumping into fellow Fareham Crusader Nikki Yeo (fresh from last weeks Paris marathon) and Martin de Wied in the car park, there must have been 25 or so Crusaders attending as we gathered near the Cams Mill pub for a photo. The nature of parkrunning also mean quite a few “junior” runners were there too.
Parkruns are reliant on volunteers and driven by people who want to give the community a chance to improve their fitness. Julie Salt and her team (including Crusaders Sarah Moulding and Tracey Morrison) deserve great credit for the smooth running of this event which, I’m sure, will go from strength to strength. The volunteers also included Alison who I talk to on twitter, great to meet you 🙂
A century ago, Cams Mill was an operational tidal mill. It has recently been recreated in the same style, including traditional features to ensure its history lives on, quite a setting. This sign also caught my eye, naturally it will only apply to a select few runners 🙂
As the start area filled up (219 ran today) I spotted Stubbington Green runners Andy, Simon, John & Jayne. I also spotted club vests from a number of areas quite a long way out of our local area. With the starting line being close to the pub this meant there was a good 350 metres or so of wider paths before the route joins the fairly narrow gravel trail. Naturally these 350 metres strung out the field and this worked well to avoid bunching.
There were a certain amount of puddles with some people skirting around them but the path is flat underneath so I personally go straight through the middle. With the early morning sunshine and birds singing in the bushes this all complimented the boats bobbing up and down on the creek to make the 5K very scenic. Crusaders Mike Gilmour and Aaron Sutton both passed me in the opposite direction’s top 15 after a mile or so but it was the huge number of smiling faces and shouts of encouragement that summed up the parkrun spirit. An out and back route really makes an event “all inclusive” rather than the whippets disappearing into the distance.
The last 250 metres bring you in sight of the pub and the finish, I realised I ought to try for 25 minutes so I picked up the pace as if it was close to “last orders”. In the end I clocked 25.19 and was pleasantly surprised this was good enough for 66th out of the 219. Just for the record a young lad got under 17 minutes to come first !!
The patio area outside the pub was soon full of runners relaxing and having a drinks while chatting about how successful the morning had been. So it was a well earned “Cheers” to the whole parkrun team and as an Austrian film star once said, “I’ll be back” !!