“Oh the Camperdown parkrun’s 5K long, doo dah, doo dah!”
I chirpily sang to myself as I drove across from my hotel in Carnoustie… At this stage I had no idea about the course, or just how testing those uphill sections would be. I’m pretty sure the words I used going up that first hill were more colourful than my apricot t-shirt; I certainly wasn’t singing a happy tune at that stage!
Greeted initially by a beautiful autumnal morning; sun shining, dry-ish underfoot and a slight chill in the air – these were almost perfect running conditions. Indeed, 26 people recorded new Personal Bests. Well done Lewis, Benjamin, Matthew, Craig, Millie, Scott, Grahame, Ally, Gillian, May, Greg, Samantha, Susie, Jacquelyn, Eric, Ariel, Jim, Matt, Sarah, Euan, Olivia, Oliver, Elizabeth, Kate, Freda, Ryan – a terrific achievement.
For those of you that I didn’t get to meet, I am a Run Director at Wycombe Rye parkrun, just west of London, so I was keen to meet Elaine and John as well as his team of 12 fantastic volunteers: Ruth, Jacqueline, Andrew, Cecilia, Peter, Margaret, Sarah, Sheila, Simon, Jan, Matthew and Danielle. I was impressed by the whole operation – massive thanks to all the volunteers for making the run go so smoothly. If you have never volunteered before, I would strongly recommend you look at the roster on the website and pick an empty slot. I promise you, volunteering is as much fun as running and you will be given full briefing/training for any task you are asked to undertake. Why not check your diary now and send that email to firstname.lastname@example.org
There were 10 people running their first ever parkrun – welcome to: Cameron SALE, Stuart J EARL, Daniel BONES, Matthew PANDRICH, Dominic MCBENNETT, Alistair BROWN, Gemma WALLACE, Kieran WEBB, Susan BENTLEY, Juno Rose ILLES-BROOKSBANK. We hope you really enjoyed your run and that we’ll see you back at Camperdown again (and again, and again!)
In addition, 9 of us were parkrun tourists visiting Camperdown for the first time. I hope Jasmine, Ramanee, James, Elspeth, Kate, Andrew, Ben and Stuart enjoyed it as much as I did.
My only disappointment? I didn’t see any red squirrels – but I did see 175 of us take to the start line. Little did we know it but this meant that we can now congratulate Emma FARDON (174th, 45:47) who unknowingly, became the 5,000th person to complete Camperdown parkrun!
So, we were off! The run down the hill felt good. Because we were still quite tightly-packed it was hard to see where to place your feet and I was a little nervous about the unevenness of the path but that didn’t stop me going off at a good pace and maintaining it. As we turned right, the path was a little muddier and I began to regret that I hadn’t got my trail shoes with me – but before I knew it, I was through the first kilometre in a pleasing time of 4:42.
I’m used to the shouts and cheers from the marshals but this was my first experience of whoops of excitement from the gibbons at the Wildlife Centre – still, it all felt like good encouragement as I continued down the hill and along the bottom, completing the second kilometre in 4:51.
Sadly, what goes down must also come up and the third kilometre begins with a good steady uphill. This is quite a test, especially if like me you have probably gone off a little fast. Indeed, it seems to go on forever; though I am assured it is only about 600 metres. Suffice to say my heart was really pumping as the path began to level out and at that stage I was unable to get my legs going any faster. 6:29 for the third kilometre and still gasping for air.
I don’t remember much about the fourth kilometre other than going past Camperdown House – but got my legs moving again and clocked 5:09 before going across the meadow and starting that final ascent. Still, it is the last km and going pretty well, though my legs seemed sapped of energy.
It was good to turn onto the final path and see the finish line ahead – even if it was still uphill! I like to put a last ‘sprint’ in to the finish line and it seemed particularly hard to work out when to quicken my pace and put in that last piece of effort but I did it, completing that last kilometre in 5:43, finishing 60th overall and feeling pretty chuffed that I’d done it. You’ve got a great 5km course in beautiful surroundings. What a great way to start a Saturday morning!
Congratulations to Alison MCNEILLY of Dundee Road Runners AC (43rd, 24:42) who earned her red “50” t-shirt today by completed her 50th parkrun.
Representatives of 13 different clubs took part. Sadly, there were also 12 “unknown” participants. If you have not already registered then please go on the main parkrun website – you only need to do this once. Of course, if you have registered then please, please, please (all chant it together): Don’t Forget Your Barcode! #DFYB. No barcode, no time, no exceptions.
Morgan WINDRAM (VW35-39) of Fife AC, was first (14th overall) over the line in 21:02 - 13th time in 17 appearances. Elaine OMAND (SW25-29) of Dundee Road Runners AC, was second (27th overall) over the line in 22:59 - has been first to finish on 4 previous occasions and Kate MCINTOSH (SW20-24) of Dundee Road Runners AC, was third (28th overall) over the line, setting a new PB of 23:12.
Ryan George DONALD (JM15-17) of Dundee Hawkhill Harriers, was first over the line in 18:17 – his second time in 50 appearances. What a great way to get a new PB too! Tim ESLER (VM35-39) (Unattached) was second over the line in 18:38 – Tim has been first to finish on 7 previous occasions and ”hello” to first timer, Cameron SALE (JM15-17) (Unattached) third over the line in 18:47. Impressive.
The three highest age grades were recorded by:
Duncan RYAN (VM45-49) – 76.88% for the time 18:53 (4th overall).
Ryan George DONALD (JM15-17) – 76.12% for the time 18:17 (first overall).
David RODLEY (VM60-64) – 76.10% for the time 21:16 (17th overall).
The Age Grade course record is held by James Angus DONALD who recorded 85.17% (15:51) on 29th October 2016 (event number 235).
Your Run Director next week will be Emma Fardon who currently appears to be supported by an all-female team of volunteers. Let’s hear it for the girls!
Finally, if any of you find yourself 25 miles west of London on a Saturday morning (at 9:00am!!!!) please come and visit us at Wycombe Rye parkrun. I hasten to add any Dundee cake will also be very welcome.
Thanks for a really great Saturday morning. I hope to see you all again soon.