parkrunday: Blyth Links #189

I was a little nervous about this one.

It was a PB attempt and I hadn’t attempted an overall PB in some time (my overall PB as it stood was three months old and also set at Blyth). It was meant to be a PB attempt for both me and Geth, but he’s been injured the last couple of weeks and so he just did a walk for one lap.

I wanted a sub-24, my existing PB being 24:05. It was pacer week, but I didn’t make a decision in advance about whether to use the 24 pacer, as parkrun pacers don’t always pace steadily. However, the pacer on the day was doing a really good job, so I decided to sit on his heels for a while and see how it went.

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Sticking like glue! Photo from Blyth Links parkrun Facebook page.

The conditions were great (it had been really windy last time we were there, which is always a risk with coastal parkruns) and I actually found the pace really comfortable. I was tempted to step it up a gear to see how fast I could go, but decided to play it safe and stick with the pacer.

This meant that I had a really steady and comfortable run and plenty of energy for a sprint finish at the end. I finished in 23:43, feeling like I could do it even faster in the future. A really positive run!

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New PB glow 🙂

A bit of pre-race volunteering this next week, and then some exploration later in July.

parkrundays: Troon #274 and Rising Sun #334

I did a bit of ‘proper’ parkrun tourism the Saturday before last! It was the Cowfest tourist gathering in Troon and I had never been to one before. I wouldn’t travel that far on my own just for a parkrun, and indeed have never travelled further than my local area just for a parkrun (I always combine my touring with trips that I’d be doing anyway), but there was a coach trip being organised from northeast England… so I thought I’d go along and see what it was all about!

I had to be up in the middle of the night to be ready for my booked taxi to the coach pickup point! I thought the taxi driver would find my explanation for the early taxi to be a bit odd but he’d dealt with parkrun tourists before (usually people getting early flights to Ireland).

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The cow had travelled from northeast England on the coach too!

It was a long old coach trip (leaving Newcastle at 4:30am) but seeing the seaside at Troon was a lovely feeling. We had a bit of time to get our bearings and take pictures before the briefing, and soon we were off for a lovely flat and fast course along the front. Love a seaside parkrun.

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Following the obligatory cake, I joined friends for a bit of an explore of the cafes and pubs of Troon (and saw a pipe band!) before heading back to the coach for another few hours of trying not to fall asleep.

Troon

Unfortunately I was a bit unwell for a few days after Troon, so I probably wouldn’t do such a long coach trip in one day again. Would love to do some shorter trips though – it’s a nice way to see different places and make friends.

I was much more local this last weekend! Geth and I had planned to go away, but as I hadn’t been well we decided to stay home. As such, it was an easy run around Rising Sun, practising my 30 minute pacing for when I next do it at Town Moor.

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More familiar environs.

Feeling better now, so planning a PB attempt this next weekend… fingers crossed!

Race Recap: Blaydon Race 2024

On 9th June, I was back at this atmospheric race for another year!

Bit of a stressful start due to the unreliability of the Tyne and Wear Metro – two cancelled trains and one delayed one meant that it was a sprint from Central Station to the Gateshead end of the Millennium Bridge to make the bag drop on time. A warmup, certainly… but far from an ideal one!

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Pre-race. Photo from TMBR.

This was followed by a good hour of hanging about before the race start, but there were lots of friends to chat to and the time passed quite smoothly. We were away not too long after the scheduled start (I’ve seen much worse delays at Blaydon) and it was time to focus on keeping pace. My aim was to take a full 10 minutes off my time from the previous year, which was feasible based on recent performances.

I didn’t feel as sharp as I would have liked during the race – I think this is partly that I’m just not an evening runner and always find it a bit of a struggle that late in the day. I really did feel like I was flagging towards the end and didn’t have any energy left to speed up. Sadly, I just missed out on my ‘full 10 minutes off’ goal by 12 seconds 🙁 but 9 minutes and 48 seconds off is still pretty good!

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Post-race celebrations! Photo from TMBR.

I think it’ll be my last Blaydon for a while (unless the FOMO gets to be too much around entry time next year) as I’d like to come back to it in a few years with (hopefully) renewed appreciation.

Onto the last race of the summer speed training block next…