I made it!
I’ve completed 100 parkruns and my results status will now proudly show a bold 100 in the end column.
I can still clearly remember my 1st parkrun. I was incredibly unfit but determined to go the distance. 5K seemed so far back then and I saw it as a one off event just to try and prove to myself that I could totter along for 5K without collapsing in a heap and vomiting over myself..
I went along to the Cambridge Parkrun and met Lloyd and Richard there. They were asking if I felt that I might do a personal best for my 100th. I wasn’t hopeful. I felt rather old and creaky and in no fit state to beat my recent surge forward in my 5K time. Only a few weeks earlier I’d knocked an entire minute off my 5K time but had now dropped back a little. I was still doing far better than I used to do but the personal best was looking a long way away.
I set off well and was feeling fit and strong. I noticed a 25 minute pacer and thought that if I could hold on to the coat tails of that runner then I might do reasonably well. I passed the 1K mark at about 5 minutes and thought I was on course and doing fine. Weariness hit me at about 1.5K and I think I slowed a little around then. I was looking around for the 25 minute pacer and didn’t see them anyway. Could I possibly be still ahead of the 25 minute pacer. Surely not. I didn’t feel that I was running fast enough. However I ploughed on thinking that if maybe I could hold off the moment when the 25 minute pacer passed me then my time would still be quite reasonable. 3 and 4 kilometre markers passed by and still no sign of the pacer. Wild illusions started to buzz around inside me. Maybe I was running an amazing pace and possibly I could finish even before the 25 minute man. That would be astounding, stunning, amazing and incredible all wrapped in one bundle of delightfulness.
I surged toward the finish line feeling that it couldn’t possibly be true but possibly, maybe, it just might be.
Then I looked up and saw the 25 minute pacer relaxing by the finish line.
I don’t know when he passed me. Maybe it was right at the start and I’d been fooling myself all the way around.
However I’d run 26:33 which, even though it wasn’t a personal best (it was 40 seconds outside my personal best) was still a pretty good time AND I’d just completed 100 parkruns. I’m thrilled to bits with how far I’ve come from that first 5K of pain. It’s still all pain and struggle but I can now think of myself as a runner. I’ve done 100 parkruns and feel fit and strong enough to do 100 more.