Janathon and Parkrun appeared on my horizon at almost the same time, and The Scientist in me quickly concluded that Day 1 of the former would be satisfied by the latter, running in circles chasing our tails. What wasn’t immediately obvious was that the challenge could be made more interesting.
So at 7.30 am (when did I last get up at this time on a New Years Day? Probably never!) I
bounced rolled out of bed, cooked and ate the obligatory porridge, delivered 2 cups of tea to my still asleep wife and set off for the almost 4k run to the 9.00 am start of Riddlesdown. Although the puddles on the course were not as large and deep as the last few runs there, they had left behind swathes of very slippery mud so conditions underfoot were actually worse. But hey, a bonus was the totally clear blue sky, although the low sun directly in our eyes along the really muddy path section made this even more difficult! Memo to self, shades next time. Official results show 58 runners completed the course, and Day 1 was now well underway with nearly 9k.
Thankfully I was given a lift to Banstead Woods for the 10.00 am start of their Parkrun. On arriving I was just guessing at numbers but it was clear there would be many more runners and with a bit of stiffness creeping in I was wondering if doing a 2nd was total madness. I need not have worried. The course was much more runner-friendly than Riddlesdown, mostly on stony tracks with a few puddles, a reasonably friendly incline and good descent to the end, which meant I actually ran it quicker than Riddlesdown. And I felt good enough at the end that the final third of the challenge was a goer. Now I’m going back to the start.
A lift back to Riddlesdown for the 11.00 am start for Parkrun number 3; this was unofficial so not ‘on the Parkrun record’. I thought I was totally bonkers, but not in the same league as 3 others who were on their 3rd run; they had cycled to and from Banstead, thus giving 15k running and 22k on their bikes! With clinging mud and aching legs no one ever said it would be this hard but still successfully completed making almost 19k.
All that remained was the run home, with squelching shoes and cold toes to finish with 22.7k for Day 1. I don’t think there will be too may more of this distance in the month, but you never know…watch these blogs