Saturday 23 August 2014

Dartford parkrun 5 - Matilda's first credited volunteering role, perfect conditions and perfect pacing

Event five started much the same as the previous four. Arrive at 7ish, set up the course with Richey, then head over to the Dartford Harriers clubhouse to await the arrival of the volunteers and runners. This weekend was the August bank holiday and we had struggled a little with attracting volunteers. Fortunately we just managed to scrape by.

bridge over the river darent

So the big news for the Stockwell family this week was that as Matilda had turned 4 earlier in the week and finally been able to register on the parkrun website, she could now be added to the volunteering roster and be credited for her contribution over at Stones corner. Very exciting. We were also joined by my niece who assisted Matilda in her role.

a section of our course

The conditions turned out to be pretty perfect for running and I headed off ever-so-slightly slower than I had in the previous four outings. At the half-way point I was hanging in tenth position but managed to put in a really good second half of the run and moved up through the field before finally finishing in 5th place (and only 1 second behind 4th).

end of lap one [photo: richey]

This week my partner in barcode scanning crime, Tessa, was away and I picked up my volunteering duty of scanning immediately after finishing the run and quickly got to work. The sun made reading the barcodes a little difficult again, but using the usual tricks of the barcode scanning trade, they all went through just fine. I was joined by Dani after she had finished marshaling at Stones Corner.

a helping hand [photo: dani]

Once the scanning had been completed, I headed around the course to collect the signage before joining the rest of the gang in the Dartford Harriers clubhouse for some tea while the results were being processed. My results text message came through very quickly and I had run yet another personal best - that means I have still managed to go faster every single time I have run the course. I was only 6 seconds off my overall 5k personal best, which is fantastic considering I set that on a flat tarmac course.

matilda in the central park 'jack in the box' [photo: dani]

With all that done, it was time to head home via the playground with my arms full of stanchions which I eventually managed to spread amongst the rest of the Stockwell clan.
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