Sunday 17 May 2015

Dartford parkrun 41 - Grandad Slug (tuː ˈhʌn.dɹəd)

16 May 2015 saw the return of Dartford parkrun following a one week break in order for the set-up of the Trevithick Steam Festival to take place. After my run at Cassiobury parkrun event 11 that morning, I headed over to Central Park, in Dartford to check out the fair.

It was the third year on the trot that I had been there and it was just as good as it always is. If you are local and missed it, I would thoroughly recommend popping over next time it is on.

the parkrun200 banana

Back to 16 May and this event marked a personal landmark run for me, although it is not officially recognised as one. It was my double century, or in Roman Numerals, CC, or just simply known as my 200th parkrun.

I decided that it would be right to mark it in some way so I ran through a number of ideas of things I could do, but in the end settled on the plain and simple parkrun staple that is.... cake ...

just after the one kilometre mark [photo: richey]

... but not just any old cake. You see, I have a bit of a reputation as a prolific banana eater, so we (I say we, it was Dani) baked a couple of banana cakes the night before to share with the rest of the post-parkrun gang.

The idea that I scrapped at the last minute was to bring enough bananas for all of the runners. However, all was not lost as fellow core volunteer, Adam, spent some time creating a beautifully decorated 200th parkrun banana for me - that was pretty awesome of him (thanks, Adam).

mick jagger's leg [photo: dani]

I was also very pleased to be able to welcome some parkrunning friends who had planned their parkrun touring visits to coincide with this event. Firstly Graeme from Riddlesdown parkrun [my course description blog] (he now has a course best time identical to mine), we've run countless parkruns at Riddlesdown together as well as plenty of races, so it was really nice to have him over to try out our course.

Then there was James, Teresa and Lisa from Maidstone parkrun [my Maidstone parkrun blog] - James kindly looked after me when I visited his home venue in January 2014 - we've also run quite a few local races together. And of course there was Nicola, who was the most experienced parkrunner present on the day with 220 parkruns to her name. Her home venue is Roundshaw parkrun [I've run there twice, my blog posts are here]. We did quite a few volunteering stints together at Bushy Junior parkrun during 2013.

mick jagger selfie [photo: james]

After the run we all went over to see the Mick Jagger statue and James even grabbed a selfie of us all while we were there. All in all, it was a fantastic morning and the running part, while important, only felt like a tiny part of the day. Thank you for all coming over to visit Dartford parkrun.

Talking about the running, I had intended to run at around 4.12 per kilometre pace and finish in around 21 minutes. However, I started off with Tony and when we hit the 1km mark in 3.58, I decided that it made sense to just stick with that pace and aim to finish in just under 20 minutes, which I did.

me with graeme and terry [photo: dani]

Some statistics from my first 200 parkruns (mostly for my own information..)

200 official runs
207 weeks since my first parkrun (3 years, 11 months, and 19 days)
29 freedom runs
209 credited volunteer roles
84 different venues
17 inaugurals
10 buggy runs
5 first finishes
110 runs combined total for Riddlesdown [71] and Dartford [39] (55% of my total runs)
63 sub-20 runs
16 sub-19 runs
2 interviews on the parkrun show

And I'm happy to report that I have never forgotten my barcode.

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