Blue Runnings

Race Reviews, GPX files and more from North-East England

ParkRun – Blackhill

on 4 April 2015

With P working days this weekend, and therefore my having to get up at 06:20 to take him in (on the Saturday of a bank holiday weekend no less – criminal!), I thought I’d try the Blackhill ParkRun this morning and see what all the fuss is about! By the time I was less than halfway round I was really wishing I’d gone back to bed instead! I’ve not done a lapped route before, I have a knack for picking there-and-back again, single direction or circular routes and races – I always think if I’m out by myself in particular it will be too tempting to bail out before doing the full number of laps and just head back to the car if it’s a horrible one – and if I hadn’t been there with many other people today I would have done exactly that by halfway through the first lap! I had one walk break per lap – at the top corner of the football field, which was a bit frustrating as I know I can run 5km, but I wasn’t sure I’d make it round if I didn’t! It was sapping!

I normally like knowing if I’ve passed a particularly horrible bit of a route, I don’t have to do it again…not so with this one. You start at the bottom of the park, do the small loop at the bottom of the map, and then do three laps of the big loop around the football field. There’s probably not more than 100 yards together on a level footing. Up and down and up and down and up and down. Savage amusement for first thing on a Saturday morning! There were a surprising number of people putting themselves through this torture, particularly as there were only about 6 of us doing it for the first time! 98 runners today – which I believe might be a record for the Blackhill route.

I’ve heard people talking about their PB times for this route on the Run England sessions on a Tuesday, and giving numbers around the 24-30 minute sort of area, what I hadn’t done is combined these figures with how much quicker those people normally are than me, to give an idea of how tough this 5k is! I came in at 33:27, not bad for a first time on a hilly course! I forgot to turn my watch off at the end so it’s got me wandering about the finish line despite me changing the time and distance on MapMyRun which has really messed up my pace for the last km, but nevermind! I’d like to find a flat 5k at some point and see how I can do…where can I find one of those round here?! I think I’d have to run back and forth, up and down my road about 30 times…

As always, I took my windproof jacket, and then was too hot by about 30 seconds in and tied it round my waist in my usual very very messy way – I need to stop doing this, I regret it every time I see myself in a photo! I’m at the beach tomorrow and forecast is for gentle winds (which probably means hurricane) and clear weather – so I must leave it in the car and just be cold afterwards! I’m also going to try not taking my monster bum-bag and just take my small one for my phone and keys rather than running with all the things as I usually do! I always feel like I’m packing the kitchen sink as I potter about…

Some pics from today – the last one being how I actually felt as I made it round!


This was also the first time I’d tried running in those trousers (Asics something-or-others) – they felt comfortable (albeit much tighter and lighter than I’m used to!) when I tried them on at home, but they were possibly a bit big to run in…I had to make several adjustments through the first and some of the second lap before I was able to forget about them! Probably not helped by the large amount of stuff around my waist…there’s a small bumbag under that too!

10k at Tyneside tomorrow – will see how I do with that, feeling dubious at the moment…if there’s the slightest hint of a hill I may faint at the moment!



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