How quick is quick? The answer to this question rather depends on your ability and fitness. I confess to be a competitive runner and so to me (and no doubt to others) the time it takes me to run various distances is important to me. There are certain distances I use to judge how well I am doing, so for example, if I can run a 5K parkrun in under 24 minutes I am doing OK while under 23 is exceptional. Call me obsessive, but I have charted the progress I am making at parkruns since the beginning of August when I was first able to run after recovering from flu. As of a week last Saturday I had gone from 33:28 at the beginning of August to 24:37 at Pontefract parkrun.
Last weekend we were invited to attend the inaugural running of Warwick Racecourse parkrun (by my sister-in-law Jill, who is a member of the core team). This is similar to Pontefract in one respect, that both are racecourse routes. The Warwick route is really interesting in that you run all around the path by the side of the course and then, about 200m short of the finish line, you double back and run round the course in the opposite direction! (this is because we are not allowed to run across an access road). This makes it an out-and-back route over a really well surfaced path, potentially very fast.
Watching the team set up the parkrun for the first time brought back memories of the first running of my home parkrun, Rothwell, a few years ago. The Warwick team did a brilliant job of keeping the opening under wraps because they had a very manageable 104 people turn up to run, a great relief from worries of the nightmare scenario of being inundated with “tourists”. The Warwick Racecourse Core Team made an excellent job of organising the run and I am sure it will prosper. I can’t wait to come back and run it again when they are really in their stride.
As for me, I managed a respectable 24:22, not under my “benchmark” but 15 seconds faster than I ran Pontefract. Next week I have a half marathon; The St Aidan’s Half, an off-road route around two RSPB nature parks. I have no idea how quickly I can run a half marathon at the moment, I will be pleased to do it under 2 hours but hay, I’ll aim for under 1:50 and see how I do.
“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” Luke 14:28 ESV