Another parkrun but this time in Australia – parkruns are everywhere!
I’m in Australia visiting friends. My dear friend Natalie who I have known for 25 years, my old neighbours Mark and Annette who live in Perth now and my running friends from my running forum who had travelled to Melbourne to see me.
I met Natalie when she was in London travelling and working, we worked at the same software company for a short while (I met Ian there too – a good place to work!). We hit it off straight away and have been friends ever since. Even though she is Australian and lives in Melbourne with her family I have managed to see her every two years 🙂 Though we won’t be doing any of my 50 events together we have plenty of other “events” planned – swimming with the dolphins and a day at the races amongst other things and of course we have last two years of our lives to catch up on.
Mark and Annette and their three boys moved out to Perth over ten years ago, They used to live round the corner from me when we lived in Cranleigh Surrey (where I did my parkrun the other day – oh my, this year is all linking up). They have a wonderful lifestyle in sunny Perth, which seems from Facebook posts to mainly involve mucking around on the water and having fun although they do assure me that they work too. No events in Perth either but lots of walking,catching up and fun on the boat.
Back to Melbourne and my running pals. Again, considering where they live I’ve met them all before and couple of them a few times. The minute they turned up at the apartment we had rented it was like two years had melted away and it was only yesterday we were last chatting with wine and nibbles.
Our parkrun run group consisted of Anne from Adelaide, we ran Adelaide parkrun together a couple of years ago, Jo from Orange, we have done Adelaide and Sydney parkrun together. Angela from Newcastle – she came along to cheer us on in Adelaide and Sydney and would do the same again here in Melbourne – Ang also saw me in Edinburgh last year when I did the Half Marathon. Georgia who lives in Melbourne and is currently injured was also there to cheer us on with daughter Tilly and hubby Mike and last but not least was Alex – I’ve done Melbourne parkrun with her before and she brought along her mother, Janice and her lovely daughter Katie who has done nearly 50 parkruns!!!! she is only 7!
Parkrun starts at 8am in Australia which seems very early, I guess it’s because of the heat although Melbourne was a chilly 8C when we left the apartment so 9am would have been better 🙂 We were all quite tired after a late night chatting and the long travel for the girls – Jo had spent 3 hours on a bus and 7 hours on a train to get to our meet up! My body still wanted to be on London time so my sleep had been all over the place and Ang and Anne had both had flights the day before.
We walked the 2km to Albert Park – the weather was very Melbourne. Oh course it wouldn’t be a Paula Green event without the threat of some adverse weather conditions and Melbourne delivered – it was very cold and the wind was blowing hard – big black clouds loomed overhead. Melbourne with its four seasons in a day was showing us all its options. But by some miracle it stayed dry for the run and if I pointed my camera in the right direction it looked hot and sunny lol!
It was nice to do this parkrun again – it’s one loop round a big lake. The track around the outside is easy to run on and there is plenty of room, although a couple of times I got a bit close to the lake edge and one elbow nudge and I would have ended up with swans – now that would have been a good blog post 🙂 The swans had babies and I was torn between running for a good time and taking pictures – I kept running. I also saw a flock of cockatoos – you don’t see those in Taunton and lots of rowers training on the water. All very jolly.
I had my usual feelings at 1km – “I can’t go on” and at 2.5km when we were the furthest point from the start I looked back across the lake and it seemed a really long way away. Around 3km Anne came whizzing past and disappeared into the distance. I was running ok at this point but I couldn’t catch her – I tried!
From about 500m I could finally see the finish flags and put on a little spurt which got me another finish time under 30 minutes – 29.50. Ten seconds slower than my last time there but nine seconds faster than Belfast the other week – yay!
At the finish Anne and I waited for Jo to cross the line five minutes later and then Alex and her family, who walk the parkrun, a little while after. Katie did a great sprint at the end to finish strong.
After staying dry for the run the rain had now started – so we left the park and headed to a cafe for a well earned breakfast of….Cruffins, a croissant and muffin combo – love Australia 🙂