This week, we found ourselves at the Southwark parkrun. For once I was fresh; not tired, hungover, nor injured. I was ready. The place was easy to get to, I got off at Canada Waters and walked for about 5 minutes, but there are closer Overground stations (I’m northern, how am I meant to know these things?!). Plenty of parking around the park too, it seems.

The course comprises of 3 laps of the south side of the park. 3 laps is my idea of hell, but the route has nice wide pavements, not many people around, and flat. For such a PB-friendly course, there were few people there – not more than 100 I’d say (checked, there were 123) – and no recognisable club runners. There was a very no-pressure environment.

The best thing about Southwark is that there is a group trip to Weatherspoons(!!!!!!!!!!) after the run, for breakfast and coffee (and probably a cheeky quadvod if you fancied it).

My run went well. I’ve noticed that even though I’m getting (slightly) faster, I don’t feel it when I’m running. I’m doing a lot of exercise every day at the moment, between 3 runs a week, 2/3 gym sessions a week and 1hr+ walks on the days I’m not doing either, so my legs rarely feel ‘fresh’.2015-10-19 - Southwalk

Despite this, I pushed on and came in at a respectable 12th – you can see my result here. I felt like I could hold my pace for longer than usual, and that I still had a little bit left in the tank for the last 0.5 miles. I’d be interested to see what I can pull out when I’ve had a bit of a rest before a parkrun.

However, the only problem I had with the run was that my Nike+ came in at 3 miles, and Parker’s came in even lower (about 2.9 miles). The organisers say that GPS always comes in short, but I’m not convinced. This is really very annoying, since on such a nice flat course you could try for a PB, only to find that it doesn’t really count because the course was short. When I ran the extra .11 miles, I came in at 20:38 (which seems accurate, given I was at 10:20 the mid-way point). So, I’m taking my sub-20 result with a line of salt (and a shot of tequila), and hoping to repeat it next weekend.

Main points:

  • Laps: 3
  • PB Potential: High – flat, wide course (although not as flat as Hackney Marshes)
  • Facilities: toilets, parking, post-run Weatherspoons.
  • First-time friendly: Yes!
  • Downside: Not quite 5k.

Here’s proof of completion (or at least turning up!)

Looking fresh, as per.