i-92fab05280335bc7b4c98285f874f37d-BlurParklife.jpg Or rather, Parkrun which D+A introduced me to. Thats me, the one on the right: I wanted to be that dog, at least for the race. It looks so focussed and determined, even if it is just chasing a stuffed electric hare.

And the running is good, so I’ll tell you all about it so you can play too. It is a series of regular free 5km runs at various places in the UK. You have to pre-register a tag, but from then on you just turn up at the start and run. The Cambridge one is in Milton Country Park which is where I run at lunchtime, though on a different course.

The results are now up: I came an unimpressive 69th, and in fact totally misestimated the field, starting far too near the front. Which meant I found myself running at 3:05/km at one point, not a pace I can sustain. I dropped back to 4:45 fairly soon, which meant I spent the race beng overtaken, argh. Time: 22:45. That is my first timed run of 5km, let alone race. The full gory details are (probably; I think you’re allowed to see) here, but happily I forgot my heart-rate monitor. Note that my GPS thinks the course was only 4:86; I;m sure it is wrong, because they measure the course carefully, so it has lost 140m in corner-cutting of my deduced track.

Serendipitously, I met Howard the Roscoe and Russ-n-Jean there, who I haven’t seen for a fair while, which was an added bonus.

Hints-n-tips, if you’ve never done it before and were wondering:

* You don’t need to turn up early to register. You need to register online at least the day before, which gets you a barcode that will work for future runs. On the day, you only need to be there just in time to get your place in the start queue.
* At the finish you get a tag, and then wander off to the race control where they barcode-scan your tag (for your finish time) and your ID ticket (which you printed out when you registered) to connect you to yuor time.
* There is nowhere secure to leave Stuff, so don’t bring it. Fortunately, CSR is just next to MCP so I leave my stuff there.


  1. #1 Marco

    I love the sudden dips in elevation of many, many feet…did you jump those ‘potholes’ ? ;-)

    [Yes, the height isn’t too accurate on that scale. It works better in the mountains (but not in realtime, alas) -W]

  2. #2 Turboblocke

    I wonder what the sampling rate is for your Forerunner? I use a basic 101 and I have noticed that when going round hairpin bends, the pace can drop dramatically, as if it’s measuring the straight line distance between two points.

    [Yes, I’ve had that. It can be very disconcerting. I think (and friends with similar assert) that once you upload and process with better computing power and better interpolation, many of those errors go away -W]

  3. #3 Hank Roberts

    > stuffed electric hare

    With a camera strategically positioned under the little cotton tuft?

    Because those dogs are very focused on the photographer.

  4. #4 bhanwara

    Is this a caption competition?

    “Where’s Eli”

    “Wiley hadn’t noticed that the new fangled braces were going to cause problems”

  5. #5 andrewt

    3:05 is ridiculously fast so with better pacing you can probably run sub 20. The first 2k should feel fairly comfortable – about the pace you could still manage a very terse conversation. Only in the last 2 should you feel that you are really pushing it to the limit.

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