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Saturday, 4 December 2010

Coventry parkrun on ice (04/12/2010)

No, its not the next reality TV show on Channel 4, although I wouldn't put it past them. To be honest, if it was on, I'd probably watch it. I'm that into parkrun at the moment.

Sixty-three brave souls took on the course today. In patches it was certainly more ice-rink than tarmac. Luckily the council hadn't seen it necessary to cancel. And even more luckily Coventry parkrun is blessed with a race director (Jason Douglas) with amazing dedication to the parkrun cause and a fantastic group of volunteers, who two weeks running have shown that they are not to be deterred by the snow. A massive thank you to all of them.

I have been desperate to do a fast run for a couple of weeks now, but conditions really haven't allowed me to even think about having a go. My aim for today was simply to go sub 19 minutes. A tough ask in these icy conditions with some of the corners needing to be taken closer to walking pace than running. I fully expected that with the reduced numbers this would mean a mostly solo effort to achieve that time.

Before the start it was nice to see Danny Mc, who I met a year or two ago at a mutual friends stag do. Danny is a keen runner and parkrunner and he has attended a handful of Coventry parkruns in the last few months. It was good to catch up. Well run Dan!

I set off steadily to get used to the conditions. Within a few hundred yards I could see that I was likely to finish high up the field. Clark Roberts flew off into the distance, never to be seen again, until the finish of course, but I thought 2nd place was up for grabs. I settled into 5th position for the first half lap or so as we ran along th most icy paths. All of a sudden we reached a stretch completely clear of snow and ice. I decided to make the most of this section and instantly picked up the pace and went from 5th to 3rd and headed off towards Ian Gower in 2nd place, 50 yards or so ahead. I caught Ian within about 30 seconds, which clearly shows my change of pace. I settled in behind Ian for the next half lap before using the next patch of clear path to pick up the pace again. I finished the first lap in 9:36 and knew I needed to raise the pace to beat my 19 minute target.

On the second lap I was completely on my own. I picked up the pace as best I could in the conditions, taking it very steadily on the icy patches and making the most of any clear patches. The volunteers were in particularly good form today, offering plenty of encouragement. As always this was greatly appreciated, thank you. I finished the second lap strongly with a 9:21 lap time, giving me an overall time of 18:57 and finishing in 2nd place for my 2nd time. Both the time and position were very pleasing given the circumstances.

I think 63 runners is a pretty good attendance for a cold and icy Saturday morning. Hopefully that is about the lowest point we will get to during these winter months and then the numbers should build up again come the spring. I think I'll make an early prediction that we will get at least one attendance of over 200 before the end of April next year.

I'm hoping that the snow and ice clears over the next few days before my next training session on Wednesday. Either that, or a bucket load more snow - I am still a big kid at heart!


  1. Good to see you the other morning, especially the cleanliness of your heels! Here's the URLs for the snaps I took. I thought I already posted you these, but it looks like my comment miscarried. See you again soon!



  2. Thanks for the photos Dan. Hopefully see you at parkrun again some time soon.


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