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Saturday, 12 February 2011

A massive parkrun PB!

Well I just can't believe it. I have been plotting an attempt on my parkrun PB today for the last couple of days, but I really didn't expect the result I had.

The last time I approached a parkrun with this kind of determination to get a PB was when my birthday happened to fall on a Saturday in October last year. On that occasion I managed to take 13 seconds of my PB, which I rightly considered to be a huge chunk. That PB has stood at 18:14 since then and I have only been near to that time on 2 occasions since and it has felt quite a way off for a while.

The the time limit for the first of my targets for parkrun for this year is due to expire at the end of February. That target was to get a PB by the end of February. This week I have found out that I cannot make it to parkrun next week. This left me with only two possible attempts at my PB before the end of February. With that in mind I have been determined to give it a really good go at my PB today.

I was hoping to chip a couple of seconds off my PB today, but I knew that even that would be tough. Luckily Clark Roberts was there today and he clearly wanted to run very slightly faster than I did. The encouraging thing for me was that his pace felt just about right for me today. On the first lap it actually felt relatively comfortable to stay alongside Clark. Surprising considering that pace resulted in my fastest first lap by 10 seconds!

During the second lap Clark very slowly opened up a gap of maybe 5 to 10 metres on me. Somehow I managed to dig deep and keep that gap to a minimum. At the point where I would normally expect to take less than 2 minutes to the finish, the gap was at about 5 metres. At this point I decided that I had to try to make a break for it. I stormed past Clark at the start of the final uphill stretch, but very quickly he responded and my lead was short lived. He went past me as quickly as I had gone past him and very quickly opened up the 5 metres lead again, seemingly at will. With about 100 metres to go, and as we reached the final straight, Clark noticeably started his sprint finish. I wasn't sure whether or not I could respond, but I had to give it a go. I don't get many chances to win and I may not get another. That's what went through my head as I almost closed my eyes and gritted my teeth.

I think this is the point where I realised how much my hill and interval training has helped. My sprint finish really surprised me. Somehow I managed to catch him, overtake him and keep going right to the line. Amazingly I had finished first in a parkrun event for the first time!

Now this was great, and it was one of my general aims for the year, to win a parkrun event, but this was not the important thing for me. I looked down at my stopwatch and I simply couldn't believe the time. It read 17:49! I had knocked 25 seconds off my previous PB. Not only had I achieved the PB I craved, but I had totally blown it away!

Now that kind of jump in performance is not to be sniffed at. Lets face it, I am highly unlikely ever to take that kind of time off in one chunk ever again at a parkrun event. I may never take another 25 seconds off this new PB over the course of all the parkrun events I run in the future. I'll try to, but that would mean sub 17:30 and I am just not sure my body is capable of that. So I think I need to really enjoy the fact that I have knocked 25 seconds off my PB in one go. Days like this may never come again!

To come home first was great, but its the PB that really pleases and amazes me the most.


  1. Good Job! Well done - 25 secs is huge.
    I contrived to exactly match my PB today!

  2. Road-Kill, that must have been frustrating, but at least you know it wasn't a fluke. There is always next week!


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