This is going to be a (relatively) long post.
This parkrun was fantastic and full of adventures. Also, I ran a PB in this run. earlier it was 23:13, which I set up during my training run probably last year. I never had raced in a 5k before, so I never thought too much about it before. If you just wanna see the run, head here:
I’ll now begin the post for interested readers. I’m splitting it up as it happened.
Before the 3,2,1: I missed the last week’s parkrun because I was lazy. I have to leave my home before 7 AM to make it to the run at 8 AM, but not today. I insisted not to run around the block and instead move my ass up to the Chelsea Bicentennial Park. I had an egg poured in a cup of milk before I left (I always think of Rocky – I when I do that), but it backfired. When I got off the train and was heading to the park, I wanted to reach the park at the earliest, not to run, but to poop. I felt great when I was done with that and I told myself that since I feel good, I HAVE to give it all to the run itself. I made it to the start line and the head volunteer announced:
GO: This time, I was almost at the front of the start (maybe in the third row) and I was aware that people at that part start faster but I didn’t imagine that they would (literally) sprint and some of the runners moved around me, hitting me here and there and apologizing, I heard someone behind me saying “we have to get in the stride” maybe that’s why they took off for a fast-start. The pace was perhaps around 4 min/km or less which I know I can not sustain so I gave up after some 400m and I slowed down to allow some runners to pass me by. I know the pace would settle for all, eventually. I stick to a 4:40 pace and was thinking that it is not a good idea to continue this for too long because I know that I don’t run that fast. Then I began to follow into the steps of people, rather than my watch. A Japanese-looking guy was immediately ahead of me so I followed in his steps. A tall guy passed us. I kept with the Japanese (maybe he is not Japanese at all, but that’s how I remembered him). I crossed him slowly. I followed the tall guy, he became my (virtual) pacer. I heard the breaths of a woman behind me, she passed us both. I passed the tall guy, and I followed in the steps of Wilma (I met that woman after the run to tell that I exist). We passed the halfway mark. I was still behind. At around 3k, we were on a par, there was no competitive spirit as such, I would had loved to finish the run that way. We cross over another guy and she took the back seat this time. I kept on pushing. On the way up, I followed a kid. I told him that he was running brilliantly before I ran past him. His form was really good with a midfoot strike. I could sense that we were around 4k into the run as my watch was closing to 19 minutes!! I was awfully surprised and shocked to check that I had been running at a pace that I thought would not let me sustain in the race, yet I pulled it through. During all these following-chasing-pulling over time, my brain was fighting against and with my body, I knew what I had to do. In the end, I followed a girl wearing a violet top, I ran behind her till 4.9k probably, before I burnt off my final fuel to sprint and cross her and one more gentleman to finish my run in 22:52 (in 28th position). This may not be a very good etiquette for runners but not to forget, I was in a race. My watch, however showed my time as 23+ because I stopped at the finish line and forgot to turn it off. I’ll celebrate this until I overtake this time.
Aftermath: I got some water and met Wilma. I thanked her and told her that she ran really good despite the fact that she’s in an age range of 50-59. She introduced me to Stephen and he turned out to be the gentleman I passed just before the finish line. He told me to come and run in the same park in thirty years just to find someone younger passing me in a flash the same way. But he was happy. He was fast nonetheless. I jogged back to the train station silently. Someone commented “Showing off mate?” I just said “Naah, just warming down” Maybe I could have said “Hell yeah”I felt absolutely fresh after the parkrun.
Special thanks to volunteers to carry out such a wonderful event and all the people who knowingly and unknowingly pushed me.