There’s early and then there is EARLY. Today was probably the earliest I have ever had to get up to take part in a parkrun, and the longest drive specifically to do a parkrun as well. I have done parkruns further away from home than this but I normally twin them with activities or weekends away, this was purely to do a parkrun and then go home, and I am so glad I did it!
When we arrived at the Start Line the event team were only just setting up and the parkrun flag had not even gone up yet, but the sun was only just rising so we were treated to one of the best views I’ve ever had from a parkrun – sunrise over the calm and peaceful Lake Macquarie with barely a soul around!
Not too long after though the event team started buzzing around and the runners started flocking towards the start. And when I say flocking I really mean it, this is the largest attendance I have seen at an Australian parkrun so far but the course can handle it with the spacious first kilometre to spread everyone out, and it didn’t feel anywhere near like the numbers of finishers that there were – it felt very much like a much smaller event.
Unfortunately though there was a slight technological mishap with the timer as it had broken at some point during the run which meant that everyone had completed the course in 59:59, but look at it this way, everyone came in joint first and it’ll be PBs all round next week! A few of us who had tracked our times using watches or phones offered up our times to see if it would help but the event team quite rightly said that they could not manually update over 400 records.
Oh well, it just serves as a timely reminder (no pun intended) about what parkrun really is – a free organised community run for people to get out and get active with the support of a community and friends. Getting a time, or photos, or anything else is just a bonus and if it doesn’t happen for some reason then there is no need to complain as there is always next week!
Main thing for me is that after the long drive up, it still counts as a result and another course ticked off! 🙂
The course is a very flat and very simple out-and-back and starts in the top end of Edwards Park opposite Booragul Public School near the intersection of First Street and Second Street.
From the start, you head out with Lake Macquarie on your right hand side for the very wide first section which helps disperse the large crowd which gathers at this event and even out the numbers. You then follow the shore of the lake round with great views all along.
Just under the 1km mark you reach your first turn which is a sharp right to join the path/cycleway which runs along the side of the freeway. At sections this path can be quite narrow, however from what I saw all runners were courteous and were sensibly keeping going in single file where needed, including letting other users past when we came across them, although the other users were quite courteous in return, so it is nice to see this parkrun ethos is observed.
You keep running on the path/cycleway on a couple of bridges over wetlands and the edges of the lake, with occasional great views across the water until you reach the turnaround at a roundabout (which was marshalled today by a very enthusiastic lady who was high-fiving every runner coming past – must have had sore hands with over 400 people there today!). As with most out-and-back courses, it’s then right back where you came from following the same course all the way back until the finish line.
From all the courses I have done so far, I think this one has the potential to be the fastest because it is all on even surface, not many turns and is basically flat all the way round!
- Time: 59:59 (Official)
- Time: 26:06 (Strava)
- Place: 92/405
- Gender Place: 79
- Age Category Place (SM25-29): 8
- Age Graded Score: 21.53% (Official)
- Age Graded Score: 49.44% (Strava)
- Most Events Global Position: 301
Full details of my run can be found here:
And full details of the results from this parkrun can be found here:
The Facebook page for the course is:
And the Course Information page on the parkrun website is:
Information on the park can be found here: