9 MORE TO GO…
Today saw the launch of yet another parkrun in the greater Sydney area, this time out at a relatively new suburb called The Ponds, so I went with my usual merry band of parkrun tourists from St Peters to go and support the new team on their first steps into the parkrun world.
When we arrived, the event team were buzzing with excitement about the launch of their baby and the usual arrival of runners to the start line area started shortly afterwards. As a parkrunner this is a sight that I am used to seeing, however for the masses of other park users that were either playing with their kids or were exercising in a different group it must have been very odd for them to see over 200 people suddenly appear from nowhere to congregate in one place, as you could tell from their puzzled faces! I obviously didn’t see them after the start but I can imagine they were as equally bemused when everyone disappeared into the distance a short time afterwards! I’m sure they will get used to it soon enough though 🙂
The course starts behind The Ponds Community Hub at the far end of the small field area. From the start, you immediately take a very sharp zig-zag turn to the right to join a running path/cycle way and you then follow that cycle way along side a small river, over wooden bridges and under a large road bridge for just over 1 km. Once you reach a small reserve area, you take a left turn (waving to the photographer) and do a small loop around the reserve area to then join back on the same path you were previously on about 5 metres after you left it! From here the cycle way turns into a normal footpath at the side of a residential road, which you run along before taking a right turn back off the road and heading back onto a parkland path. The turnaround point is just off the path on a grassy ‘hill’ area at approx 3km, from where you literally turn straight back around and head back the exact way you came. The only difference on the return leg of the run is that you do not do the small loop around the reserve, you just carry on along the cycle way back to the finish line in the same place as the start line.
As for the course itself though, I will admit that I was a little concerned about a couple of places round the course where either the path is very narrow and has runners in both directions, or where a tight turn occurs in a place where there are large groups of runners (i.e. just after the start line before the runners have thinned out a little). This is probably the first time that I have thought that there should have been less runners and the event should not have as many runners as there were. Perhaps this was just caused by the artificial inflation of numbers with all the tourists on launch day, but I would like to hope that this does not cause issues for the event team further down the line because I would hate for this to start causing problems between event teams, runners and other park users/members of the community as parkrun is there to enhance the community and not cause any issues, and I’m sure it took so long for them to get the locals on-board originally. Only time will tell, I’m sure!
- Time: 26:54
- Place: 89/235
- Gender Place: 66
- Age Category Place (SM25-29): 7
- Age Graded Score: 48.02%
- Most Events Global Position: 286
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: