7 MORE TO GO…
This weekend I finally got round to doing one of the more recent ‘local’ courses in the Sydney suburbs. I had originally planned on doing the launch but as I was landing back from the UK at 5am on the day of the launch, I thought that would have been pushing it! And I then did try to go about a month back as well, but last-minute trackworks on the train line meant that I had to call it off on the Friday night, so third time lucky I guess!
Given my previous troubles in getting to this event, you would be forgiven for thinking that this was going to plain sailing this week – firstly I missed the train and had to get a hire car at the last-minute to get there on time, and secondly, once I was there I couldn’t find the entrance to the park! The course description on the parkrun page does explain ‘please be aware Victoria Ave is bisected by a railway line so check to make sure your GPS takes you to the correct end’ but I didn’t read that until 7:55am at the other side of the railway line, so that is one thing to definitely take notice of!
Once I was there though, this was a thoroughly lovely course with a great event team. The weather was not the best as it was thick fog and you could barely see in front of you, as well as it looking like you were running on the edge of the world when you got to the Parramatta River as you could see water and then nothing, but I do believe that the worse the weather, the better the people as it takes a special kind of someone to get up so early on a Saturday to either run or volunteer in the adverse weather. Makes you appreciate the volunteers so much more too – so thanks!
Incidentally, today brought about the joint top number of parkruns in a single country for me, I have run 21 in both Australia and the UK now, so next time I run will officially mean I have run more in Australia than the UK – not a stat I thought I would reach! Also, it turned out to be my 4th fastest parkrun of all-time, and my fastest since September 2013! Got to be happy with that! 🙂
Due to planned building works on a bridge at the halfway point, today’s course was not the normal course for this parkrun, but I will explain their alternative course anyway and try to explain where I believe it differs from the normal course as well (from what I can gather from the parkrun site and conversation with people who have run it before).
The start line was unchanged in its location and it started by the pavilion at the Victoria Avenue entrance of Bicentennial Park. From the start you head away from the entrance with the car park behind you and follow the very straight cycleway/footpath for just over 1km before taking a small left and then right turn to stay on the path. After you go right, you run along the edge of the Parramatta River for approx 0.5km before turning right and doing a small loop around a small grassy area to then head back onto a raised area of the same path as before (this is where the normal course is different as it carries on a bit longer before coming straight back – no loop).
On the normal course you would then just turn straight back on yourself and head back exactly where you came all the way to the finish line, however on the day we had another loop to make up the full distance as we got closer to the finish. A few hundred metres from the finish line, we took a right turn to follow another footpath/cycleway over a small bridge before turning left and then right straight after to head up a small hill and then zigzagging down the other side. After the hill, all that was left was a small right turn and then a sprint over the final bridge, coming into the finish line in the opposite direction to normal.
I have been told the normal course is about the fastest course you can do (as it is flat and there is no hill) and based on today, I wish I had done the normal course because I reckon it could be a PB course for a lot of people because of how flat and straight it normally is! I thoroughly recommend everyone gives this one a try at some point, to either set a parkrun PB or just to get a fast time in when you aren’t feeling particularly fast 🙂
- Time: 25:26
- Place: 35/80
- Gender Place: 28
- Age Category Place (SM25-29): 1
- Age Graded Score: 50.79%
- Most Events Global Position: 279
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: