4 MORE TO GO…
Okay, I’m going to put it out there, this is probably THE MOST DIFFICULT parkrun course I have done so far! And that is no mean feat considering it is my 46th course and thinking about some of the hills I have had to endure in other courses. It’s even more difficult than ‘Yorkshire Tough’ courses too!
That said, let the difficulty take nothing away from what is a great course, and in fact the difficulty will play a part in this course’s success, I am sure. Come Marathon season, or pre-season for any of the local sports teams, this course is ideal training. Big tough hills, deep soft sand surface in parts, gravel sections for balance practice, sprint finishing on the flat grass field, it’s like an interval training session combined with everything that makes the parkrun community so great! Oh, and don’t forget the great views out to the ocean from the top of the hills and the draw of the sea for a quick dip or surf afterwards.
Today was also the birth of this course, with Cronulla parkrun becoming the latest course to spring up in the South Sydney region. The Event Director is also the Event Director over at Menai parkrun (which I am still yet to get to) and some of that experience of running an event really showed as the inaugural event went off without a hitch.
There was a little bit of a potential for a problem right at the start, when a group of personal trainers were using the space between the start flags for their own session and the sheer number of parkrunners meant that this area became cramped and the awaiting parkrunners encroached into the training area a little, but they finished up that section of their training to move into a different area of the park just before the start of the parkrun, allowing the parkrun team the space for their briefing and to get the run under way. I know inaugural events attract a larger than normal crowd, but here’s hoping that this doesn’t become an issue and the two can work together to share the space. After all, they are both working towards the same goal, maybe we’ll even see the two sessions working together in future with the personal trainers maybe encouraging their clients to take part in parkrun as part of their training?
All in all though, a fantastic start to a new course, and I thoroughly recommend everyone gives it a go at least once (or at most once, depending on how you feel about the course :)) even if only as a yardstick to see where your level of fitness really is at.
The course is about as simple as it could possibly be to explain. It’s a traditional Aussie out-and-back course, but this one is pretty much ‘run in a straight line for 2.5km, then turn around and run back in a straight line for 2.5km’. It is literally impossible to get lost on this course!
The only things to note really are that this starts from next to the BBQ area of the park, next to the carpark entrance, then the first 250m is on flat grass. Then you had through a gate and hit the intermittently gravel/sand track which you will stay on for the majority of the course. The sandy areas are particularly tough as they are relatively deep, soft sand that saps your energy but each instance isn’t very long. Some of the sand patches have a small bit of grass to the side so you are able to get around little bits of it if you wish.
Other than the surface, the other bits that are a little difficult are the hills. As you can see from the elevation profile above, there are 3 main hills to really talk about. One huge hill and two smaller (but no less difficult) hills. These are the parts of this course that will really push you, not least because they also have patches of the soft sand as well as the hill! Don’t be ashamed to stop or switch to a walk on the hills, parkrun is about finishing, not about finishing fast!
- Time: 30:01
- Place: 112/181
- Gender Place: 79
- Age Category Place (SM25-29): 9
- Age Graded Score: 43.03%
- Most Events Global Position: 304
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: