1 MORE TO GO…
Only one more to go, and I couldn’t have chosen a course that would give me more of a workout than this! Until recently, Blackbutt was regarded as the most difficult parkrun in Australia (until the launch of Nambour in Queensland) and they are not wrong, by the time I had finished it had chewed me up and spat me out at least twice over! Just to put it into perspective, the GAP (Grade Adjusted Pace) analysis on Strava, which gives you an idea on what your pace would have been if the course had been flat, gave me a difference of 22 seconds per kilometre here with an overall elevation of 168 metres. Compare that to a difference of 6 seconds per kilometre and elevation of 47 metres at Cronulla and a difference of 7 seconds per kilometre and elevation of 66 metres at Shellharbour (which before today were the two courses I regarded as the most difficult I had done) and you get some idea of how difficult this course really is!
Despite this being the toughest course I’ve run though, there was still the normal mix of a parkrun crowd undeterred by the challenging run, and probably the most friendly set of people I have yet had the pleasure to meet at an event. The Run Director, Event Director and a number of the runners/volunteers all came up to speak to me and my bands of travellers to see what we thought of their course and how we did. They even invited us to join them for breakfast in the local pub (who offer 20% off if you show your barcode!)
Just before the start of the run, we were treated to something rather special too. One of the runners had recently run his 50th parkrun and in celebration of that has written a song, which he performed with a full microphone and speaker setup! The song was sung with the backing track of Linkin Park’s ‘In The End’ and told a story about when his shoelace had come undone in the middle of a recent parkrun and he had fallen face first onto the floor! I didn’t know that this was something people did on their 50th – if so I am very under prepared for next week!
There isn’t actually much I can say to explain the course other than it is very twisty and turny and very undulating! The amount of twists and turns throw out your sense of direction quite a lot too, so you are never quite sure where you are in relation to the start line. Also, it is neither an out-and-back course nor a full circuit because you do have a turnaround but you don’t just do the same course on the way out and the way back.
Anyway, the start line is next to the BBQ area between the lake and the car park. From the start you head out and follow the edge of the lake round to the right and over a wooden boardwalk before taking a right turn into the wooded trail area and running a large loop through to the turnaround at approx 3-3.5km.
After the turnaround you follow your tracks back for about 750m before carrying on past the turn you previously made and heading into a very quick steep downhill section.
The final bit of the course is back across the wooden boardwalk from the start, with the lake on your left and straight back into the finish line.
- Time: 31:23
- Place: 71/130
- Gender Place: 56
- Age Category Place (SM30-34): 10
- Age Graded Score: 41.21%
- Most Events Global Position: 298
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: