I’VE DONE IT!!
After 1008 days, 4348km travelling to and from parkrun, 23:07:49 hours total running time, running with a total of 6852 other parkrunners, I have finally reached my goal of completing 50 parkruns at 50 different courses! My journey started at the home of parkrun in Sydney so where better to have completed it than at the home of parkrun in Australia – Main Beach! I even managed to beat my Australian parkrun PB on the day by a whole 18 seconds too!
Having my 50th parkrun locked in at a specific place and date did cause a few worries for me over the last few weeks, with me picking up a runners worst nightmare injury two weeks ago (ITBS in both knees) and hoping and praying that all would go well at Blackbutt last week (no scanner issues resulting in no record of me doing my 49th, etc). Thankfully though all the planets aligned just in time to make it happen for me – the parkrun Gods were looking over me, that’s for sure.
On the day there were a couple of people who had the same idea as me and were also running their 50th at Main Beach, including one runner who had also traveled up to the Gold Coast just for parkrun the same as me, and each one of us was called out at the start line before the run, including a shout out for me and my unique touring (a friend I was running with must have tipped them off). The other 50 runners included one woman who had to run the entire course with two enormous 5-0 balloons strapped to her wrists, after her friends had kindly surprised her with them at the start. That obviously made for a good photo for me too at the end (check out my Gallery page or my Instagram ‘parkrun50in50’ to see the photos), so thank you! When talking to her about her parkrun travels I found out that she was not only also from the UK, but that she was from the same city as myself and lived in the same small town! Strange how individual travels had brought us both to the same place at the same time to celebrate our 50th together.
And so, as I crossed the finish line at 07:25, I became the 6th member of The Hoffman Club and the first member of The Hoffman Club outside of the UK! Such an honour and a privilege to finally be part of this small group of slightly insane parkrunners.
What next for me then? Do I go back to some courses having completed my challenge? Do I give up on parkrun completely? I think it’s only fair to keep going and on to 100 in 100! Although it’ll remain to be seen how long the next 50 will take me and where they will be, but the bar has been set pretty high with this iconic milestone location 🙂
Having originally thought that Main Beach was a flat and fast tarmac course, I was surprised to turn up and encounter a very undulating gravel trail run with sections of soft sand. I’m not sure where I got my idea of the course from though as the description on the website definitely says gravel.
You start on the top grass section of the park just after the surf club, and head out north onto a tarmac path for the first 700 metres. After then you switch onto the packed gravel path and head into the bushland area of the park. From there you twist and turn a little while always roughly heading north before taking a corner and heading back towards the start with the beach and sea on your left. Even though there is a turnaround at the halfway point and you head back in pretty much the same way you came, it is not an out-and-back course, it’s a bit more like a deflated balloon with a repeated pinch point at the start/end of the course.
The only section of the course that is repeated is the tarmac path towards the finish line with a sprint ending on grass, making it a very fast finish.
This course is probably the most ideal course for me; a trail surface, a little elevation rise and fall, views of the white sand beach and the ocean, a one lapper and a very fast sprint finish on grass. If I could wish any course was my home course, this would be it. Taking nothing away from other courses at all, but this one just sums me up perfectly!
- Time: 25:08
- Place: 63/271
- Gender Place: 50
- Age Category Place (SM30-34): 6
- Age Graded Score: 51.46%
- Most Events Global Position: 295
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: