As I start to enter the twilight of my time in Australia ahead of a return to the UK at the end of the year, I also start to ramp up the intensity of which I am traveling and therefore picking up newer parkruns that I have not yet done. This weekend was ticking of the state of South Australia for both of those reasons!
I will start by saying that this was the most organised parkrun I have ever been to, in fact, it was streets ahead of any other. That’s not to say that other parkruns are not organised, just that they take it to the extreme at Torrens and make a real event of it! I arrived about 30-40 minutes before the start and there was already a whole team of volunteers buzzing around setting up metal tables and chairs, a gazebo, tables for the barcode scanning, information areas for other local runs (including a number of leaflets for parkrun itself, which I have never seen before), PA systems for the briefing, and boards of information galore. The only way to fully describe it is to say that it felt like a paid-entry, professionally organised race. This really is more than just a run in the park. Not to mention also that the course and the event team pretty much sum Adelaide up to a tee – beautiful and well maintained parkland with very happy and easy-going people.
On the surface of it this was my first PB in over 2 years, knocking 45 seconds off my Australian parkrun PB and 20 seconds off my all time parkrun PB. So why can I not shake the feeling that I somehow didn’t actually achieve that time? Even though my watch and the timer got the same time, I just don’t feel close to PB fitness at the moment and have been struggling to maintain 5:30 pace recently, let alone under 5:00 pace. The answer may lie in something else my watch told me, it recorded the distance as only 4.9km. Now I know that GPS is only accurate to 95%, and that 100m (2%) is well within that threshold so it could have been the correct length, however I am not convinced that the GPS inaccuracy is showing short it is just as likely that it could be 100m the other way, therefore I do wonder if the course wasn’t 200m short. Based on my average pace, 200m extra would have roughly been another minute and when you think about 25:20 I think that is a time that would be more believable for me at the moment.
Obviously, I could be doing myself (and the event team at Torrens parkrun) a massive injustice here. I may have just had a very good day at the office with perfect weather conditions, a flat’ish’ course and fresh from a couple of days rest. I certainly felt comfortable and happy with my running for the first time in a long time?
Either way, I unfortunately won’t be happy in myself if this was to stay my PB so there is only one thing for it – I need to up my training and run quicker somewhere in my next few runs. This is to prove 2 things to myself; 1) that I AM running at that pace at the moment (so this run is more likely to be correct) and 2) that my PB is set at a course that I am more comfortable is a correct distance. At least I now have a new target to aim for as well.
As some of the path on the normal course is currently awaiting repair, this morning was staged on the substitute course so I can only personally talk about the course I ran rather than the official course, however the official course is a 2.5km out-and-back along the River Torrens passing the Adelaide Oval, running by the new multi-million dollar glass bridge that connects the Oval to the city and out towards the Adelaide Zoo.
The replacement course runs the opposite direction but still has the same start and end point alongside the Torrens Weir. From the start you run along the path and through a tunnel into Bonython Park keeping the river alongside you on your right. You follow the same path until the West End Brewery comes into view at approx 1.5km. As the path looks to end, you take a right turn over a wooden bridge and immediately take another right after the bridge to keep the river on your right-hand side, however this time running back on yourself. After approx 500m you meet a fork in the path with a small decline in the path down to the right, which you take and is the only real elevation difference on what is a pretty flat course. The turnaround point is another 250m down the path, after which you trace your steps all the way back to the finish. The finish line is just over the Weir, next to the putting green of the North Adelaide Golf Course.
- Time: 24:20
- Place: 72/279
- Gender Place: 63
- Age Category Place (SM30-34): 10
- Age Graded Score: 53.15%
- Most Events Global Position: 299
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: