As we pulled into the busy parking lot, with parkrun banners everywhere, a lady parking next to us asked what race it was. I said it's a new parkrun, and she was quite surprised. She shared that she had actually come for a boot camp, but was reconsidering it for the parkrun.
We were just in time to catch the welcoming speech from the parkrun director, who then proceeded to introduce Bruce Fordyce. He is the ambassador for parkrun in South Africa. If you don't know who he is, I'd encourage you to check out the link. He gave a great and concise introduction to parkrun.
Soon we set off and I was thankful for the park being broad, so that passing was easy. Also, we were running on grass trail mostly, which I love. The first section was a slight up hill and it filtered the front a bit. It's a double loop, so once you've run the loop, you know what's coming. On the second uphill, Bruce passed me, but I kept on his shoulder. I stayed with him on the downhill and then passed him again on the flat section. On the second loop the same thing happened.
I was a bit star struck, as I realised I was running behind South Africa's most acclaimed ultra-marathon runner. A deep sense of gratefulness filled me.
|On Bruce Fordyce's (right) shoulder.Post by parkrun South Africa.|
With 500m to the end I kicked and went to another place mentally. The world faded a bit and everything was burning. I made it to the end and beat mister Fordyce by 10 seconds. I also ran a new PB for 5km. A good day indeed. Below is my Endomondo tracking.
When my friend and I got back to the car, we saw the boot camp lady, and I asked what she did in the end. "I did the parkrun." she said with a smile. :)