Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Star Struck

On Saturday morning I woke up at 6:00. Not great for a weekend, but I was happy to feel rested and getting into an earlier rhythm. Still lying in bed, I checked my Facebook, and saw that a new parkrun was starting that day and it was nearby. Keen for a change of scenery (and hoping it's a bit flatter than my local one), my friend and I headed out for the new challenge.

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. :)


  1. That's fast D! I have done two casual runs so far :) 5km and 7.45km, first one ok, second one, fell asleep afterwards, must have underestimated energy requirements, and both times gave me blisters too on my feet, too soft they are!

  2. Thanks def! This is currently my 5km PB. Well done on your runs! Those are quite far distances for casual runs, if you aren't calling yourself a runner. :) This is my fourth year of trail running, and my fall-asleep-afterwards threshold is currently at the 20km mark. Blisters are the worst! I've been fortunate not to get them too often. I've encountered blisters when there was sand in my shoe, I ran through a river, thus wet feet and when my toe-box was too tight around my toes. But I'm sure you already have the ultimate, optimal solution for blister prevention. ;)

  3. For a mountain run up and down, that's fast. Thanks, a lady at work was running so I tried it with her, was a great experience, the 5km was too easy, time of 5:48 i think, and then 7.45k at 5:44, beautiful run around the harbour in sydney, and around the Sydney Opera House, beautiful in its own way. 4 years wow, nice, I would like to try that sometime with you! Ah, blisters, I used a oil called axhilirate from a health store in South Africa, it had tea trea in it, which works a blast. But I just realised that pee'ing on your own feet is one of best ways to harden your feet and heal the skin, I'm yet to start it, but I've heard of it in various circles before, especially important to the guys in the army who get major issues with their boots and blisters.

    Haha, I did find a page on why different blisters form, for me, I was over extending step, as apparantly you are supposed to land your feet under your body to carry the weight uniformly so that there's no sliding of the foot in shoe after hitting the ground.

    I realised running is all about breathing, out, a lot. The lady I ran with had no control or awareness over her breath and I could see she was hyperventilating on the runs, even though she runs every week -_- This experience made me appreciate the breathing I learnt from doing bodyweighttrainer/tacfit exercise routines, prepares you for anything.

    20km wow that's quite far, at that point I'm sure the nutrition from day before and liquid intake DURING the run becomes the overarching factor. Still lots to learn, I found Tim Noakes massive book The Lore of Running in the office here, it's huge. (Caveat, he has since said that what the book says on Nutrition is all wrong and should be ignored)

  4. Thanks for sharing your tips. Can see you are also taking an analytical approach to running. :) We should DEFinitely ;) do a run when you come and visit.

    Yeah, Tim Noakes is quite the controversy at the moment. Haven't read his book yet but everyone's recommending it.

    Interesting tip on the breathing control. I haven't focussed on my breathing that much. I will have a look into that. What is your next running goal or event?