I completed my 13th parkrun on Saturday and my 11th at Durham. My other two runs were at Saltwell Park, which is also a very good course. The number 13 is considered unlucky in some countries and also in the street I grew up in as it was missed out as a house number! 13 doesn’t seem to be unlucky for me, for starters it’s my wife’s Birthday and I’ve just completed my 13th run and gained a personal best. I thought it might be a good time to do a little write-up on what I think of Durham parkrun.
I decided I would attend in February of this year and it didn’t disappoint! It had been recommended by my friend Lesley and I’ve since ran it with her and friends Damon, Lee, Peter and John. I found the whole experience very friendly and well organised. I’d say on average there are around 180-200 runners turn up on a Saturday morning. Some complete the course in 17 minutes, some in 47 minutes but it doesn’t matter what time you do it in. If you’re a competitive runner, that’s fine, get yourself near the front and battle it out. If you’re there for your own fitness and to just run, the middle or the back is fine and I’ll see you there. The course at Durham is 5k and begins at the Graham Sports Centre track. It features a variety of surfaces, from the running track at the start, to grass, gravel paths, bridges and tarmac paths. I personally love to run on different terrain as I get bored easily! Towards the end of the run, you follow the riverside path all the way along to Baths bridge. You finish just after the sculpture of the Durham Ox, before the bandstand.
Once you’ve finished, you get an email a few hours later with your time, position and age grade. My times have been all over the place to be honest, due to running with others, the running stitch I’ve been getting and some weeks I just felt like taking it easy. As I mentioned earlier, just turn up and do your best and there are no pressures to finish in a certain time.
My 13th run was lucky for me as I got a new personal best! It was very, very hot on Saturday and I wasn’t sure how I’d do but I guess I just ran it quickly to get it over with! I finished the 5k in 24:29 and came in 76th position. I’m pretty pleased with that and as my wife keeps reminding me, I’m always saying “I’m no runner.”
Stay fit and lucky,