Monday 1 August 2011

Huddersfield Park Run

Some of last Saturday's fun runners
Park Runs apparently began in Teddington way back in 2004, the brainchild of Paul Sinton-Hewitt, and have since spread throughout the British Isles. Only recently did I learn they'd actually been taking place in my home town of Huddersfield at 9am each Saturday morning for the last 17 weeks. Curiosity lured me along to sample the 18th event last Saturday, July 30th.
Park runs are not strictly races, but more for fun, fitness and friendly rivalry. Whole families can get involved to test their prowess over an accurately measured 5K route. They are free to enter but each participant must be pre-registered and be in possession of a barcode that must be brought along to each race and is vital for recording results. No numbers are worn and the whole race can be set up in five minutes flat - the length of time it takes to align the cones for the finishing funnel.
All smiles approaching the Finish funnel
It was an ethnic mix of 126 runners that lined up in glorious sunshine for the 18th running. Some wore fancy dress. Ages ranged from under 14 to the 79 years of yours truly. After a few brief instructions from a guy dressed as Robin Hood we set off around the beautiful Park on a three lap course. 
This was only the second 5K race I've run in 25 years and I haven't quite got the hang of them yet. Basically, I settled into what I considered to be a maintainable race pace, then just hung on to the guy in front for as long as possible, hoping he'd pull me round to a half respectable time. I think he did. My 24.36 in 39th position actually gave me 1st place in the overall age-graded results. I was happy with that though I'm sure there's room for improvement. 
My wonderful partner finished 87th overall in 29.27 and 1st lady in the age-graded results. Surprisingly, after our very first run, both of us now rank top of our age categories for the whole series - so I reckon we've set ourselves up to be shot down!
Full results here:


  1. My goodness! Is that Greenhead Park? I recognise that view of the tennis courts (with the cafe on the right?). Haven't been there since I was a wee thing at junior school...

  2. Yup, it's Greenhead Park which looked absolutely magnificent in the morning sun. Must say, we were really impressed with the sleek organisation and friendliness of everyone.

  3. A fairly nippy run as well at 24.36. Well done! My PB for the Greenhead route is 25.33; I blame that everlasting slope on the back straight. Not steep, but unremitting (x3)! Definitely a great event though.

  4. I can't believe you've done so few 5k runs in 25 years! You're still faster than my current PB though - but I'm working on that!

  5. I want to be running when I'm 79, too. Congrats to both of you on a fast race!

  6. 5ks are tricky for pacing alright -sometimes those short races are more difficult than the longer ones...