Saturday 14th December 2013
The Bushy parkrun (formerly Bushy Park Time Trial) has (according to Wikipedia) taken place every week since October 2004, and is (according to Wikipedia) where the whole parkrun phenomenon started. The course record for men of 13m48s was (according to Wikipedia) set on 11 August 2012 by Andy Baddeley. And what’s more (according to Wikipedia) the list of people who have participated includes Mohammed Farah, Olympic 5000m and 10000m Gold Medalist. Hmmm – what with the London marathon as well, I seem to be constantly following in the footsteps of Mohammed.
A trip to London to help move my first-born from Shepherd’s Bush to Clapham Junction provided an excellent opportunity to participate in the four hundred and ninety fourth running. Although, in my early twenties, I lived just across the river from Bushy Park, I had never ever set foot in it (although I had driven through on numerous occasions). What a shame! It was a fine setting on a fine morning. The picture shows the sun rising behind the “Diana Statue”. My assumption was that this commemorated the late Princess-of-Wales but (according to Wikipedia) it’s been there since 1713, so I really don’t think that can be the case.
For the record, there were 791 finishers at Bushy Parkrun #494. The photo gives some idea of the number of people (including a baby in a buggy in the foreground). It is a very flat course, mixing grass with gravel paths. Starting near the back it took me some time to get over the start line, and the first km was fairly slow going. But after about 2km I was overtaken by a lady with a dog in tow (or was it a dog with a lady in tow) who seemed to be going at a good pace, so I followed them, meaning that my pace increased steadily through each kilometre. I was finisher #251, in a time of 23:35 (having re-passed the dog with the lady towards the end). The dog probably needed a comfort stop. My Garmin log can be viewed here.