Kapiti Coast parkrun
Event number 73
2nd July 2016
First time: Adam
I start to run, people all around me
I see the river it looks amazing
then I look up and around me we're running through a construction site
then I see the river again I am starting to get tired
a few moments later I am almost done then I'm done
that was amazing
I am going to come back next week
Second time: Kylie
Saturday 2 July, 6.30am. I'm awake. It's dark and chilly, barely a week past the shortest day of the year. Parkrun. Second time. Can I do it again?
7.30. I'm in the car with my 11 year old son. I'm in leggings, IceBreaker top, fleece jacket, windbreaker, beanie. He's in a pair of Farmer's shorts and a t-shirt. He reluctantly added a hoodie as we walked out the door. I hand over his barcode. Last night I printed off his sheet and mine, glued them onto cardboard, cut them into neat rectangles, laminated them, used a special punch to round off the corners, another special punch to make oval-shaped holes. He's talking about his recent inter-schools cross-country experience. Who will be at the parkrun? What's the track like? Where do you go? What do you do with the barcode? He's never run further than 3.2km.
I've been training for this since last December. A book, an app, a DVD, and a goal: to be able to run continuously for half an hour three times a week. It took me five months to get there and along the way I found so much more than a running routine. But so far it's been a solo journey with an introspective focus. Until last week.
The morning is beautifully clear. Sian, the race director, welcomes everyone and thanks the volunteers. My son isn't keen to be singled out as a newbie. He gets a warm welcome anyway. He's looking at the other kids, sizing them up. He has an untested bravado. I have been chipping away for six months at the You-Are-Not-A-Runner sign on my heart, and in this moment I have peace.
Here I am again at the starting line of a 5km group run. It's freezing. I stamp my feet, shake my hands. Maybe it helps, but I still can't feel my toes. I'm not nervous. I've got this. I did it last week.
A countdown, and we're away. Adam bolts. I find my pace easily and begin to dial in. Breath, posture, lean, light. The ground below is dark, soft and forgiving, scattered with tiny stones and muddy drifts of leftover autumn leaves. Last night's rain has pooled in muddy hollows that hold brief histories of passing feet and paws and wheels, then yield to new impressions.
Trees form a corridor around me. I try to remember landmarks from last week but the images are jumbled - a glimpse of the river, an overbridge, a locked gate, a distance marker, more trees, a field. I still can't feel my toes. There is no runner in sight ahead, and heavy breathing and footfalls behind. I relax my shoulders, breathe, tilt forward, kick back, smile. I look beyond the moment and see the river. It's there, rolling along next to me. A runner passes, and then I am alone. Breathe, relax, smile.
The trail seems longer this time. Where is the half-way marker? When will the frontrunners begin to return past me? I let the thought go. Breathe, relax, smile. I've been reading a book of running essays. Pam Reed: "Learning to break things down is one of the most valuable lessons I've learned as an ultrarunner". I pick a branch that sticks out at a funny angle ahead. You just need to make it to there. I fix that branch in my head. We make it, Pam Reed and I. Woohoo! I pick another one. The first runners are coming back now. They don't smile. I look for my son.
I see a marker. Three km down. I can feel my toes now. A wave of ease and joy rises through me with the thawing muscles and loosening limbs. I abandon Pam Reed and just go with the feeling. Breathe, lean, smile. The river is with me again, rolling along as the sun begins to take the edge off the morning. Ahead are the young girls. My running self is with them. She is about their age, a confident sprinter but too impatient to pace herself for longer distances. I lengthen my stride. There's the finish line. I head for my son. "Over here!" The volunteers wave and shout. I veer to the side where they wait with timer and tags.
I'm clutching my newly laminated barcode. I've been holding it tightly all through the run. I accept my tag, get it scanned. I step out of the line, and greet the weekend with a finished 5km.
Dave CHANDLER (VM50-54) of Kapiti Running and Tri Club Inc, was first over the line in 20:34 - 6th time in 28 appearances.
Andy MORRELL (VM35-39) was second over the line in 21:57.
Steve MCDONALD (VM65-69) of Kapiti Running and Tri Club Inc, was third over the line in 22:01.
Current standing in the Men's annual points competition:
Bruce JENKINS (Kapiti Running and Tri Club Inc) 1836 pts.
Terence BROWN 1639 pts.
Adrian HARDY (Kapiti Running and Tri Club Inc) 1552 pts.
Kate JENKINS (VW55-59) of Kapiti Running and Tri Club Inc, was first (6th overall) over the line in 22:11 - 10th time in 23 appearances.
Joanna JENKINS (SW30-34) was second (16th overall) over the line in 26:09.
Alisha DOYLE (JW10) was third (17th overall) over the line in 26:23.
Current standing in the Women's annual points competition:
Zoe COOPER 2118 pts.
Jasmine COOPER 2068 pts.
Kate JENKINS (Kapiti Running and Tri Club Inc) 1986 pts.
The following runners recorded the best Age Grade scores:
Kate JENKINS (VW55-59) was graded 80.54% for the time 22:11 (6th overall).
Steve MCDONALD (VM65-69) was graded 76.15% for the time 22:01 (third overall).
Dave CHANDLER (VM50-54) was graded 72.29% for the time 20:34 (first overall).
This week there were 44 runners, of whom 4 were first timers and 10 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 3 different athletics clubs took part.
Kapiti Coast parkrun started on 24th January 2015, and since then 917 different runners, including participants from 48 athletics clubs, have completed 4,844 runs covering a total distance of 24,220 km, and there have been 1,194 new Personal Bests.
The female record is held by Jo JOHANSEN who ran in a time of 00:19:40 on 22nd August 2015 (event number 28).
The male record is held by Stefan PRZYCHODZKO who ran in a time of 00:17:01 on 26th March 2016 (event number 60).
The Age Grade course record is held by Keith BATEMAN who recorded a 87.28% run (18:13) on 21st February 2015 (event number 5).
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Kapiti Coast parkrun Results Page.