Last week I was volunteering at the Osterley 10k so missed the opportunity to complete the inaugural Northala Fields parkrun.  I joined Other Dan and 84 other runners for event #2 this week and had a great time pushing myself round the sun-baked course.

The Son decided to stay in bed so I grasped the chance to put some effort in and test out where my fitness sits. My legs went to pieces several weeks back at the Richmond Park Marathon and I have hardly been running since. I dusted down my favourite marathon training plan last week and I am now one week back into some structured running so I wasn’t sure where my time would be.

The course starts with a small loop around the 4 mounds, which is a combination of tarmac and gravel path, and then it was a large single tarmac loop of the main park. I thought that sub-25 would be good and I really should be faster so off I went without checking by Garmin as I ran. It’s a great parkrun course with plenty of scope for checking out those ahead and behind you as the large loop swings around the park.

I did start to struggle on long tarmac path that takes you back towards the mounds, mainly because it gradually slopped upwards and also because the path seemed to stretch out into the distance like a hostile mirage. Finally we were looping back round the mounds for the last time, back onto the gravel path, and the finish funnel was in sight on a grass section near the start.

Thankfully my finish was well under the sub-25 that I was aiming for and I was glad to see that my fitness had not slipped too far. The café is bang on next to the finish area so I sat back with my chocolate milk and a plate of scrambled egg on toast as the final finishers completed the course.

I really enjoyed my new local parkrun and I already know that it’s going to share my parkrun time with Gunnersbury on a regular basis. It’s a fast course with plenty of enjoyable stages and the café has a lovely outside seating area. Many thanks to the Northala Fields core team.

Running Dan parkrun result:

  • parkrun time: 0:23:15
  • Garmin time: 0:23:15
  • Finish position: 15 / 86
  • Gender position: 14 / 43
  • Age category: VM40-44
  • Age grade: 58.71 %