This morning I was a 28 minute pacer for the Tralee Parkrun. Weather conditions had been terrible all night, so I wasn’t sure the run would even go ahead, but the Tralee Parkrun gang are a tough bunch, and the wind and rain was duly ignored.
I was pleasantly surprised by the numbers that showed up – I have to admit that if I hadn’t committed to being a pacer, I would probably have stayed in bed! I warmed up, and chatted with a couple of the other pacers, before Bridget gave us our instructions, welcomed the newbies and the tourists, and we quickly set off.
Conditions at the start were pretty bad – heavy rain and driving winds, but within a few minutes the rain stopped (or at least abated a bit) and the rest of the run was relatively good.
It felt strange to do the Parkrun without my two boys – they had taken one look at the weather and decided it wasn’t for them today.
I did my usual pacing trick of banking 6 or 7 seconds in the first and second laps, to allow for a bit of a slow-down in the last lap for anyone following me. I had a couple of runners with me at the start, but they soon either passed me, or fell off, and I did most of the first two laps alone.
I felt my lack of recent training at times – I definitely need to get back to a proper training schedule if I’m to avoid a repeat of my Sixmilebridge experience on my next long race.
On the last lap, Stephen caught up with me, and we ran together and chatted for most of the last lap. Stephen told me that 28 minutes would be a PB for him, and with about a quarter mile to go, he took off and finished very strongly for a big PB – Well done Stephen!
I discovered at that stage that I was a bit ahead of my time, so I slowed it down a good bit for the last stretch. I ended up crossing the line in exactly 28 minutes flat according to my Garmin – you can’t ask for any more accurate pacing than that!
This was another enjoyable run, and great credit is due to all the Parkrun volunteers, not just for coming out themselves, but for managing to bring out so many runners on such a wet and windy day.
Thanks to Ger Roche for the pictures.
On a (kinda) related note, well done to Tralee which was voted Ireland’s best large tourism town. A great reflection of all our wonderful town has to offer, and which complements Tralee’s recent gold medals in both the Tidy Towns competition, and the Entente Florale.