Parkrun – Naas

Posted: April 29, 2014 in 2014, April, Races 2014, Uncategorized
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For anyone wondering how to get to Naas Parkrun, at Naas Racecourse, do not do the ‘logical’ thing and head to the entrance of the racecourse. There you will just find a locked gate and an air of confusion settling upon you. You may be able to see some neon and lycra clad people milling around in the distance but you won’t have any clue as to how to join them. Unless of course you check the Naas Parkrun website before you set off, in which case you’ll find directions as to how to get there via the Tipper Road entrance.

We had spent a good twenty minutes milling around with no clue as to how to get to the start before eventually checking the website which finally saw us pull up and park at about 09:29, giving us plenty of time to prepare for a 09:30 start time. Things got worse when one of the very nice stewards told us it was about a ten minute walk to the start line, but she kindly rang the start line steward and asked them to wait for us (see I told you she was very nice). At least the distance to the start line gave us a bit of a chance to warm up before attempting to run my first 5k in approximately two years.

We got to the start line and offered a quick apology to the poor punctual souls who were gathered huddled together on a very windy, drizzly grey morning, among them my old Wyeth chum “Inappropriate” Gavin Scott and his longtime ladyfriend/relatively new wife Sue, who were also popping their Parkrun cherry. No sooner had we turned around and we were off. I’d had no time really to strategise or think about the run, instead I just went tearing off at a pace befitting the only guy there wearing a singlet and short shorts. The guys who eventually finished one and two disappeared off into the distance immediately, another small group of seven or eight were behind that and then there was me at the head of another group, drunk on the feeling of being so close to the front of a race and ignoring the nagging suspicion that yet again I’d set off a bit too quickly.

The course in Naas is two and a half laps of a smooth ribbon of nearly flat tarmac, the only obstacle to take into consideration on Saturday at least was the wind. The first kilometre was into the wind but the retarding nature of it was negated by the start line excitement. The second kilometre was fantastic, wind at my back, running effortlessly and any time I felt the breath of my fellow runner who was just behind me encroaching I just upped the pace ever so slightly to put a little bit more of a gap between us. At three kilometres though he was still right on me, and surging ahead wasn’t so much of an option now into the wind and my legs starting to question what the hell they were doing turning over at this pace. The fourth kilometre was the wind assisted one again but unfortunately it didn’t feel quite so effortless this time and I started to get the nagging voices that affect me far more in short races than they ever do in a marathon.

The fifth and final kilometre was once more into the wind, and the rain which had picked up, and as the breathing behind me got ever closer, then right alongside me, I just didn’t have the will to respond. With about five hundred metres to go he passed me, a hundred later the first lady finisher passed me and I just stayed trudging at the same pace to the end. I’m a bit annoyed again by my lackadaisical finishing. The lack of speed or any sort of different gear to kick into I’m not so bothered by – I’ve done the vast majority of my training at marathon/easy pace – but the desire to finish hard and willingness to hurt bothers me a bit. Maybe it’s something that’ll come with more hard training sessions – tempo runs, intervals and reps. Maybe it’s something I just need to work on in my own head. I’ve done it relatively recently, at the Donadea 10k I definitely ran faster than schedule and was in a world of hurt for the last two kilometres of that so maybe I just need to repeat the mental preparation I did for that.

Or maybe it’s just a 5k (semi) fun run a week before my first marathon of the year and I’m overthinking it way too much.


5k in 21:27 (PB) and I finished 12th! 12th! I know it’s not the Olympics or anything but I’ve never finished a race of any sort with that few people in front of me so yeah, 12th!

PS – my Parkrun time said 21:37 but there was definitely a delay crossing the line, handing over my barcode, getting a different barcode and getting it scanned so for once I’m going with my Garmin time.

Brid ran 32:43, a full two minutes ahead of her 5k time she’d set just a couple of days beforehand. Gavin ran alongside her for a bit before snaking ahead in the last two hundred metres to finish in 32:33 and Sue ran an excellent 25:25 (before having to wait around in the wind and rain for her husband to finish).



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