The smell of success: Pickle and Ralgex

Okay so now for something a little different than usual.

For the last few weeks I’ve been writing the Run Report for Havant parkrun, where I’ve transferred my Saturday morning runs to whilst being down at Uni. Unfortunately, there’s no Portsmouth parkrun, so it’s into the car and up to Staunton Country Park for 9am Saturday morning, ususally accompanied by a varying cast of my housemates (special mention to Dean, who has so far been with me every week! Good effort!). Cutting to the chase, this week I returned home for the weekend, leaving my run report writing to another, wholly able member of Havant parkrun and at 9am I was back at my home run on Greenham Common, Newbury. Since I’ve grown to like writing the report i thought I’d keep my hand in the pie by writing my own for this weeks Newbury parkrun. Enjoy this one and feel free to check out Report #18 and #19 here if you’re interested!

Newbury parkrun #40

Having to scrape the windscreen of you car at 8:20 on a Saturday morning is never a good sign. Nevertheless with the frost well and truly off my windscreen and visibility returned it was off to the start line of the 40th Newbury parkrun. The goal for today, besides not losing a finger or two to frostbite during the pre-run briefing, was to get round the 5k course in under 25 minutes. Ever since moving down to Havant parkrun I’ve been holding a little competition with myself at each different parkrun to see where I can get the fastest time and today was no exception. I set off from the line hoping that the cold weather would push me to cross the finish line in under 24:53, my Havant time, and therefore give me a little personal challenge to beat next week, back on the “rolling hills” of the Havant course.

Out on the course the standard Newbury parkrun game of Dodge the Cowpat was well under way with all 218 of us runners skipping daintily around the fetid piles of evil that the residents of the common had decided to leave for us. Upon nearing the end of the first 600m straight I was immediately struck by a combination of smells that I think would do quite well to be bottled and sold as the “Smell of Success – The Newbury parkrun perfume” consisting of that sweet, sweet chemical tang of Ralgex and the reminiscent pong of Monster Munch wafting from the local pickle factory. Ahhhh, success.

It was on the wings of this most delightful of fragrances that i staggered across the line after the briefest of sprints to ensure I was ahead of the small pack that had started stalking me on the home straight. I didn’t much fancy being beaten right at the line after staying ahead of them for so long!
Stumbling past the photographer with a trademarked grimace plastered on my face I made it across the line feeling pleased with myself, not having pushed myself to my absolute limit but coming within spitting distance of it!

The best bit? I came across the line nearly a whole minute faster than I was planning to clocking myself a brand new shiny pb of 23:59.

Now to beat that next week at Havant…

Just before crossing the line, unaware of how fast it seems I can go if i put my mind to it!

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