Finally, a local parkrun! Kettering

I’ve moaned before about living a 30 minute minimum car journey from all parkruns in the area.  All those people living within running distance of their local parkrun don’t realise how lucky they are!

This weekend though was the inaugural Kettering parkrun – a mere 15ish minute drive from my front door.  Kettering on Saturday morning was my 11th different parkrun and 61st in total.  Continuing our parkrun Summer tourism stint, I met up with Laura at Wickstead park carpark a few minutes before the start.Laura and me at the first Kettering parkrunQuite a few minutes before the start in fact.  I didn’t realise just how little time it would take to get there and as there was a parking attendant filling one of the marshal roles, parking was a breeze.  In future I think I might even be able to leave my house as late as 8:30am to park up and walk to the start with time to spare.  Lie ins on a Saturday morning once more for me!

Kettering had a great turn out for their first event.  There are several running clubs local to where I live, all with runners currently traveling miles to their nearest parkrun.  Many of whom made the switch from Northampton to Kettering for the inaugural event.

First Kettering parkrunWe all received our pre-race briefing at 9am and were set off on our way.  The course is two and a half laps around the park, which has lovely wide pathways, lined with grass – giving even more room for overtaking and finding your place in the run.

Running Kettering parkrun at 39 weeks pregnant(I can no longer see my feet when I run!)

There was never any bottlenecking or feeling of being crowded out on the course though, despite the large numbers of runners at the event.

The course sets out on a slight uphill, before hitting a slight downhill and crossing over the (small) railway tracks.  There was a board in place over the inner bits of the track.  But, as I commented to Laura, it would probably be better to have a board going fully across the tracks, rather than just the largest middle area, as it could still potentially be a trip hazard when legs were tired on the second lap.

Once you reach the very bottom of the park, you cross a long bridge.  It’s one of those bridges where the vibrations of other runners heading across it causes the bridge to swing back up and hit your foot as you are bringing it down for your next step.  Very disorientating!  The second time I went to cross this bridge a dog ran in front of me, causing me to sidestep.  At nearly 39 weeks pregnant, sidestepping on cue was rather a hard task, and I was a little annoyed that the owner of the dog didn’t even apologise for not having her dog on the lead.  No harm done though luckily.

The final half lap is on a slight downhill and I found that I could really pick up the pace still.  So I did and came past several people on my way to the finish.  So nice to see a 7:36mm pace recorded for the nubbin and I wasn’t even out of breath at the end!

Mile 1: 10:40
Mile 2: 10:29
Mile 3: 10:35
Nubbin (0.2m): 7:36mm

I don’t think the course was actually long, but I ran on the right of the track the whole way round (on an anti-clockwise loop) and made no attempt to stick to the ‘race line’ as such, hence the extra 0.1 mile of distance showing on my Garmin.

Kettering parkrun Garmin time

Garmin time: 33:15
Official time: 
Gender position: 
Age category position: 

Fastest parkrun since the 2nd April, and still I managed to chat all the way round.  A time starting with 33:xx is never going to win any prizes, but I was very happy with how comfortable I felt running at that pace just a few days before having a baby!

Running Kettering parkrun at 39 weeks pregnantCar parking is free if you get your ticket swiped in the cafe following your run and leave the park before 10:30am, otherwise parking costs £3.

This parkrun is definitely going to become more regular on my parkrun list in future.

That’s it for parkrun for me for a few weeks now.  My caesarean is scheduled before next Saturday and the guidelines are not to return to any form of exercise for at least six weeks, with even walking 5k suggested as being a push until several weeks down the line.  I don’t want to overdo it and end up taking longer to get back running again, so I’m going to be sensible about things and just marshal for a few weeks instead.  (Although, probably not for the first couple of weekends!)

In the past I’ve volunteered as marshal, tail runner and photographer.
What’s your favourite marshal role?
Any suggestions for best role to volunteer in with a child?!

8 thoughts on “Finally, a local parkrun! Kettering

  1. Firstly, I assure you I do realise how lucky I am to live within such a close range of so many parkruns! It is such a luxury and I’m very grateful for. It sucks that yours are so far away :( But more and more are being set-up so fingers crossed more crop up nearby soon.
    You’re so amazing still running! And you know (without being offensive or disrespectful to people) you’re actually running faster than a lot of non-pregnant runners! YOU’RE GROWING A BABY!!! Multi-tasking at its finest.
    I might bother you for some parkrun reviews at some point if you don’t mind as I’m going to start posting some of the ones I’ve done on my blog… but I realise you’re going to be super duper busy with babyness!
    Anna @AnnaTheApple recently posted…Last long run and dating frustrationsMy Profile

    1. I know you realise how lucky you are. 😀 Awesome that you’ve made the tourist list now!
      Thanks – I was dead chuffed to still be running at that pace whilst having a conversation the whole way round the park just three days before having my baby! There was something satisfying about knowing that I was still managing to beat lots of people who weren’t also carrying a 38 week baby inside them as well and having to deal with needing the loo and correcting balance as the baby squirmed inside! Haha!
      Definitely happy to write some parkrun reviews for you, just let me know what you want and when! :)

  2. So impressive! I am a bit behind the times, so I hope the birth goes well/ went well.
    How lovely to have one so close by. It must be nice to have so many to choose from. I would love to be able to run to one- I think one is around 5 or 6 miles away so it is doable if I was doing a super long run, but not at the moment.
    I’ve had a lot of different volunteer roles- marshal, token sorting, new run briefing, photographer and barcode scanning. I think if the course is good for a buggy, then the tail runner would be a good one- a lot of our ladies with little kids do that. Or the new run briefing- it takes less than 5 minutes and then you can cheer everyone if you are not running.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…When I realise that I need to plan my runs out…My Profile

    1. Yes I think tail runner could work quite well once I’m strong enough to walk 5k again whilst pushing the buggy. When I volunteered at Bedford as tail runner I only had to break into a slight jog when I got held back talking to someone so it should hopefully keep my parkrun numbers up and help to get me stronger before I’m actually able to run again.

  3. I’m so lucky to have my local parkrun literally a 5 minute walk from my house and that’s if I dawdle! It’s free to park at ours until 10am too, something which I think helps draw a crowd. I only volunteer at parkrun and love different roles for different reasons. I like timekeeping because you get to be the first to congratulate people on finishing and get to watch the sprint finishes, some people give it their all and it’s like watching the athletics on TV! I like giving out the finish tokens because you get to have that initial reaction from people. I often ask “How was that?” and receive a variety of answers and finally I like barcode scanning. Usually by this point the runners have managed to get some of their breath back and are willing to have a quick chat. Basically I just like talking!

    1. Oooo I’m jealous that your parkrun is only a 5 minute walk away! I really must book some weekends away near to parkruns soon. I like the idea of rolling out of bed and ambling up the road to the start line!
      I do like the idea of being a timekeeper at parkrun. I’d feel the pressure in case I messed it up though!
      Talking and congratulating runners and seeing them achieve their goals is definitely one of the best parts of volunteering at events. 😀

  4. This is incredible – the amount of running you’ve kept up through pregnancy is totally inspiring and if and when it happens, if I can keep anything near that I will be very content. I love a first parkrun, it’s a special feeling. Had the 100th of the one nearest my parents the other day and it is amazing how quickly time flies! Being able to leave – my closest currently is a 10 minute jog so don’t have to worry about parking and it is an absolute dreeeeeeeeam. Best of luck for the coming weeks!

    1. I am so glad that I was lucky enough to be able to run throughout my pregnancy. I would have gone insane if I hadn’t been able to run for nine months of pregnancy!
      A ten minute jog away is ideal – spot on for a warm up pre-parkrun!

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