I headed to my home parkrun for a christmas celebration today. My goal was the same as last week – to run relaxed, and fast.
When I arrived, Gareth (the event director) offered me a Santa hat to run in. I was already wearing Christmas colours, so how could I refuse!
Southbank is the perfect distance from my house – an easy 2km warmup. In the stinky Queensland heat a 2km warmup is more than enough to start to sweat!
When the race started I was overtaken by a couple other girls. I wasn’t too concerned – I know that I need to go out conservatively. Especially on this course! Up and over the Goodwill Bridge felt a lot easier than it did 3 weeks ago. This bump is followed by a long flat stretch on the north side of the river, and then the fun begins. Running up a set of stairs halfway through a 5km race is never going to be pretty. I used the first half of the Go Between Bridge to recover from the stairs, and then made an effort to lift the pace. By this stage I was racing other runners – not necessarily runners that were doing parkrun, either.
This part of Brisbane is the most popular area for both cyclists and runners. To keep my pace up I was focussing on catching, and overtaking the people ahead of me – even if they were out for their long slow saturday morning run!
When I first put the Santa hat on, I wasn’t sure if I would keep it on for the whole run. Sure enough, my head started to overheat at about 3km. It was worth it – I lost track of how many people called out Merry Christmas. Even the cyclists were being friendly
I definitely think the hat had magical powers. I ran 21:57, beating my previous Southbank PB by 44 seconds. We didn’t exactly have PB type weather this morning – 25 degrees C and 85% humidity at 7am. Super sticky and gross. I also caught all but one of the girls that passed me at the start. A successful race overall. And the hat stayed on the whole time!