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Conkers parkrun
Saturday 6th September 2014
Christof Schwiening

Whilst we were up in the Midlands visiting my parents I thought it would be a good idea to do a bit more parkrun tourism. Whilst Braunstone is closer we have done it quite a few times before, however, we had not ventured that extra mile further to run at Conkers. We arrived with plenty of time to do a slow 5km warm-up down the canal - the weather was perfect but we had both agreed that our legs were in need of a rest after a very heavy training week and the Kevin Henry. So, we were relaxed about arriving rather late at the start. The run was crowded with a turn-out very similar to Milton, but with no finishing time zones at the start. We joined the back and fought forward a few rows before giving-up. The gun went off and as usual for the first 10s nothing happened. We were far too far back. We were going to jog at 5 mins per km - but, we were in a much slower block than that. So, as we ran I ducked and dived my way foward even sprinting up the bank the long way round to gain a few places. Eventually we got to the hill and runners in front of us broke out into a walk. George and I held our pace - which by then was around 4 mins per km and continued to chat. The course is mostly gravel path with some tarmac. We continued to overtake people until the final 100m where one runner came past us - I went into chase mode but was reminded by George that there was really no point. We came in at a tad over 20 mins feeling disappointed that we hadn't made more of an effort to pick our starting position correctly - really this is a run where you need to be in the first few rows. We then scanned our barcodes and did another 5km repeat at a gentle pace. It was a very friendly event and I can imagine that it would be fun in the winter. But, it was just a bit too busy and narrow for a 'turn-up and decide when you start'-paced run - planning is required.
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