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Being a Saturday, I was all psyched up for parkrun and this week I’d chosen to attend Chasewater.

After rising from my slumber and before breakfast, I checked the Chasewater parkrun website only to discover …

Oh bother !

A quick look at the map, revealed that Lichfield’s Beacon parkrun could be a goer. A quick look on their website and all looked good. The two events are about the same distance from home so I didn’t have to leave any earlier than I had planned.

The Beacon website mentioned that the car parking would be fifty pence, so in this age of contactless payments, I made sure that I have a fifty pence piece.

The drive out to Lichfield was uneventful and I rolled onto the car park a little before half eight.

Clutching my fifty pee, I walked over to the pay and display machine only to find it encased in a metal box, bearing a sign informing me that “No ticket required if box is closed”, which it was.

I changed shoes and made my way to where I could see a load of hi-vis.

Before the start, I thought that I’d visit what looked like toilets a short distance away. I walked over and discovered that the building I had espied did in fact house some public loos – I also discovered that they didn’t open until nine o’clock.

There were some bushes not far away but it’s not that easy being inconspicuous wearing a bright yellow top ! I managed.

At about T minus fifteen minutes, I attended the First Timers briefing and when she got to the bit about bar codes, realised that I had left mine at home – bugger ! Oh well, I’d go around and at least get a workout – I’d have my own time.

After the race briefing and a brief countdown, we were off.

After what I had been told during my club walk on Thursday, I made a conscience effort to hold my arms bent at ninety degrees and stand up straight (my two big weaknesses). Also, now that I’ve gone metric, I tried to maintain a pace of around 7:10 per kilometre.

I think that I managed the arms and kept correcting my posture. My average pace was hovering around 7:20.

As I entered the final kilometre, I realised that I wouldn’t beat my previous best time of 35:56 but pushed on regardless. As I crossed the line, I stopped my watch and glancing down, discovered that I had completed Beacon parkrun in thirty five minutes exactly. Wow !

I also noticed that I had covered only 4.83 kilometres – not so wow !

If my GPS data are correct, then extrapolating my time would give me 36:17 for the 5k.

Now, I would assume that the organisers had measured the course correctly and had used it many times so it should be accurate. It is more likely that the GPS on my watch measured the distance incorrectly.

Whatever the distance was, the time WAS thirty five minutes. Unless I hear otherwise, I’m claiming a thirty five minute 5k walk and new PB. Without my bar code, I do not have an official time for my effort, this is how the official results place me …

There I am, in position 204 – Unknown.

Flushed with success, I messaged the race walking group and received congratulations. Steve also told me that we’d be doing some speed work on Thursday comprising 3x500m plus 1x1500m and analyse my technique at speed – oh dear !

He also sent me a link to the IAAF Introduction to Race Walking video …