My lovely niece was getting married in South Wales and as the ceremony wasn’t until Saturday afternoon, this gave me time for a cheeky parkrun in the morning.
We were staying near Bridgend and the nearest parkrun was at Porthcawl – about a quarter of an hour’s drive away.
I got ready and sneaked out of the hotel room trying not to wake my other half.
The drive to Porthcawl was nice and easy and I pulled onto the carpark at around a quarter past eight.
After a bit of a warm up along the front, I availed myself of the toilets in the Pavilion before making my way to the start.
As nine o’clock approached so did about three hundred and fifty runners – and the rain !
In a heavy drizzle we lined up for the start and after a short countdown, we were off. With so many people, I did start a little back from the start which would affect my final time.
Sporting my new club vest, I strode along the promenade watching the waves roll in.
The course followed the main coast road as it climbed out of Porthcawl before taking the road to Rest Bay.
Just before reaching half way, we diverted from the tarmac for a short loop on the grass before retracing our steps back to the finish.
‘Proper’ race waking events are judged to ensure that the two main rules are not infringed. These rules are that one foot is in contact with the ground at all times and that the leading leg is straight. This is known as an ‘A” race.
More informal events are classed as ‘B’ races and do not insist on adhering to the straight leg rule.
It was mainly downhill to the finish and checking the watch decided that I should beat my previous best parkrun time.
As I traversed the prom for the second time, I was told that I was the first walker back – nice !
As I crossed the finish and was congratulated by one of the time keepers.
He must have known something about race walking because, as a joke, he added, “Sorry, mate, bent knee – you’re disqualified !”
“It’s a ‘B’ race”, I retorted.
That bit of chat distracted me from stopping my watch and with the extra few metres at the start my time showed as 36:26.
My official time was given as 36:07, a few seconds off my PB.
As a consolation, checking the map afterward, the time from the start line to crossing the finish line was 35:30 which shows that I am improving.