Most of my training group had races scheduled for this weekend, either in County Donegal or at the new indoor arena in Athlone. As a consequence I had no organised training this morning. Rather than just pound the roads by myself I decided to partake of the joys of the weekly 5k Parkrun at the Ecos Nature Park in Ballymena.
This was the first time that I had run at this venue or indeed visited it. The Braid River runs through the 220 acres of the Park and with the recent heavy rain the water table had decided to rise above the level of the paths in parts. In consequence the course for the day had been altered. Instead of two distinct loops through the park we had to run round one of these loops twice.
I had anticipated a better course for running than this turned out to be. Underfoot was fine, but there were three very tight turns on the course where the angle was ninety degrees or worse. You were forced to chop your stride and slow down so as to navigate round them. Not good.
Eighty three individuals turned out for the run. With memories of my almost chronic hip injury still fresh in my mind I started off fairly gingerly. This was to be an AT run at best. One young cub, started off with great intent and was soon at least one hundred yards to the fore and he gradually pulled further ahead, at least until the last half lap when he flagged somewhat. I am happy to report that I managed to complete the run without any problems to my hip and even with holding myself back from racing mode I did not make a fool of myself.
Age shall not weary them!