30 June, 2013

Running late?

At this time of year the mornings are rather crisp - which means it is perfect running weather!
So this morning in a balmy 5.8°C I headed for the river, hoping the fog would clear and my fingers wouldn't turn blue. Well, the fog didn't lift, but nor did my fingers quite turn blue and after a leisurely 4km "warm up" I was at Balyang Sanctuary and ready to line up for my 5th Parkrun.
When I posted about the Geelong running scene last year in my post Running Riot! Balyang Parkrun was in its infancy. Now, it is approaching its first birthday and continues to grow.
Parkrun 29th June, 2013

PBs are still falling (27 runners ran their best time this morning), new runners are joining (there were 17 first-time runners today) and so far 933 different runners have participated (114 of us this time).
In recent weeks there was a visit from some of the Newy Parkrunners who enjoyed a weekend of running and dining around Geelong.
And then today, there was another treat in store for Balyang Sanctuary's Parkrunners. By Friday afternoon word was out that Geelong's own marathon man Lee Troop would be a special guest appearance at this morning's run, making his first Parkrun appearance.
As described on BS Parkrun's Facebook page, the start of the event quickly approached. The race got underway as usual, but there was no sign of a professional runner racing to the front of the pack on his way to setting a new course record...in fact, there was no sign of "Troopy" at all...
Ready! Set! Go! The 45th Balyang Sanctuary Parkrun is underway!
Was he running late, had he made a wrong turn or changed his mind and decided to run a lap of his "Troop Loop" at the other end of the track?
Then, as I was settling into some sort of a rhythm about a kilometre into the run, a familiar figure in a long jumper and grey beany eased past, offering words of encouragement left and right as he went. The master was among us!
Lee Troop meets some Geelong Runners
Without any appreciable exertion, he cruised through the field and hit the finish line where he chatted with the crowd and happily posed for photos. In true Parkrun style it was all about participation.

Lee and Jo after the run
So, in true Geelong Runners style, our little band of plodders (relatively speaking of course) leapt at the opportunity of a photo or two and I could see a blog post in the making...

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