The 5th anniversary of the Lara fun run was held yesterday but, despite being local, it’s the first time I’ve actually run it. I was convinced to join by some friends and signed up for the 10km, which is 2 laps of the beautiful Serendip Sanctuary.
Being a small event, it was all very friendly and low-key with around 700 participants overall (105 finishing the 10km). The conditions weren’t ideal – it was already 20 degrees when I arrived and starting at 9am meant the sun was up and at its relentless best.
From the first few minutes, I knew this one was going to be hard. The heat and the humidity made it such a challenge, despite the flat and easy course. It is also a two-lap course which is always a challenge and starting the 2nd lap, I was close to giving up. The only thing that kept me going was my friend’s voice in my head – “parkrunners don’t pay for 5km”!!!
The 2nd lap actually turned out to be a lot better – there were no crowds left (as all the 5 km runners were now gone), the course was no longer an unknown stretch of road and I knew I was on the home stretch, regardless of it being a fairly long stretch. And I was last. You’d think this was a negative thing but it was actually a bit of a relief. I had known going into this that I was probably going to come last as I’d checked out times from last year and knew they were all faster than my best. Realising I really was last therefore took the pressure off – the worst had happened, the world hadn’t ended and I couldn’t come any further behind.
A big bonus of running after all the crowds had gone was that the animals came out to play and I was treated to an emu crossing the road and some wallabies stepping up to say hello.
I’m also really pleased to say that the volunteers were all absolutely lovely. In bigger events, you don’t always get treated well at the back of the pack but I was encouraged and supported all the way to the finish line and didn’t feel I was holding anyone up. I don’t think I’ve ever been more relieved to see a finish line – it was beautiful but a tough, tiring run.
Will I do this one again? I’m not sure. The course is stunning and the organisers and volunteers are friendly which are both huge pluses. However I really don’t like multi-lap courses and the late start time meant it was hotter than it needed to be. I can see this becoming one of those events which I enter on the day if I happen to feel like it 🙂