I’ve been lucky enough to visit a couple of different parkruns the last 2 weeks for launches so you’ll have to forgive me while I catch up with the posts. This morning was the launch of Studley parkrun in the gorgeous Studley Park in Melbourne.
My friend and arrived early as we were predicting large numbers and parking scarcity but we had no trouble at all, finding a park just across the bridge in Yarra Bend Park. Easy parking, plentiful toilet facilities and stunning views – it was already ticking all the boxes.
We meandered over the bridge to the starting area for the briefing. Having been to a lot of different parkruns and heard a lot of briefings, I can honestly say this was one of the most welcoming and friendly. As well as the usual details about the route and the thanks to the many and varied people who helped get this event off the ground, walkers were also warmly welcomed and we were encouraged to ‘look after each other’ out there.
So, in a happy (if somewhat nervous – the course was very much an unknown!) state of mind, we gathered at the start line and were off. Only a short way into the course, there is a very tight bottle neck where we had to slow to a walk but the marshalls did their job brilliantly and the other parkrunners were courteous and patient and we soon got through. We ran a small loop initially on a trail running through the trees then turned right and ran over the bridge which was both wobbly and stunning. Actually less wobbly when you’re running than when you’re walking over it!
We then turned left and ran along the river, heading gradually down until we were almost level. And time to go back up again – this time through a zig zag concrete section, weaving through the trees and up the hill. It was also here that I met most of the faster runners coming back down so it was a bit tight but not too bad.
The turnaround point is just before Dights Falls and it felt good knowing that, even though it was the turnaround, we were already more than halfway thanks to the initial loop.
The return was quick and painless with those few ‘undulations’ to keep it interesting and the joy of running down the zigzag instead of puffing up it! Soon enough, we were back and running over the bridge again and down to the finish.
After the run, we had a coffee at Studley Park Boathouse and sat admiring the river, talking about how stunning the course was and planning for our return. This one is a course you must do, at least once – we’ll definitely be back!