Parkrun Ultra report from Matt Rimmer

Event Date: Saturday 22nd June 2019

A few lines about last weekend’s parkrun ultra.

Parkrun ultra came about 4 years ago through the thoughts of Martyn Goldsack, Ben Heller and myself. The idea is to run to and around all the 5 Sheffield parkruns, arriving at the final one ready for the official parkrun at 9am. Totaling about 31 miles.
This year was the 3rd time for the event.

So with the alarm going off at 3am I was up, getting ready and got picked up at 3:34am.
We just made it to the start at Graves parkrun for 4am. There was about 10 of us there setting off, some going to attempt all the route some supporting for the first couple.

Graves was as hard as normal even though we were taking it at an easy pace, I suppose running anything at 4am would be a little harder than normal. With Graves in the bag it was off to Castle. Some of the group hadn’t done Castle before so the undulating rote was a nice surprise for them. We were joined by another runner for this one. At the end Catherine said good bye and would meet us for the last one at Hallam.

Castle done, off to Concord. This was the longest transition between parkruns and we found our way no problem, after a couple or wrong turns and Ade getting out his GPS. At Concord we were joined by another couple of runner. Again this one went well and everyone was looking good and strong. Concord done, off to Hillsborough without taking any wrong turns, well maybe only a couple.
This is where it started to feel wrong for me. We had a pit stop at Hillsborough leisure centre and started the parkrun. The first lap was good then it started to feel hard and I slowed a bit, thanks to Nick for keeping me going.

Hillsborough done, off to Hallam for the final one. We had a couple of options for this route but decided to go up past Ponderosa park. I started to get slower and slower for this transition and started to run walk. The walking bits got longer as I just felt empty and my legs very heavy. On through Weston park now but I had lost the main group and was on my own. As I was walking I started to think that I wouldn’t do Hallam to give my stomach time to recover and not wipe myself out for the rest of the day. The long run walk to Hallam complete, I waited for it to start and took up a seat on the grass to enjoy the sun. It was great sitting there eating 2 Soleros (they taste a lot better on the way down than on the way up).

The runners who completed the full route did so well, all completing over 31 mile. Massive thank you to those who joined in to support us along the way. As for my experience, it didn’t go to plan. My normal stomach issues happened again so I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have liked, but it was still a good thing to be part of.

On to next year, maybe. With another parkrun to add to the route

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