I must love parkrun a lot. That’s a huge, enormous, awful LOT! Saturday saw us drive from Masterton on New Zealand’s North Island down to Lower Hutt for the Lower Hutt parkrun. This was an hour and half drive – no biggy for us. We live out in the country, we usually have to drive some distance to get to things. But this drive is different. It is my LEAST favourite drive of all time!
It’s beautiful countryside.
It’s green and lush.
It’s mountainous and steep.
It’s downright terrifying to drive on!
A section of the journey is carved into the Rimutaka Range; the road wends and winds around the steep peaks of the mountains. It’s like the cars, trucks and bikes cling to the sides of cliffs; there is little margin for error. My late Mother-in-Law, Della, told me comforting stories about people going missing in days gone by. Missing without a trace only for their remains to be found years later in the rusted-out wreck of their car at the bottom of the Rimutakas.
Comforting? Yes well, given that the only barrier fence for years was a wobbly old sheep fence it’s no wonder. AND there are still quite a few stretches of the sheep fence today. Oh my goodness. When I first saw the sheep fence I nearly had a heart attack! Couple this with my Husband’s driving and it can be understood why I don’t much enjoy the Rimutakas. (Pauly may look like a weather-beaten, mild-mannered Dairy Farmer but underneath is a boy-racer with a need for speed!)
So yes, I must love parkrun to willing go for a drive over the Rimutakas.
And it was so worth it.
I am dubbing the Lower Hutt parkrun the friendliest ever. As soon as Pauly and I got out of the car we were greeted and welcomed.
The course is one of my favourite kinds – out and back. The Hutt Valley is beautiful and while the course is close to the city, it runs next to the river. With distant views of the mountain ranges it’s just so lovely.
We had a great run and I came first in my age group! (we won’t mention that there weren’t many women running in the 45 to 49 category shall we? No 🙂 ) My time was 26:43 and Pauly’s 24:00.
It was the friendly welcome that really made this parkrun just so lovely. And Pauly and I even got a mention in the run report – parkrun tourists from Tasmania, Australia!
This was parkrun number 40 for me. 10 more to go to get to 50 which is my goal for the year. I hope I can do it.
Happy running 🙂
PS I have a sore foot. I’m limping. It’s been getting progressively worse since Run Devonport. I’m trying to be positive but I am concerned so I’m off to the doctor today. If it wasn’t for a running injury the beloved parkrun would never have happened, the founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt had hurt his knee and was off running for a while. He decided to organise a 5km time trial so he could stay involved with running and parkrun was born. So injuries are not all bad – the millions of people who lace up and run each Saturday morning at their local parkrun with joy and determination would never have been able to if it wasn’t for an injury. There is always something good to find in every not so good situation…I’m struggling with this one though 😦 I’ll keep you posted.