Lower Hutt parkrun

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!

New Zealand

It’s beautiful countryside.

It’s green and lush.

It’s mountainous and steep.

It’s downright terrifying to drive on!

rimutaka4 rimutaka1

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!)

The sheep fence barrier
The sheep fence barrier keeping cars from going over a sheer drop?

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.

The Hutt Valley
The Hutt Valley

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.

the finishing chute: the scanner stands right at the end and scans finishing tokens before runners leave the chute
the finishing chute: the scanner stands right at the end and scans finishing tokens before runners leave the chute

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!

it was very cold to start with but turned into a lovely sunny day
it was very cold to start with but turned into a lovely sunny day

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.

Me the runner :) finishing Lower Hutt parkrun with determination
Me the runner 🙂 finishing Lower Hutt parkrun with determination

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.

20 thoughts on “Lower Hutt parkrun

  1. Gosh, that was a good time considering you were running with a sore foot but here speaks the voice of experience, do NOT ignore it!
    Hope it’s nothing serious and settles down soon but get it checked out by GP, physio, podiatrist, anyone who knows feet and knows runners!
    Take care x

  2. The countryside, it is so beautiful, looks like a hairy ride though. Hope all goes well with your foot, so sending positive thoughts your way 🙂

  3. Best of luck with that foot. Keep us posted. Fantastic Parkrun time! And thank you so much for the NZ pics. I can’t get enough of that place and dream of getting here some day.

    1. Thanks Red Hen 🙂 I’m hopeful it won’t be too long until it’s right. So glad you enjoyed the NZ photos. It is a really beautiful place – just so lovely. I can see why the Lord of the Rings movies were set in NZ, it has the pure rugged charm about it. I really hope you get to visit one day after you wing by Tasmania to visit me x

  4. Such a beautiful spot but I didn’t like Della’s words about being lost in the abyss! Sorry to hear about your foot and so glad you are getting it checked out. Do let us know what happens and I will be sending positive energy. Congrats on the first place in your group with your super fast time!

    1. Thanks Sue, it was a lovely run 🙂 Paul reminded me someone went missing only a few years ago…some pig hunters found him and his car somewhere on the Rimutakas. It’s so narrow and windy. Apparently there are other roads around cliffs and gorges that are worse than the Rimutakas….I’m not going to visit those parts of NZ! All the main tourist routes are really good…I shall stick to the beaten track.

    1. Thanks 🙂 New Zealand is just so lovely. We are lucky that we can hop across the ‘ditch’ (the Tasman Sea) and visit so easily. It’s faster for us to visit NZ than to go to Western Australia or Queensland from Tasmania.

    1. Thanks Cynthia 🙂 we usually just drive up or down when we fly into Wellington and then drive to Masterton. It is the thing I don’t look forward to on trips to visit Pauly’s family.

  5. Great report! What about starting one in Masterton? Sure there’d be support and gradually build numbers from the region. Cafes would love it! Lew. Canberra Australia.

    1. Hello Lew, I live in Tasmania and visit NZ from time to time to see my husband’s family. parkruns are popping up all over the place, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before one gets to Masterton. Thanks for the comment.

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