A change of distance makes motivation, under that motto I registered a while back for the Martini TEN on Friday 17 September. Since I mainly do slow endurance runs, I have recently started doing intervals to not be completely unprepared. To seriously test myself again, I want to do a 5km in competition speed.

Some time ago I heard about parkrun, a worldwide movement for which people are also active in Groningen. Every Saturday morning at 9 am there is a 5km run in the city park.

And so I dribble to the city park early on Saturday morning, a nice warming up of 6 km. Since I don’t want to cool down too long before the start, I arrive a few minutes before nine o’clock, it is already pleasantly busy (22 participants). I missed the briefing, but Sybren is also there to catch me up. The route is marked with yellow signs and it is the same loop three times, with a small hill in it. Then we leave, I exchange a few words with Sybren and then we start walking seriously. I am immediately in second place, fifty meters in front of me is a guy with a Marathon Moscow shirt on. This park run event attracts many international participants, I noticed at the start. The first kilometer is in 4.03. A lot faster than my normal pace of 5.30-6.00 per km, the intervals of the past few weeks are paying off. Then comes the small climb, but it is also followed by a nice descent where you have to pay attention to the tree stumps, at the end there is a sharp bend to the right. Then walk another hundred meters and the first round is over. The Moscow Marathon is still running a short distance ahead of me. This helps a lot to keep up my pace. Kilometre 2 starts in 4.08, followed by a 4.06. We are going into the last lap, there are a few encouraging me to overtake him, but of course this is easier said than done. Kilometer 4 goes into 4.03 again, I still have marathon Moscow in my sights and turn it on again, fly up the hill and go full on the descent, but Moscow is not empty yet and finally finishes 11 seconds ahead me. I finish in 20:10 with a final kilometer of 3:51!

I am very satisfied with my time, and I did not expect that as an endurance runner of already a bit over forty I could still sprint like this. More than 2 years ago I last ran a 10 kilometer (klap to klap loop). Then I ran 42:30, my goal for the Martini Ten is to at least match this time to stay ahead of the decline :-). With this general, that is certainly still a possibility. I also really liked the parkrun . It’s great that volunteers make such a cozy and atmospheric event possible every Saturday, free of charge, and offer participants the opportunity to participate in a 5 km completely free of charge. Recommended!



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