By Stuart Park.
Parlauf meaning paired run or from now on – two idiots.I remember on one of our saint-trails a few of the group were talking about this run and I thought it sounded interesting but never got round to doing anything about it. Fast forward a few months and because Jane has injured herself she has persuaded me to take her place. One week to race day and I have not trained, or really run much this year. Lisa, Mark and Pete have all run half marathon PBs in the last two weeks. Me? not so much. I did run about 7 miles on the 2nd January. It is a good running day, calm and cool and there are 3 Sedgefield teams. Graham and Rachel, Pete and Mark and Lisa and me.
The theory behind the race is simple, Runner 1 runs a mile. Runner 2 runs a mile. repeat until 26 miles are done then the two runners complete a victory lap of 0.1 miles taking the total to 13.1 each or 26.2 miles.So we started running. Lisa first, then me. I got about 5 and a half minutes rest between runs then got ready to go again. Lap 1 was too fast. Nothing new there. Laps 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 were all good. I knew I was running too fast and they were all Sub 7 minute miles however I still felt good at this point. During the first 6 laps Lisa and I had been keeping pace with two ladies from Richmond & Zetland, The Ladies in Red as I named them. Sometimes Lisa would finish ahead of their runner, sometimes behind but it was close. Lap 7 and I started a bit behind my runner; I was determined to catch her but it was getting harder. I could see Mark ahead too. He did not seem to want me to let me pass him but I was not letting the lady in red beat me. I eventually caught her at the last bend. 7 miles done. Lap 8 started and she was ahead again. There she stayed, neither gaining or losing ground. 8 miles done. The rests seemed to get shorter by this stage and the miles longer.
My times were starting to slip over the 7 minute mark too.Mile 9 and my lady in red was gone, Never to be seen again. Mile 10 was hard. 11 harder. My plan had changed and I was aiming to do them in all under 8 minutes. Mile 12 – 8:14 – oops. Mile 13- this one never ended but I just had to finish and do a tiny bit more. Lisa met me for the last bit and seemed to have boundless energy for it. I dragged myself round.
But we finished and in a good time. Now for the fun bit. Some stats:
Stuart 13.1 miles = 1:36:23 Lisa 13.1 miles = 1:32:50 Total time =3:09:13 (official time was a bit less because we ran the last bit together)
I would highly recommend this run to everyone next year. It is local, well organised and very social.Thanks Stuart.