Every month I get to pulled away from The Duchy to do a couple of days work in Woburn in Bedfordshire. This has been an ongoing arrangement for many years and gives me an opportunity to mix the training in different surroundings.

One of the parts of my long weekend that I enjoy the most is the Saturday morning time trial effort of the Milton Keynes ParkRun.

The Peace Pagoda at Willen Lake, one of the many points of interest on the MK ParkRun course.

The Peace Pagoda at Willen Lake, one of the many points of interest on the MK ParkRun course.

If you haven’t come across the international institution that is ParkRun then you are missing out on an awesome experience. A 5km timed run, which is free to enter, simply register online and then your barcode, time, and position are scanned when you cross the finish line. It is a melting pot of ability from Olympic athletes, hardcore club runners, weekend warriors to those that simply want to get around.

For me it’s a monthly opportunity to check progress and monitor my fitness in a competitive environment. I can usually bang out the 5km in around 19 minutes, then off the back of that I then turn around and run the course another 2 times in reverse to make up the session to just over an hour.

Its when running the course in reverse that you get to witness the real stories of the day, the supreme efforts of the guys and girls at the back of the pack are no less impressive than the club runners with their single digit body fat percentage at the front who cross the line like gazelles on the African plains.

If want to get involved then check out the ParkRun website to find your nearest location and get registered.

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