On the run: pain relief at King's Lynn parkrun
PUBLISHED: 16:00 20 August 2018
Athletics correspondent Carl Marston is travelling around the region (and beyond) running in different parkruns. This week he heads for King’s Lynn
I broke the No. 1 rule of running on Saturday morning – don’t compete if you are injured.
However, I couldn’t resist the temptation to extend the sequence of parkruns for this Series, and so headed north towards The Wash to take part in the weekly King’s Lynn parkrun.
A rather tender hamstring had prevented me from training during the week – I felt the twinge while jogging up a field near the village of Westley, on the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds last weekend.
To combat the injury, I covered the area in anti-inflammatory ointment, took a couple of pain killers and drank a couple of cups of coffee.
So I guess it’s a good job there were no representatives from the UKAD (UK Anti-Doping Agency) lurking around the finish funnel in The Walks park in King’s Lynn that Saturday morning!
There have now been as many King’s Lynn parkruns as there are days in a year – Saturday was the 365th staging of an event, which had relatively modest beginnings on September 10, 2011, when a mere 61 toed the line in The Walks.
Now the park is swarming with runners, every Saturday morning, attracted by a three-lap course which is lightning quick. The 5K route is entirely on tarmac paths, with no hills, and so there are no excuses.
Situated in the centre of town, The Walks is the largest of the parks in King’s Lynn (this old seaport used to be called Bishop’s Lynn, until the name changed during the reign of King Henry VIII in 1531).
Starting in the north-east corner of the park, the route passes the Red Mount, a fifteenth century chapel, and eventually does a 180 degrees turn at the top of a long promenade and returns through the Gannock Arches before veering diagonally across the park to complete the lap.
Last Saturday’s results
Suffolk athlete, Robert Chenery, was away and clear over the super-quick course.
Holidaying on the Norfolk coast, Chenery, a member of Ipswich JAFFA, led home a bumper field of 319 in 16mins 16secs.
This has been a good month for Chenery, who also runs second claim for Bungay Black Dog, not least because he ducked under 27 minutes for five miles at the Wortwell Friday Evening 5 just a week ago. He finished second at that event in 16:58.
Over-50 veteran Spencer Goodall, of Wymondham AC, was a runner-up at King’s Lynn (16:48).
Harry Wakefield, in the 11-14 year-old age group, was eighth in 18:37, representing Saint Edmund Pacers. Over-45 veteran Charles Thompson, also of the Bury-based Pacers, finished in 23:44.
Sally Lynn Hurst, of the Canadian-based Renegade Runners, was the first female finisher in 20:46, in what was her 101st King’s Lynn parkrun.
James Bellward, of RAF AC, has the course record by a matter of a few seconds. In fact, he is one of eight runners to beat 16 minutes, with just 21 seconds separating all eight. Bellward set his landmark time at event No. 184 in March, 2015.
Chenery’s winning time from Saturday puts him No. 13 on the list, while Felixstowe Road Runners’ Danny Rock is 23rd in the rankings, thanks to his 16:42 effort from June, 2015.
An impressive 35 ladies have posted times quicker than 20 minutes, spearheaded by Marie French, who registered 17:57 from more than five years ago. Ipswich JAFFA’s Laura Thomas recorded 19:15 from December, 2015, which has her 14th on the list.
King’s Lynn had been on my radar for a while, a place I had rarely visited with the exception of accompanying my step-son Harry to athletics meetings at the Alive Lynnsport Complex.
I remember the wind howled and the rain swept in during our last visit, causing athletes and spectators alike to seek shelter in the adjacent training barn, which happens to house a six-lane 60-metre indoor track – feels like running in an aircraft hangar.
But we did not have to battle with the elements, or duck for cover in a nearby barn, at Saturday’s King’s Lynn parkrun.
I started very gingerly, with a well-oiled hamstring to protect, but gradually upped the tempo on lap three to miss the 20-minute mark by a handful of seconds.
No matter, the ointment and tablets did their job.