Wednesday, 4 January 2017

2016/2017 parkrun Triple {Lower Hutt & Porirua parkrun Recap}

Something in my DNA just can't resist a fun challenge. Mud and rain this-and-that?  Back-to-back anything? Giving it a bash just makes my heart sing.

You can imagine my delight, then, when the event teams of the three Wellington-based parkruns announced that 2016 would be ended and 2017 rang in with a parkrun triple.  Yasss!! Kapiti Coast parkrun on New Year's Eve, and then Lower Hutt and Porirua parkruns on the morning of 1 January. And, what made the challenge even sweeter, was the fact that I've never done either Lower Hutt or Porirua parkrun - double yass!!

The morning of 31 December was perfect. The fact that I ran in a short-sleeved t-shirt should tell you everything, ha!  I lined up at Kapiti Coast parkrun, which I've done many times before, with fellow parkrunners from as far afield as England, Sweden, Austria, and Australia, and ended off 2016 with a new parkrun NZ PB: 24:34! Part I of the challenge done.     

Kapiti Coast parkrun. [Photo by Jeff Stark.]

And then the morning of 1 January 2017 dawned... Bringing with it the most miserable weather ever!  I sat in the car, waiting for Lower Hutt parkrun to start, and silently said a prayer that the rain would ease up just a little bit. But it never did. It pelted down and the wind howled. For the entire 5 kays. The wind was so strong, in fact, that I physically had to hang on to my cap to prevent it from blowing off and even struggled to stay on the path on the up-wind a few times. Sho. It was the wettest, windiest parkrun of my life.   

Lower Hutt parkrun.

I hopped into the car straight after finishing Lower Hutt, soaked to the bone, and dashed off to Porirua, which is about a 20-minute drive away. It was so cold - how on earth did I not think of taking along a dry change of clothes?! Fortunately, I had a spare, dry running jacket in the car, which felt amazingly warm against my skin.

I made it to Porirua parkrun with 10 minutes to spare and spent those standing in the rain, waiting for the event to start... And I must confess that, for a brief second, I considered going home to a warm bath at that point.  I was so cold and even my warm, dry jacket was soaked by then. But boy, am I glad that I stayed. Porirua parkrun is a fairy tale. Wow.  You can see very little of the actual course from the starting point, and what a delightful surprise it is! Sections of closed-canopy pine forest, with huge old trees providing protection from the elements and a carpet of pine needles underfoot; big tree ferns; small waterfalls and a peaceful little stream bubbling along. It reminded me a lot of George parkrun back in South Africa, but with a wider, easier to navigate gravel path. It's without a doubt one of the most beautiful parkruns I've ever done - I highly recommend it and will definitely be back for more.     

Porirua parkrun.

I ended off the morning with a big old Tank smoothie and dreams of a hot, steaming bath, which turned out every bit as heavenly as I imagined it would be. The perfect way to start off the new year!


  1. Woohoo! Only a runner would understand! As 'n mens eers besluit het jy gaan hom hol dan HOL jy vir hom, kom wind, reen, hael of sneeu. Stomme my suster, kan dink hoe koud dit moes wees. Ek is ook een wat net dink aan klere tot daar en dan niks verder nie... mos nie belangrik wat NA die race gebeur nie! Baie bly als het uitgewerk vir jou! George se Parkrun is 'n droom, so ek kan dink Porirua moet pragtig wees! Xxxx

    1. Hardkoppig soos 'n donkie, heheeee!

      Dankie, liefste Saar - reen of te not was hy BITTER lekker :) . Sit Porirua op julle lysie vir wanneer julle kom kuier...! xxxx


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