We went along to help Hereford parkrun celebrate their 400th event. Not only securing us a “H” for our Alphabeteer challenge but I knew that there were also pacers, a fun warm-up and a 400m around the track too! Also we were lucky that a photographer was there too!
Hereford Leisure Centre, HR4 9UD
Hereford parkrun Finding and Facilities
Hereford parkrun was easy to find opposite B&Q. We opted to park at the leisure centre which was £1 for four hours. £5 for all day and free for Halo Active members. You could pay in cash or on the Ringo app.
There are facilities before and after Hereford parkrun. Not only are there toilet and drinks at Hereford Leisure Centre, but apparently there’s showers too. From £1.90 for a mug of tea to £3.50 for a Mocha. Also has a soft play area and vending machines.
We were also very pleased to find that there was a McDonald’s nearby. However, we decided to drive to the next one a bit further away.
Hereford parkrun Course
The course is two mostly flat laps of the racecourse. It is a well-established trail but road shoes were best for the day we went on. It would depend on the weather I would think. It isn’t the place for your cleanest ones though!
I was surprised to see people playing golf in the middle as we did parkrun.
Despite being told to arrive early it was delayed in starting. This is most likely just due to the extra run and so forth due to the big event.
How it was for Us at Hereford parkrun
When we arrived I headed for the sign to get my photo. Straight away a friendly voice asked me if I wanted them to take my photo. What a great start. Then a few people also chatted to me before we began – which is always really nice.
After we did the warm up and lap around the track I took my hoodie off. There was nothing put down or nowhere to put things on the floor to stop them getting dirty. However, there was a railing which I left it on. Guess most would also have their car or could leave things in the leisure centre. They may well even have lockers if required.
It is quite an open course and this exposure made it very cold. In fact a lot of people commented on my choice of running kit and my hands were cold for a short while.
Jeffing at Hereford parkrun
It was really quite busy but due to the fact that there was grass either side of what was a rather large path I did manage to Jeff from the start. There was plenty of room to check around me and just change my pace.
However, I am not sure everyone was happy with my technique. One of the marshals even went something along the lines of oh sprinting when on a run section.
Unfortunately I had changed to 60:30 (as opposed to 90:30) because I thought there was going to be a hill. Still I managed to finish in 30:46. The 31 minute pacer was spot on every time I checked my watch! Thank you to her also as when I went to do my sprint finish I told her I was on her right when actually I meant to ask her if she’d move right please!
Also apologies once again to the nice lady I ended up cutting in front of at the finish as I just couldn’t stop my legs. She was really nice about it but it was a bit rude of me. Not intentionally but it did mean I got a new position bingo too!
They had been asking for volunteers for the Hereford parkrun 400th event. It is there that I saw that Hereford Couriers Running Club were pacing the event. With that in mind I messaged them and asked if there would be a 20 minute pacer.
Our 16 year old’s PB currently stood at 21:05. On asking him he thought that a 20 minute pacer would be achievable – rather than just a 21. As it happened there was not one. There was a 22 but that they would see what they could do.
So you can imagine how delighted I was when we arrived and they had indeed found a 20 minute pacer. As an embarrassing mother I did indeed go up and thank him and tell him about our son.
How it was For Our Speedy Son
Apparently, as obviously I was no-where near, he managed to keep really quite close to him for the first of the two laps. Unfortunately tragedy then struck as our son’s shoe came off!
He got it back on and then tried to catch up again. He said if the course was different he would have just run with it off – but there were stones and puddles!
It was just a two lap course and by the end of the second lap our son’s shoe came off again! This time our son continued with just the one shoe! I think he said he nearly collided with someone too – and that this nice person then brought his shoe to the finish!
Despite all of this he was just 2 seconds over his PB! This is the first time he has felt sick whilst running – but that is probably due to trying to catch up with the 20 pacer. And possibly the Dominoes consumed the night before!
The youngest started asking me who I was going to run with. There was a lot of choice of pacers. Then I suggested to him that he got a position much further in front of me because he was a lot faster and to just go. So he did.
Due to the pacers he had a fair idea of how fast he was going. All our boys have had various sports watches but never tend to use them for long.
There was a car on the course, which I also saw (to the side) and he said it moved as he was trying to go passed. He also told me that he could have gone faster but he let someone else go in front of him to finish. That boy was also in the aged 11-14 category and also got a PB. He told me that he had got in front of the 25 minute pacer. His previous PB was just under 27 minutes. I told him well done but that we would look when the results came out.
But yes, he had smashed that PB right out the park and came in at 24 minutes and 48 seconds! It wasn’t even that long ago he was struggling to get back into it and doing between 34 and 40 minutes! So very proud of him!
Hereford parkrun 400th Event Stats
There were 310 participants at Hereford parkrun for their 400th event. Their times ranged from 16:32-51:52. 200 of them finished under 30 minutes on the 400th event.
At that time the female course record was 17:31. The male course record at that time was 15:19 and the Age Graded Record was Age graded 92.26% (with a time of 20:27). At that time the average finish time was 28:53.
Here is the point of view from another runner that day too.