Daventry Parkrun launched on 8th November last year and a group from Parklands Jog & Run were there to support the race organisers and try out a different course. A group of fifteen returned this Saturday 30th June, some to try and beat their course PB and others as Daventry virgins.
Despite it being early summer the weather wasn’t very different from the previous visit with cool and breezy conditions.
The start line was located on a narrow path that was once a railway line. The trees lining the route created a tunnel that stretched into the distance ahead of us. After a short countdown we set off along the straight path up a slight incline for around 400m before turning right onto a dirt path which took us under a subway and then right again through a gate and into a meadow.
By now we were strung out single file as we crossed the grassland following a dirt track. Another double gate was held open by marshals as we ran through and onto the perimeter path heading in an anti-clockwise direction. A couple of steep drops meant that we had to be careful of our footing but there were no injuries.
The path was shale covered and skirted the reservoir through trees heavy with fresh green leaves. A couple of dog walkers moved to the side as we streamed past but there were few people around apart from the marshals who were on hand to ensure we didn’t take a wrong turn.
As we emerged from the trees onto the north side of the water it was possible to look across to the far side and take in the scenery. The cafe at the north-west corner tempted us to stop by allowing the aroma of bacon and coffee to sweep across our paths but we stayed strong and began the final mile which led us south through more woodland.
A sharp left turn onto a wooden bridge disrupted any rhythm that we had managed to maintain and it was a case of digging in as we dodged tree roots and headed for the finish. A steep drop signalled that we were retracing our steps from the first lap but after a few hundred metres a marshal signalled a sharp right which took us under another subway and out onto a side road from where we could see the finish line.
By this time our legs were tired and breathing laboured but we followed the road and, after climbing a small but steep grass mound, sprinted across the line to receive our tokens and have our barcodes scanned.
Incredibly every member of the group who had run the course before managed to equal or beat their previous time resulting in 8 PBs with Amanda Conroy knocking 4 minutes off, Jim Conroy 3 minutes off and Adam Ferguson 2 minutes off showing their incredible improvement over the last 6 months. With four of the top 15 places going to PJR including Adam Pope in 5th and Mick Conroy in 10th it was a great team effort.