Thursday, June 5, 2014

Highlands parkrun

I'm slowly going around and getting the Victorian parkruns under my belt, or rather, feet! Highlands parkrun celebrated their first birthday a couple of weekends ago, and so I decided to make the trip over to the north-west suburbs of Melbourne.

I was going to cycle over and then either take the train(s) home or cycle back. It would have been a 50km trip up, which I think is manageable, but when I woke up I decided it was too bloody cold and so I drove over. I wouldn't normally write about this kind of thing, but it ever so slightly backfired when it came to getting to the actual parkrun I had all the bicycle paths mapped in my head, but not the roads! Oops.

The parkrun course is in a not-yet-finished Stocklands estate where some of the road connections aren't actually finished (or still being developed). I ended up having to navigate via north-south-east-west and making adjustments to my route if I hit a main road again. I still got there on time, but I really should have looked at a road map before leaving (I do carry the Melways with me in the car, but rarely use it unless I am really lost or have no idea where I'm going, and the bike paths in my head gave me a false sense of security, lol).



Highlands parkrun is a fairly flat, three-lap course. I don't know if I could do a three-lap course every week, but I did enjoy myself on their birthday run. I was a bit disoriented during the first lap, but started to pick a few places out when I was along on the second lap, so the third lap was the only one where I actually knew where I was going. The laps aren't just curves and straights, and I think their wibbly-wobbly time-wimey nature just made doing laps more interesting and contributed to the pseudo-bewilderment (in a good way).

The run starts and finishes on the boardwalk near Waterside Cafe (which was open before parkrun kicked off), and initially the runners head off in a north-east direction along the boardwalk before taking the left turn, passing through the start-line in the opposite direction and then doing the three clockwise laps of the lake (and a little bit more).

There were 55 parkrunners on the day, which was a course record! They most definitely are a very small parkrun community, but I think they have a great setup with the cafe (and toilets), plenty of parking and also plenty of bike parking around the lake. If I have the time (and excuse), I'd definitely head out there again. Of course I'd need to be fitter in order to cycle there AND get a PB (I got under 25 min for the first time, although I was just going for a "solid" run at the time), but if I wait until their 2nd birthday there may be cake at the end again!

This was their birthday cake. Awesome, right?


2 comments:

  1. Hi Cecilia,

    Nice write up on Highlands. I was the 'other' five30 runner there that day.

    I've run Highlands a few times and it's a really nice place to run but as you said the three laps is a bit of a killer. I don't think it matters how long the laps are just the general idea of laps sucks to me :)

    I'm a regular a Point Cook. Hopefully I'll see you down there one day.

    Cheers

    Mark

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  2. Hi Mark

    Thanks for stopping by and saying hi on the blog! :)

    I've run Berwick Springs a few times, and I'm already over it - and it's only two laps! Point Cook was going to be the next one to attend, but then all the new ones in the south-eastern suburbs cropped up! But I'm sure I'll get to Point Cook eventually!

    Cecilia

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