During the planning of my holiday I had resigned myself to not being able to do a parkrun on the second Saturday of my trip, I had carefully planned my route and would be in Rotorua on the Friday night. However, on 25th June 2016 the parkrun gods answered my prayers and created Puarenga parkrun.
A very familiar sight for me these days.
Sneaky green stuff trying to send me the wrong way.
Puarenga park is a mere 3.5k away from the Hostel I was staying in, or at least it should have been. I went in completely the wrong direction and when I finally found the park it was about 2 minutes to start time. I joined 23 other runners to run through the most varied terrain I have ever seen during a parkrun.
The start line looked a bit like an area of wasteland but the path soon ventured into a nice little wooded area. Then came the unique Rotorua geothermal flats, there were three of these to cross in total. The flats were chalky looking rocks in a variety of colours with very aromatic steam rising from them. For those of you that have never experienced the aroma of Rotorua, it’s lovely. If you like rotten eggs that is. I can honestly say that I have never run past stinky columns of steam before. I was careful not to stray from the path, I didn’t want to get steam cleaned.
Steamy geothermal flats, the smelliest bit of the run.
There was also a path past a field of bamboo, it was at least 6 feet tall and had leaves ! I don’t know what I expected bamboo to look like actually growing in a field but it wasn’t that ! The final straight was past an archery field, I was extra careful not to stray from the path here, bows and arrows are way more scary than any piddly bits of steam.
Get to the start line and repeat ! Two laps around this lovely place. I noticed some rather large pipes at the side of the path and didn’t realise until today that we ran past a waste water treatment plant. I also didn’t notice that part of the route was alongside a river, it must have been those humongous bamboo plants that hid it.
Hmm, I wonder what sort of crap is running through this pipe.
So I finished, I wasn’t last, I was 23rd (out of 24). I had a little chat with a nice Australian lady along the way, she came 24th. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay for coffee after as I had to go back to my digs and check out.
Looking pretty fresh for just after 8am.My Aussie run buddy, Maggie.
All in all it had a few things that made it memorable, it was the smallest attended parkrun I had ever done and the only one with steam along the side of the route.