One Girl, Two Continents, Three Countries, Four Weeks and Five parkruns. Part V – The Aussies.

Once my adventures in New Zealand were over, I travelled just over 2000 km to Sydney, Australia. Obviously, I didn’t run this part. I know you all think I’m amazing but I haven’t mastered the walking on water skill yet ! I used the traditional means of transport between the two cities, an aeroplane. There was a minor heart-stopping moment when my boarding pass didn’t scan at the gate and I was sent to another desk. No panic needed, it was only a change of seat …………….. to business class, ooh get me !

Business Class Selfie

The next day was parkrun day. A few months earlier I had found a facebook page for parkrun in the Sydney area and asked for advice about public transport from where I was staying to the parkruns that I thought I would like to go to. As a result of that post, I made some new friends. A lovely Australian lady called Antoinette sent me a message kindly offering me a lift to her home parkrun in Sydney and another one the following week.

My first parkrun in Sydney was St Peter’s, run in Sydney park. I was a little bit nervous about getting a lift with a random person from the internet, what if she was a serial killer, what if she wasn’t even a she ???? I think I have watched too many episodes of Criminal Minds. I got in a car with two complete strangers, something I have always been told not to do (sorry Dad, sorry Mum) who were a little bit younger than my parents. After the initial introductions I was informed that I was not allowed to pay for my own breakfast and Antoinette was not a person to be argued with and I’m certainly not one to turn down free food !

The park itself was the usual city park with  grass, gardens, lakes and play areas. There was a lot of birds around and they were very noisy, apparently it’s mating season for cockatiels. Other than the noise there were the flies, as a result of this I mastered what Antoinette called the Aussie salute. This involves wafting your hand in front of your face to get rid of the flies.

Along the side of the park are some old industrial chimneys which make it quite easy to find the entrance. They can be seen in a lot of the photos, including the ones of me and some other runners from Leeds ! As is usual at parkrun, there was an initial talk by the run director who asked if there were any visitors from overseas. I had a little nosy to see who else had their hands up and stood right next to me were some runners from Roundhay. I can’t bloody go anywhere !

Looking super sexy at the start lineAnd we’re off !Roundhay runners.

And the heat ! That first Saturday was not too bad to start but as I plodded around it got hot very quickly. The highest temperature that day was 26° which considering I usually run in England was pretty hot. I’m not good in heat, I choose to go on holiday out of season to avoid the heat. Not surprisingly, I finished the run resembling a sweaty tomato with an afro wig !


Finally! The finish line.Rocking the tomato look.

I finished the run in position 306/314 in 46:08 minutes, pretty slow even by my standards.

I blame that hill!  I was quite happily making my way around and thought it was pretty flat. Then I went round a corner and there it was ! Even the fittest of runners had to walk some of it.

After the run I enjoyed a lovely Aussie breakfast with Antoinette, David and Anne. What is it with those Aussies putting avo-bloody-cado on everything ? Anyway, I had boring old poached eggs on toast and really enjoyed them. I got to know my new friends a little bit and we made plans to go to Paramatta parkrun the following week.



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