On Saturday 17th June I attended Lithgow Parkrun. It was my 63rd Parkrun in total and the 8th different location I’ve visited.
Last year I did all but one of my Parkruns at the same location. This year I’m aiming to attend a variety of locations and experience many different courses. Recently I’ve been alternating between two local Parkruns but every few weeks I’ll make the effort to travel to a new Parkrun location. On Friday 16th-Saturday 17th June I was away in the Blue Mountains for a short trip and stayed overnight in Lithgow. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to incorporate Lithgow Parkrun which was only 3km away from the accommodation. There are two Parkruns in the Greater Blue Mountains Region- Lithgow and Lawson. Considering Lawson is much closer to Sydney than Lithgow, I’ll have more opportunities to try Lawson in the future. For Lithgow, I’m not sure when I’ll go back.
Lithow Parkrun is located at Lithgow Pony Club , Hassan’s Walls Road, Sheedy’s Gully, Lithgow.
I found the course challenging as it was a mixture of gravel paths, trail paths and grass. My usual Parkrun is done entirely on footpath and I have never done trail running ever before. It was quite an experience! The location was very remote and even went into a forest. Some parts of the bush track were slippery and uphill (very painful and challenging!). It was difficult to run down the hill section, I had to frequently slow down to avoid falling on the uneven ground. A few of the locals seemed much more experience with this type of running (with the proper trail running shoes and part of a trail running club). One of the volunteers said kangaroos are sometimes seen on the course! Here is the description from the Parkrun website:
“This is a gently sloped out and back, out and back course (ie 2 loops). The course starts 50m beyond the Lithgow Pony Club gate. From here you head up a fire trail for several hundred meters to a clearing, to the left are the Pony Club paddocks, straight ahead are views east toward the mountain. From here you head across the grassy clearing to a trail through a shady forest to a small clearing. Here, you loop around a tree and head back the way you came and back to the start. Here you turn and repeat the course. The finish line is where you started, just short of the Pony Club gates.”
I was very disappointed with my time. I got 25:20 and my best 5km time for a flat course is 22:44. It’s the first time I’ve exveeded 25 minutes since last November. However, I keep telling myself the courses are not directly comparable. It was more about the experience. Not everyone can say they’ve done Lithgow Parkrun.