It was a small gathering of just 62 runners and in true parkrun style, there was good comraderie at the start. Which, I might add, is a permanent fixture at Blue Lake in Mount Gambier, South Australia.
I got the obligatory start line photo before we were off.
I expected to have great views of the Blue Lake throughout the run but didn't expect stunning views of the surrounding countryside like this.
Because I was a parkrun tourist, I stopped at the turnaround to snap a selfie.
The course at Mount Gambier parkrun is basically hilly. Up a short sharp hill from the start, then uphill some more for the first k or so to a lookout. Then downhill to the turnaround. I wanted to make sure I got a couple of photos so I promised myself if I ran all the way to it, I could stop at the lookout for a selfie. I took a panorama of the Lake too.
On the way back to the finish line I fell into step with a couple of women who were starting to fade a little. I feel in step with one who said they'd never run all the way, so I stayed with her and we ran the last kilometre to the finish line.
(In retrospect - I don't know whether she had stopped before this. I'm telling myself I did a good thing and that of course she hadn't, and I helped her achieve that goal. I'll never know now whether I did or not!)
Throughout, I was told by a few of the locals, quite proudly, that their run is the second hardest parkrun in Australia. I asked them what the hardest one was and they suggested Blackbutt parkrun in Newcastle. I would like to know where my home parkrun, Bunyaville parkrun features. Its at least as hilly and is on trails, so would have to rate pretty high.
No doubt though, Mount Gambier is up there. A quality course in a beautiful location.