Cheese and run
I think I mentioned that recently upon jogging/walking through Hyde Park, I saw a group of people that looked like they could be runners. Sure enough, someone mentioned that the weekly 5k Park Run had just taken place, which I was told about before coming here. I was peeved that I had forgotten about it and not realized the event take places so close to my abode, but there’s always another Saturday.
So I totally made sure I registered (Park Runs are free), brought my barcode, got a good night’s sleep, and showed up at Hyde Park around forty minutes prior to start (which was nine a.m.). Actually, people than I expected came – about 300 took part. Today’s edition was the 313th at Hyde Park, and the organizers gave a shout to someone who was participating in his 250th Park Run.
As for the actual race, since I didn’t know what kind of shape I was in, my goal was to finish the 5k in under 20 minutes. Pretty conservative goal but I think I finished in 18:30 (I won’t know what my official time is until later today). I’m really quite pleased with the run since I’m not in great shape. Hopefully, I will be in better shape as I run more. But anyway, the Park Run was quite fun and after finishing, I even met someone from Seattle who like me, is a postgraduate at Leeds Met (I would’ve asked for her mobile phone number except I didn’t bring it with me. The best advice she gave me for the register ASAP for November’s Abbey Dash).
Anyway, it might not be that hard for me to get back into shape. I was told of a running club in town called the Hyde Park Harriers that meets up every Tuesday and Thursday. Everyone gathers at the Edge (a big sports centre) on the campus of the University of Leeds, split up into groups and they go their own ways (guided by a leader). I ran with a group (guided by a dude named Ralph) that probably wasn’t the fastest group. I know I wasn’t but I’m glad I ran with them as I was still trying to get back into the shape and I felt a bit winded afterwards. I definitely plan on running with them again.
As for non-running related news, two days ago (Thursday, September 26), one of the module leaders, Xavier, invited all the course members to his house for a fun social gathering, where we’d have the opportunity to meet some former Responsible Tourism Management students over wine and cheese (I brought some Italian cheese whose name I bloody forgot).
Meeting the former course members was the best part of the night – well, other than the delicious cheese. I was fortunate enough to finally meet Samantha, the person who sold me on the program. Like me, she has taught English abroad in numerous places – Bali, Kazakhstan, and Bosnia (She mentioned that she loved Sarajevo) primarily because she wanted to see other parts of the planet. Samantha is currently studying for her PhD at Leeds Met after having worked at a national park in the northeast of England. Pretty awesome.