I completed my second parkrun yesterday and it felt like a completely different event.
The first time, I felt like I was always beside others. Either I was on someone's shoulder or someone else was right behind me. The furthest we spread out was no more than 5 meters. Yesterday was much more spead out.
Yes there were still times when I was beside someone else, but more often there was a big gap between myself and the next runner. These gaps were often 10 to 20 meters, which when running on paths through the woods can mean that the next runner is occasionally out of sight. This made the run feel very different. There was much less opportunities to "hang on" to other runners, focusing on staying with them and pushing harder.
Looking at the results, there was slightly less runners yesterday, but it probably wouldn't have made much difference to my runs. If I swap my times around, I would have come in similar positions, so I don't think the total number of runners had much of an effect.
I was 33 seconds faster yesterday, and that seems to have made the difference. Sure enough, as I was catching my breath, the number of runners crossing the line seemed to increase quite rapidly. I am surprised that 30 seconds would have had such a big effect.
I prefer running with others, but for my own fitness and performance, I hope I have more boring runs like yesterday.Go Top