Wednesday, 14 November 2012

A year in the life of a parkrun tourist...part 3.

In June we attended the inaugural Dewsbury parkrun, again after a night out with too much alcohol! I think it helped that I couldn’t feel my legs as this is another Yorkshire Tough course – 4 laps, twisting and turning starting up the hill, and finishing up it too! Ouch. Run by Nicki and Jonny, originally from Huddersfield parkrun it has a great atmosphere and a nice café in the park. It is tough though, so much so at our second attempt Jamie dropped out after 2 laps!! I tell you, 2 laps of that eyeballs out is not easy but great fun!

The Longest parkrun, Yorkshire. 7 parkruns at 6 venues in one day. Please make sure this is in your diary for next year. 3 of us did 9 between us: including Jamie taking off on his own at York in his wellies! Too much to put that in here but Steve Darby’s blog of the day is fantastic!!

Last year Jamie and I went to Conkers in Leicestershire for their 4th parkrun- there is a really good childerens activity centre there and a campsite next door so it made for a perfect weekend. Problem was I was injured so ended up timekeeping (with those little timers with no display to tell you it is working- even with only 22 runners that was the most stress ever at a parkrun, respect to timekeepers everywhere!!!!) and Jamie gave out finishing tokens! This year we went back with the group from Huddersfield parkrun who were going off to do the Thunder Run afterwards and joined in their parkrun. In the run briefing they said they were missing a few marshalls, especially along the canal. When I hit this point we turned off and I was in a dilemma as to whether to wait for Jamie or not. He has run many parkruns on his own with no problems but this niggled at me all the way to the finish. I immediately ran back and couldn’t see him and I knew straight away where he had gone wrong. Following the path I passed a number of people who said they had seen him “running for England” so I kept on going. Eventually I caught up with him, ironically at the car park at the finish where they generously gave him a finish time – and I had run 4k extra faster than the run itself! Lesson Learned!!!

So now we come to August, and a visit to my all time favourite parkrun course. Surprisingly this is in Milton Keynes, not somewhere you would naturally think of as high on your list of places to visit but I love it!!! We first visited in August last year on our way to Wembley to see Leeds Rhinos lose the Challenge Cup final – travelling with a couple of Leeds parkrun mates Dave McGuire and Janet Glynn we set off at 5:30am, collecting my step dad in Nottingham en route. We had such a great time and loved the course so much we decided to repeat this again this year – as did the Rhinos, losing yet again at Wembley!!

A great course descrition can be found at

The start is by Willen Lake with a number of café’s and lots of room for warming up and a great view over the lake, complete with mist and swans taking off and landing!! The course is a single lap (bonus!!) and starts with a long run on paths to the canal, following the towpath until turning back towards the lake on dedicated footpaths. You then drop down and have the strange view in front of you of a steep hill complete with steps!! Lots of them!! The route however follows the switchback, zigzagging up the hill with hairpin bends to stop you going too fast!! Then its down to the lake and the last 2k following it round giving a very fast run into the finish. I would recommend this course to anyone, though maybe without the 3 hour drive to get there! Definitely my favourite!!!

Read: Part 1 and Part 2

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