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Aldenham parkrun

Icey conditions in days leading up to parkrun day meant many events were cancelled this week. While I would have ideally been able to visit another event in Essex, I decided that I valued having options more in the event of cancellation this week, and so I instead headed to the cluster of events surrounding the Watford area. The area Aldenham Country Park is located near Watford, and centres on Aldenham reservoir, with grassland and woodland surrounding the reservoir itself. The reservoir was excavated by French prisoners of war during 1795 as part of the wider management of the Grand Union Canal's water levels, and now serves as a reserve water supply. In addition to the reservoir, the country park also supports the breeding of a number of rare species of farm animals, including cattle, goats, pigs, and sheep. The course The course follows two laps of the reservoir, with the second lap skipping the inner peninsular. The course is flat, and is run mainly on trail pat

Brentwood parkrun

This week I decided to return to making more progress towards completing all events in Essex by visiting Brentwood. The area While the modern town of Brentwood is a popular commuter town, being served by the Elizabeth line, it is also where the first events of the Peasants Revolt took place. Locals refused to pay a poll tax imposed on them, and instead rioted, threatening to kill the commissioner trying to collect the tax. Word of these riots spread to the wider country, initiating the wider revolt, including at Littleport , Billericay and North Walsham . The town is surrounded by countryside, and in the west lies Weald Park; the remains of a former country estate. The park was originally considered as a possible location for the mountain biking course during the 2012 Olympics, before the committee ultimately decided that Hadleigh would prove a more challenging course. The course Owing to the wet weather, today's run followed an alternative route nicknamed "The B

Castle Park parkrun

I had intended for this week's parkrunning to be at Great Dunnmow, but an ill-fated wrong turn onto the M11 and the resulting 30 minute diversion would have meant missing the start (assuming I could even park), and so I diverted at the last minute to Castle Park parkrun in Bishops Stortford, arriving at the start line at 08:57 - the closest I have ever been to missing the start! The area Bishop's Stortford, or just Stortford to locals, is located on the same A120 as Great Dunmomw, Great Notley , Markshall Estate , Colchester Castle and Highwoods parkruns , which roughly traces the route of the Roman road; Stanes Road from St Albans . The town is currently rated the best place to live in the UK. Castle Park is the site of Waytemore Castle, which was a motte and bailey castle built during the reign of William the Conqueror (though there is speculation the site is much older), though it is now ruined. The park also shares a number of similarities with Clare Castle parkrun

Rickmansworth parkrun

The area Rickmansworth is a small town near Watford, inside the M25. The town was built on the point three of waterways merging to form a major tributary for the River Thames further south. Rickmansworth Aquadrome, the host of today's parkrun, is a former quarry site which has been filled with water and stocked with fish, while the surroundings have been managed as a nature reserve. The stone excavated from the quarry was used in the construction of the former Wembley stadium. The course The course is lollipop shaped, starting with two laps of the woodland path, followed by a straight adjacent to the lake. The route is all on tarmac paths, and is flat throughout, though there are some areas where tree roots make the path slightly less smooth. There is free parking on site, while toilets and a cafe are available at the visitor centre, though the cafe can get very busy! The run The weather forecast predicted today to be another sunny day, similar to the weather

Coldham's Common parkrun

As my recovery from injury is still underway, I decided that I would attend a flat course this week to avoid any potential for reaggrevation. Unfortunately this means I will need to pause my completion of the Essex events, as the remaining courses are all somewhat lumpy. Having visited all of the other Cambridge parkruns, including Storeys Field parkrun, Fulbourn Hospital parkrun, and Cambridge parkrun knowing that they are all relatively flat, I decided that this week I would complete the Cambridge set. The area Coldham's Common has a long history, serving as both a hospital during the 17th century smallpox outbreak, and a quarry during the 19th century, as well as a rifle range also during the 19th century. The course The route follows two laps of the perimeter of the common through an hour-glass shape, connecting two fields through a five-bar-gate. The course is all on grass, and is all flat. Limited parking is available nearby, while toilets are available in

Ormskirk parkrun

Being Christmas day, and having travelled to Liverpool to visit family, I decided to attend one of the local events, and fortunately, Ormskirk happens to have been a place where I spent a lot of time in my younger years. The area Ormskirk is a small market town in Lancashire, bordering Merseyside. The town's University, Edge Hill University plays host to the town's parkrun within its campus, which is fitting given Edge Hill's historic Health faculty, as well as its much newer Sports Centre, which was opened in 2015. The course The route follows one small lap, followed by two larger laps around the campus playing fields, starting slightly off the main circuit similar to a lollipop style route. The course is mostly flat, and run on tarmac paths, with a section on compacted gravel. Free parking is available on site, and the sports village cafe is typically available for post-run refreshments. The run Rain overnight and during the morning meant today's pa

Delamere parkrun

Being the festive season, I decided to pause my exploration of the East of England in favour of visiting events closer to family in Liverpool. While there are a number of events closer to Liverpool, I decided to visit Delamere parkrun, being somewhere I hadn't explored when living in the area previously. The area Delamere forest is all that remains of a much larger forest in the area. The forest spent some time as a Royal hunting forest, before being handed to Forestry England. The course The course follows a single lap of a lollipop route, through forests, and around the Blakemere Moss lake, starting and finishing near the visitor centre. The visitor centre includes paid parking, toilets, and a cafe, while free parking is also available in some of the other forest car parks, though they are further from the start line providing a great opportunity for a warm up! The route is all on a mixture of gravel and trail, and is mostly flat except for one short but steep incl