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Colchester Castle parkrun

Circumstance had resulted in a gap in my attended parkruns until this wwek. I had attended several events west of Colchester Castle for a variety of reasons, including attending Markshall Estate parkrun while the weather was pleasant given it is an arboretum, and Maldon Prom parkrun because of the flat, fast nature of the course, all with the memory of nearby Highwoods parkrun being quite hilly! The area Colchester was one of the first cities in the UK, and served as the capital during Roman era. Though many in the town would suggest Colchester is already a city given its roots as a Roman city, despite not having a letters patent conferring the status, as part of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the Queen granted Colchester city status again, removing any ambiguity. The formal ceremony to issue the letters patent to the city was due to be held on 12th September 2022, but the Queen's passing on 8th September 2022 meant the ceremony was postponed as a mark of respect.
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Basildon parkrun

Having run a number of events in the north of the East of England recently, I wanted to attend an event in the south of the region this week. While Thurrock is slightly further south, it is also slightly easier to access from the M25, and so Basildon seemed like a great option for this week's activities! The area The town of Basildon was created from the combination of the four smaller villages which were joined together to form a new town after the conclusion of World War 2, with the name being inherited from the most central of the villages. The town is a popular location for London commuters to live owing to it's simple access to the financial district of London, while at the same time, the town has a strong heavy industry presence owing to government grants provided to businesses to move to the area. Northlands Park was created by the local council in the 1970s on the site of former farmland, creating the two lakes and hills as part of the flood relief programme duri

Hunstanton Promenade parkrun

After running The Big Half last week, I have taken the week off running, making today my first run since the race! While I didn't feel completely fresh again yet, I decided that I wanted to ease myself back into it today to see where I am in terms of recovery, and so in searching for a flat grass-based event to attend, I couldn't overlook the chance to run at Hunstanton Promenade parkrun, which is also one of the furthest events to attend that I haven't yet attended! Another bonus of attending Hunstanton Promenade is that is that it allows me to complete all of the current list of coastal parkruns in the East of England while the weather is pleasant! Following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II earlier in the week, parkrun advised that events could choose whether to hold the event or cancel. A number of the events local to Hunstanton decided to cancel, but fortunately, Hunstanton decided to go ahead! The area Hunstanton is a seaside town which has been populated s

The Big Half London 2022

Ever since running the London 10,000 in May, my focus has been on this race. I have taken part in a couple of smaller local races in that time, which has helped lower my PBs in the 10k distance, but all with a focus on improving my performance at the half marathon distance! Target My current half marathon PB according to Garmin is still the 1:50:54 I set as during the first half of the Brighton Marathon, although the Jack Daniels equivalence calculator suggests I'm in shape to run around 1:45:00, and so going into this race, my A goal was around 1:45, my B goal was sub 1:50:00, while my C goal was just to finish. Training My training throughout this block has mostly gone according to plan, although I have had some minor niggles that have hampered me slightly, particularly limiting my mileage in July, when I was hoping to be averaging 100km+ most weeks, and the heatwaves in August meant I ended up running less than I originally planned. Race pack The Big Half is organise

Swaffham parkrun

My plan this week was to find a relatively simple event that I could cruise around without really exerting much effort, as I was planning on running The Big Half the following day. Swaffham parkrun met the criteria perfectly! The area Swaffham is situated on the crossroads between King's Lynn and Norwich, and Thetford and Fakenham. The town itself was formed off the back of the wool industry, although the installation of a wind turbine with an observation deck accessible to the public brought some recent tourist interest to the town, with up to 22,000 people visiting the site in 2016. The wind turbine is now no longer accessible to the public. The course Swaffham parkrun is run over three laps of flat grass playing fields following the perimeter of the Nicholas Hamond Academy sports field and the adjacent playing field, with an incursion across the second field on each lap. Free parking is available at the school. There are no toilets, although supermarkets in the t

Maldon Prom parkrun

My plan for this week was to find a relatively flat, fast course that I can push myself at before running at The Big Half next week, and looking at my options, I saw several events which matched the bill, but I ultimately chose Maldon Prom ahead of the others because I haven't run many Essex-based events recently. The area Despite being the site of several battles during Saxon invasions, Maldon has tended to be a quiet parish throughout the years, with its most significant industry perhaps coming from the salt industry, which took off in the area after the creation of the Maldon Sea Salt company in 1882. Promenade Park, the location of today's parkrun, is a hive of activity in the town, and boasts a wide range of facilities, including a BMX track, a splash park, mini golf, and a skate park amongst many others! Similar to how Mersea Island parkrun , located only a few miles east, is only accessible by crossing the link road at low tide, Maldon is home to a number of other

Markshall Estate parkrun

Having spent a number of weeks focussed on events in the north of the East of England, I decided that this week I would pay some attention to the south of the region and visit Markshall Estate parkrun while still in the best time of the year to visit an arboretum. The area The Markshall Estate (interchangably the "Marks Hall" Estate) is the remains of a former country estate located in Coggeshall, between Colchester and Braintree. The hall itself was demolished in 1950, leaving its grounds to be converted into an arboretum, featuring trees from around the world. Coggeshall has been a settled area since at least the Saxon area, and was later served by Stane Street; a Roman road stretching from modern day Colchester to near St Albans. The course The route follows just under two laps of the arboretum, starting at the top of a hill, and finishing at the bottom, meaning this is a net down-hill course. The course is run on a mixture of tarmac, concrete, gravel, trail an

Colney Lane parkrun

This week I decided it was finally time to complete the last of the current Norwich parkruns, having ran at Norwich parkrun , Catton parkrun , and Sloughbottom parkrun already. The area Located in the west of Norwich, the Colney Lane area forms part of the the University of East Anglia, as well as the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. The sports fields form part of the main campus with university buildings located on all sides. The main campus is situated on the former Earlham Estate, which now survives in the form of Earlham Park, as well as the original Earlham Hall building now houing the Business School for the university. The vast estate extends to border Eaton Park; home of Norwich parkrun, making this some of the closest events to each other in England (the start lines are approximately 2km from each other). The course Starting near the pavilion, the route largely follows two laps of the playing fields and woodlands, with a short section connecting the start/

Holkham parkrun

This week I wanted to take advantage of the warm, still weather, and so looking at the coastal events still to explore, I decided this week I would visit Holkham's event! The area The area now part of the Holkham Estate was first bought in the 1700s by Thomas Coke; son of one of the most prominant barristers and judges of the 1600s, Edward Coke. In a very similar fashion to Sheringham parkrun , Holkham parkrun is set on a country estate a short distance from the beach, although Holkham is much more palacial, perhaps surpassing Blickling parkrun in grandeousity, and challenging Wimpole Estate parkrun . Holkham Hall is a lived-in home, and is still owned privately by the family who built it; the Coke family of Norfolk. The course Runners follow a lollipop route from the start, heading south from the house along the main 2-mile long avenue, around a loop of farmland, before returning along the avenue to the start, taking in sights of the Obelisk, the Ice House, the Great B

Sizewell parkrun

I wanted to continue to take advantage of the pleasant weather this week, by attending another seafront-based parkruns, and Sizewell parkrun was one of the few remaining events in the East of England that fulfil that criteria that I hadn't attended yet, and so my decision was made! The area Perhaps best known for its nuclear power station, Sizewell is a small hamlet on the coast of the North Sea. The hamlet's origins lie in the fishing industry, although neighbouring towns and villages have since transitioned into tourist hotspots, leaving Sizewell (and Sizewell beach) to remain a quiet and relaxed area. The course The event is run on mostly grassy sanddune paths, and the route is a flattened lollipop. The surface is a mixture of sand, grass, and gravel, and undulates throughout, while the sandy sections add an extra element into the mix too! Toilets are available at the paid car park, which is also next to a tea room, and which offers refreshments after the run!