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Linford Wood parkrun

Today marked the start of my parkrun journey, and so I started as I mean to go on - by touring!

As this was to be my first parkrun experience, I sought a deliberately low-key, reliable debut, which was also easily accessible from my home (though not my home event). Linford Wood seemed like the ideal candidate!

The area

Linford Wood parkrun takes place along the paths and redways of Linford Wood, in the north of Milton Keynes.

Milton Keynes is the largest town in Buckinghamshire. Famous (or should that be infamous?) for both its roundabouts and its grid system, the town was purpose-built to relieve demand for housing in the South East of England.

The town adopts the concept of a forest city, where local areas (within grid squares) are separated from through-traffic travelling along the grid by trees, bushes, hedgerows, and other fauna. For local residents, this provides both a sound-barrier between them and traffic, while also enclosing neighbourhoods, which in turn encourages the building of communities.

Independent of the road network sits a segregated shared cycle and pedestrian path system known as the redway system, which enables traffic-free access to the majority of the town.

Linford Wood has been woodland for at least 700 years, and is home to lots of wildlife, including deer, badgers, and foxes. You can also find a wide variety of plant life here, depending on when you visit.

The course

The course is mostly flat except for a short dip as it passes through an underpass. Participants follow a single loop on tarmac paths, along a small part of redway, and the “wiggly path” through the woods, before finishing on a short grass area around 400 meters from the start.

Free parking is available on roads near the start, and a cafe is close to the finish funnel. There are no public toilets available before the run.

The run

It was a damp morning, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me! I arrived early, and familiarised myself with the start and finish areas. As we got closer to 9am, I listened to the first timer’s briefing, followed by the run brief, and before I knew it, we were on our way.

Ian running along the final straight

Thank you to all of the volunteers, who made this run so special for me!

Links: Run report | Results | Strava

Reference: The Parks Trust

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