Skip to main content

Cambridge parkrun

With the exception of Houghton Hall, my parkruns to date have mostly been in and around the same area, and so this week I wanted to try an event in another region. Checking the events map, a number of events around Cambridgeshire seemed to fit the bill, with the added benefit that if there were any cancellations, another event beginning with a "C" was within easy reach. Of the parkruns in Cambridge, Cambridge parkrun seemed like it would have the highest attendance, so that was my first choice, with Coldhams Common a close second.

The area

Cambridge parkrun is held at Milton Country Park, located in the village of Milton on the outskirts of Cambridge. The site of the Country Park was the location of a gravel pit, before being transformed into lakes starting in 1990, and opened to the public in 1993.

Owing to nearby sewage works, coupled with two recycling centres, Milton has a reputation for the resultant smell - the "Milton Pong". Fortunately, there was no trace of any odours during my visit.

The course

The course is one smaller lap around a lightly wooded area, followed by two bigger laps of the lakes, with the finish funnel located on a spur off the main path into the centre of the smaller lap.

Toilets, and a cafe adjoin the car park close to the start location outside the cafe.

The course page describes the surface as "gravel", however, this is closer to the gravel used as foundations for roads, rather than the tiny stones I initially expected. If this wasn't the site of a former gravel-pit, you'd probably call it trail, and so road-shoes with limited grip are therefore not advised during winter months!

The run

I began today's run with a short warm-up, and realised pretty quickly that I was in the wrong shoes for the course! The starting straight was muddy, and slightly slippy in places. Never mind, I'd still give it a go, I thought! My poor shoe choice was further highlighted during the run briefing, when we were told about the "water hazard" after the first corner (entering the first small loop), and we were encouraged to run through it.

Fortunately there was enough space that I could mostly run around the edge of the water hazard, and as we only had a single loop to do around the smaller loop, it was mostly just mud to contend with for the remainder of the course, along with a short wooden path which was slippy due to the mud.

One observation of the finish process I noted was that finish tokens were handed out at the end of the finish funnel as usual, but barcode scanning took place several hundred metres away, near the cafe. This is perhaps an attempt to support the cafe's business, but it was a contrast to other events I've attended, who are keen to scan barcodes as soon as possible to avoid losing (and having to replace) them.

As always, thank you to all of the volunteers, especially at this time of year!

Links: Results | Strava

Reference: Milton Country Park

Popular posts from this blog

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

Mildenhall Hub parkrun

This week I decided to make some more progress on the Fibonacci Sequence challenge by attending event number 5 of the new Mildenhall Hub parkrun! The area Mildenhall is a small market town located between Cambridge and Bury St Edmunds. The modern town's population is heavily influenced by the two airforce bases located on the outskirts of the town, with up to a third of the town's residents being born in USA! The town is also where the Mildenhall Treasure was discovered - a collection of Roman silverwar considered to be perhaps the most important and valuable Roman treasure find in Britain. Owing to its importance and value, the treasure is now on permanent display at the British Museum. To the west of the town lies Mildenhall Hub, a newly built community centre, and host of this week's parkrun event! The course One lap of the course follows an initial out-and-back section, followed a lap of the adjoining meadow, with runners following the route two and a hal

Ally Pally parkrun

Now that I have completed the UK Alphabet, my focus has turned towards the East of England region. As there are so many events to choose from, I'm going to start by working through events in alphabetical order again, with an emphasis on working east to west, which for me, effectively orders events furthest to nearest. During my initial exploration of the challenge, I did make a mistake however, which I only realised after running this event - I didn't realise that Aldenham parkrun was in the region, and so I started this phase of parkrunning by running Ally Pally parkrun instead! The area Ally Pally, or Alexandra Palace, is a purpose built community centre in Haringey, North London. Unlike other palaces in the UK, Ally Pally has no royal connection, and instead has been entirely community oriented since its conception. The palace houses a theatre, concert hall, a convention centre, an ice rink, and has facilitated BBC broadcasts an