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Northampton parkrun

After the strange run last week, I wanted to try another event that wasn't in woodland. I enjoyed the course last week, so maybe I was just having an off-week (everyone has them occasionally!)

I knew that Bedford met the bill, and was very close, but I had also been "saving" that one for the New Year's double, which I planned to do before Great Denham, and so I settled on Northampton for this week's event.

The area

Northampton parkrun takes place at the Racecourse, in the heart of Northampton. The area, originally known as Northampton Heath, was the host of frequent horse races between 1632 and 1681 when a large number of accidents drew proceedings to a close. Horse racing resumed in 1727 however, until more fatal accidents resulted in horse racing ceasing again in 1904.

The Racecourse is a popular and high-traffic area of Northampton, and is considered the heart of amateur sport in the area, with football, rugby union, cricket, tennis, bowls and other fitness activities routinely being held on the grounds.

The course

The course is one large lap of the perimeter, followed by a slightly smaller lap which traces three-quarters of the larger lap, with the finish on grass near the start.

Changing rooms, toilets, and a cafe are located near to the car park close to the start.

The run

From the outset, this week's run was in stark contrast to last week's! The majority of runners were in some form of Christmas-based fancy-dress, ranging from simple santa hats to the much more elaborate!

A group of volunteers in Christmas-themed fancy dress

The run briefing was also accompanied by a sign-language interpreter - the first time I'd witnessed something like that at a parkrun! After collectively learning how to say "Merry Christmas" using sign-language, we were on our way.

This was by far the most well-attended parkrun I had taken part in so far, with over 450 participants, and I found myself chatting to a regional ambassador on the way around, who told me about plans for the future Northampton Racecourse junior parkrun, due to start in April next year.

Ian running to the finish funnel with another runner

Thank you to all of the volunteers, who made this run so fun!

Links: Run report | Results | Strava

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