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Showing posts from January, 2020

Aylesbury parkrun

I was a little nervous attending Aylesbury parkrun this week. It had been cancelled the week before due to flooding, and so I wasn't completely sure it would be going ahead this week. Fortunately, the event never appeared on the Cancellations page, and so I headed towards Aylesbury! The area Located in Buckinghamshire, Aylesbury has been a settlement since at least the 4th century BC, and has a long and storied history, playing key roles in many major events through the years. Plans are in place to increase the population from roughly 75,000 people to over 100,000 by 2023, which includes the building of hundreds of new homes around the town, including the Buckingham Park area, located to the north of Meadowcroft Open Space where the course normally takes place. Meadowcroft Open Space is an area of land adjacent to the River Thame, and acts as a floodplain during times of peak rainfall. The course While the flooding had allowed the event to take place, it took place on the

Fulbourn Hospital parkrun

I had heard a number of conversations around recent events about the new kid on the block - Fulbourn Hospital, and so this week I decided that I wanted to explore it myself. The area The village of Fulbourn is located to the south-east of Cambridge, separated by farmland and Fulbourn Hospital. Evidence suggests the area has been inhabited since the Neolithic period, with the current name of the village dating back to at least 991. Fulbourn Hospital is a mental health facility, and has been at the forefront of practice developments for many years, making the hospital internationally prominent with it pioneering the concept of therapeutic community in the 1960s. The concept is at the heart of the reason for why the hospital hosts parkrun, where the event is seen as an informal extension of the community. The course The course follows 3 laps; the vast majority of which is on grass. There is very little elevation, but there are rabbit holes to be aware of, so be careful with you

Rushmere parkrun

It has been a while since I last ran an offroad course, and longer still since I ran a hilly course, so this week was time to take up both challenges at the same time. The area Rushmere Country Park, is a collection of woodlands and heathland located in the south of Bedfordshire, and at the northern edge of the Chiltern Hills. The Country Park is specifically located on the Greensand Ridge, a long chalk escarpment stretching from Buckinghamshire to Cambridge. The park is home to a diverse array of wildlife, and is a breeding ground for herons. A purpose-built heronry has been built near the nesting site to help visitors get a sight of the herons in their infancy. In addition, there is a maze of trails to explore should you still be feeling adventurous after your parkrun! The course The course is two laps of undulating trails, starting on the path near the cafe, and finishing on the meadow near the car park and the cafe. Paid parking is available on-site, and free toilets

Kettering parkrun

After the celebrations and hectic schedule of the festive break, this week was to be the first "normal" run for a while. My goal this week was therefore to make more progress towards completing the alphabet challenge, and so I headed to Kettering to tick off a "K". The area Kettering is a market town located in the Midlands of England, historically famous for its shoe industry, but now a major distribution centre due to its central location. Wicksteed Park is one of Kettering's greenspaces, located in the south of the tow, and is home to the second oldest theme park in the country. In addition to the theme park, it also has a rose garden, a lake, and a miniature railway. The course The course follows two laps of the main tarmac paths around the park, running alongside the miniature railway for a section, before crossing the lake over a wooden pontoon. There is free parking near to the start, and toilets and a cafe in the building a short distance

Great Denham parkrun

Having run the first of my New Year's double events today at Bedford parkrun, Great Denham was to complete my running day. Despite planning to take it easy at Bedford parkrun earlier in the day, I had actually run a PB, so I really was planning to not push during this event. It was also the first time I had tried running twice in a day, so I had no expectations other than to enjoy the run. The area Great Denham is a relatively new "golf village", built in the 1990s, and located towards the west of Bedford. The area to the south of the village is mainly flat former-farmland and floodplains linked to the River Great Ouse, and is being transformed into a country park alongside the development of new housing. The course The course follows two laps of the perimeter of the park on a mixture of gravel and tarmac. Being a floodplain, there is almost zero elevation, and the few corners means this is a course you should definitely consid

Bedford parkrun

Today's parkrun plan is a simple one - attend 2 parkruns close to each other. I wanted to attend ones with similar terrain so I didn't need to make a kit swap too, but apart from that, I left the decision of which two events to attend to the parkrun Special Events page, which suggested that Bedford and Great Denham would be a great choice, given they're less than 5 km from each other. I have done a couple of 10km training runs to date, so the distance isn't a problem - I'll just need to make sure I don't push too hard in the first run, so I still have enough to get around the second run! The area Located approximately half way between London and Birmingham, an Oxford and Cambridge, Bedford's largest park, Bedford Park is host to Bedford parkrun. The park is a focal point for many local sports, and local residents alike, with facilities for cricket, basketball, rounders, football, bowls, and tennis, all readily availab