Skip to main content

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 rose garden at Wicksteed Park

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 away.

The run

There was a bigger than expected crowd at this week's event, probably owing to the swell of resolutioners.

The course was slightly flooded aroung the miniature railway crossing, and so we were told during the run briefing that it was ok to run along the railway itself, although this was easier said than done, as like any railway, there was a lot of loose balast, as well as sleepers to consider for every footstep.

The wooden pontoon across the lake was an interesting experience. It felt stable enough, but each step was slightly cushioned, making it slightly bouncy.

I didn't really notice it until the end of the first lap, but there was a definite incline to contend with, which added an extra dynamic to the run.

Thank you to all of the volunteers this week. We were fortunate to avoid any rain during the run, but it seemed like it could rain at any point!

Links: Results | Strava

References: Wicksteed Park

Popular posts from this blog

Coldham's Common parkrun

As my recovery from injury is still underway, I decided that I would attend a flat course this week to avoid any potential for reaggrevation. Unfortunately this means I will need to pause my completion of the Essex events, as the remaining courses are all somewhat lumpy. Having visited all of the other Cambridge parkruns, including Storeys Field parkrun, Fulbourn Hospital parkrun, and Cambridge parkrun knowing that they are all relatively flat, I decided that this week I would complete the Cambridge set. The area Coldham's Common has a long history, serving as both a hospital during the 17th century smallpox outbreak, and a quarry during the 19th century, as well as a rifle range also during the 19th century. The course The route follows two laps of the perimeter of the common through an hour-glass shape, connecting two fields through a five-bar-gate. The course is all on grass, and is all flat. Limited parking is available nearby, while toilets are available in

Aldenham parkrun

Icey conditions in days leading up to parkrun day meant many events were cancelled this week. While I would have ideally been able to visit another event in Essex, I decided that I valued having options more in the event of cancellation this week, and so I instead headed to the cluster of events surrounding the Watford area. The area Aldenham Country Park is located near Watford, and centres on Aldenham reservoir, with grassland and woodland surrounding the reservoir itself. The reservoir was excavated by French prisoners of war during 1795 as part of the wider management of the Grand Union Canal's water levels, and now serves as a reserve water supply. In addition to the reservoir, the country park also supports the breeding of a number of rare species of farm animals, including cattle, goats, pigs, and sheep. The course The course follows two laps of the reservoir, with the second lap skipping the inner peninsular. The course is flat, and is run mainly on trail pat

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