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Ellenbrook Fields parkrun

After climbing mount Tring last week, I wanted to experience a flatter course this week, and so looking for flat courses at the events starting with less common letters led me to Ellenbrook Fields.

The area

Ellenbrook Fields parkrun takes place in Hatfield, on the former site of Hatfield Aerodrome. Hatfield has a rich history, having been a settlement since at least the period of Saxon occupation (500-600AD), and is home to a large commuter community due to its transport links and close proximity to London.

The area of Ellenbrook Fields was used as an Aerodrome between 1930 and 1990, before the owner (British Airways) ceased production of the last of their planes at the site, and the space was opened to public access.

The course

This week, in celebration of the fact that today was the only day in the next 50+ years that parkrun will take place on the extra day in a leap year, the course was run in reverse. Apart from the direction however, the course was identical to the "normal" route.

The course mostly follows tarmac paths, first along a former landing strip, before following a single major (2 mile) lap of the park on tarmac paths, with an extra minor (1 mile) lap around the lakes which was run mainly through mud and puddles (usually grass) due to flooding.

Free parkring is available on the university campus, and toilets are available in the sports centre. A coffee van is near the finish line for after-run refreshments.

The run

The event this week was taken over by the Athena St Albans running club in celebration of International Womens day. The run started with a water hazard, and got wetter and muddier from there!

As we were running the course in reverse, we started along the former runway, running through a 6-inch-deep puddle, before following the paths through the fields. The area around the lakes was very muddy however. Fortunately I had my trail shoes, but a lot of people were slipping and sliding around. After the lap around the lake, we ran along the start of the runway again, through the 6-inch puddle again, which was useful to clean off the mud which had accumulated!

Thanks to the Athena St Albans running club for today's takover, especially given the weather, and thank you to the core event team for coordinating everything today!

Links: Results | Strava

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