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Showing posts from 2021

St Albans parkrun

While there are many "S" events in the East of England, today's choice of event has been largely dictated by events beyond my control - the most significant of which was that it was Christmas day! As is normal practice, parkrun events are able to decide whether they want to host a Christmas day event, which ultimately meant that a lot of the contenders very understandably decided that they wanted to cancel in favour of other activities. Travelling on Christmas day has also proved to be an interesting experience in the past too, with many places such as service stations and public amenities remaining closed for the day, and so I decided that my best option was to attend St Albans parkrun, as it is local enough that I could potentially make the whole trip (including a short run-tour) without any dependencies. The area St Albans parkrun is held in Verulamium Park, St Albans. A human settlement has been present in St Albans since the Iron Age, which transformed into th

Roding Valley parkrun

I was ideally in search of an "R" event this week, and as there are a couple of possible events (Roding Valley and Rickmansworth), my choice was largely based on attending the furthest event. Another factor was the size of the event (I would prefer a smaller event with a stronger sense of community given the time of the year) - Roding Valley typically only attracts a small field, while Rickmansworth's field is typically a very large one, so Roding Valley it is! The area Roding Valley parkrun takes place in Roding Valley, near Epping Forest. Epping Forest is a former royal hunting grounds, stretching approximately 20 km north to south, but less than 5 km in width for the majority of the space. Roding Valley is a geological valley to the east of Epping Forest, through which the River Roding flows. Much of the valley is meadows or grasslands, and acts as a floodplain. The area is grazed by cattle during drier weather. The course Runners follow two laps of a

Panshanger parkrun

This week, my goal is to check off another "P" event. There are only two in the East of England - Pocket and Panshanger. Panshanger is further to my home event, and so that's the one I selected for this week. As a bonus, Panshanger is a trail-based course, which is less likely to be cancelled due to weather, and has lumps, which ties in to my training outside of parkrun! The area Panshanger parkrun takes place in Panshanger Park, a green space located between Welwyn Garden City, and Hertford. Panshanger Park is the estate of the former Panshanger House - a country house which was demolished between 1953 and 1954 following an auction of lots of the former estate, which resulted in no interest in the house. The course Runners currently follow a well-marshalled route around the western end of the park (closer to Welwyn than Hertford) due to quarrying activity by Tarmac making former routes unsafe. The surface is a mix of grass, trail, gravel, and mud, especially

Norwich parkrun

In contrast to Mersea Island parkrun last week, which was attended by 27 runners, this week I planned to attend Norwich parkrun, which typically averages around 400 runners. I have also been running a lot of predominantly grass-based courses recently, and so Norwich will offer a big change of pace compared to recent events. The area Located in the East of England, Norwich is the County town of Norfolk. Following an investment and publicity campaign in 2008, 12 of the city's heritage buildings have become popular stops for tourists, including The Forum, The Guildhall, Dragon Hall, Norwich Castle, Norwich Cathedral, and Cow Tower. The city council started buying farmland at the start of the 20th century to convert into parkland, which became Eaton Park. After the first world war, and in order to kick-start the local economy, the council undertook a major development program in the park, including the bandstand, and the pavilion. Additionally, the grounds benefited from