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Great Cornard parkrun

This week I wanted to attend a "G" event, and although there are a number in the East of England, I wanted to try one of the less scenically gifted events so that I can get a sense of that type of event. I've heard that such events tend to be much more community oriented than others, but other than that, I wanted to approach the event with a completely open mind.

The area

Great Cornard is a village within Sudbury, in the East of England. Evidence of human activity has been traced to the Stone Age in the area. The local secondary school, Thomas Gainsborough School, provides sporting facilities to the village, including the Great Cornard parkrun.

The course

Starting on the rugby pitch, the event follows two-and-a-bit laps around the playing fields, with the first lap following the perimeter of the field in reverse compared to the second and third times runners encounter the area. The finish is a short walk from the start, alongside the sports hall.

Free parking is available on site, and in the school car park, while a cafe and toilets are available within the school itself.

The run

During the first timer's brief I met some fellow tourists. We chatted before the run, and before too long, it was time to set off. We walked over to the rugby pitch up a slight hill, and we were away.

From the GPS trace, the course looks more confusing than it actually is, but it was actually a lot smoother than I had anticipated, and was made all the simpler by the excellent marshals.

Something that I hadn't anticipated during the run, was the support runners received from other users of the fields. A number of youth football matches kicked off at 9am, so the parents / supporters of those games / local community also cheered on the runners as we passed by. Similarly, a number of the runners (perhaps family of the players?) went and watched the football games after the run.

Thanks to the volunteers for hosting a great event. It definitely opened my eyes, and I'll definitely not hold back from exploring events held on playing fields and other "less scenic" events in the future.

After the run

After the run I took the opportunity to socialise a little in the cafe before heading for a run along the River Stour, which has some very nice views onto the nearby fields, as well as some historic buildings.

Mill building and pond next to the River Stour

Links: Results | Strava

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