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Bury Field parkrun

This week, I decided to break with my normal adventures to attend the inaugural running of an event very local to me. As with Oaklands parkrun, I don't want to tour at the expense of everything else, and this seemed like a time when I would prefer to stay local-ish, and so today, I ran at BUry Fields parkrun, in Newport Pagnell!

The area

Newport Pagnell is located adjacent to Milton Keynes, separated by the M1 motorway. A settlement has been present on the site of the town for many years, predating the development of Milton Keynes by several hundred years - evidence of which can be found throughout the town.

Bury Field, the location of the parkrun, is common land located to the north west of the town. The land has historically been used for grazing cattle - a practice which still continues to this day. The two fields are largely flat meadows (though there is a hill!), with some occasional woods, however, remnants of a never-completed Victorian railway line are present, cutting across the field.

Path from the second field up the hill towards the central wooded area

The course

Runners follow grass and trail paths around the perimeter of the two fields, with some intrusions towards the centre of the field at two locations - first around the woods in the centre of the field, and a second around a flood defence which protects a nearby farmhouse. Runners then enter the second of the fields to run alongside the River Ouzel, before returning to the first field, up a hill towards the central woods for a second time, before turning left and running downhill towards the finish funnel.

Toilets are available on the high street near the entrance to the fields, and free parking is available in the car park next to the entrance, or in a number of other car parks around the town. A number of cafes are available after the run along the high street.

The run

It was a windy start to the run, with us running head first into the wind, so much so that some fellow runners joked about slipstreaming me as we set out. Once we reached the central wooded area, we were able to find some shelter as provided by the trees, but it didn't last long, as the trees were only the half-way point to the other side of the field where we were able to take shelter from more trees.

Runners at the start of the event waiting for the run briefing

The rest of the run was more tough going than I anticipated - a lot of rain over the past week meant that the relatively long grass was a lot more difficult to run though if you strayed from the main trail, but we were rewarded with some excellent views, both of the River Ouzel, and of the church in the centre of town, which dominated the skyline for much of the return leg of the course.

River Ouzel from the 'beech'

After a loop around the smaller field, we emerged back onto the main field, and ran back towards the central treeline, and it was at this point that we noticed how much of a hill we were climbing, having already tired our legs. Fortunately, from the top of the hill, we followed a smooth descent back to the finish funnel.

View from the smaller field towards the town

Thank you to the entire event team for a great run. From my perspective, and if I didn't know better, I wouldn't have known it was an inaugural event - the whole thing was run so smoothly.

Ian running down the hill towards the finish funnel

After the run

I explored the town after the run, by first taking a closer look at the church which dominates the skyline.

A closer view of the church

Newport Pagnell is noted as the former home of the Aston Martin car company. The company has since moved its headquarters, but retains a showroom, a heritage centre, and a service department on the site of the former factory.

Aston Martin showroom
Aston Martin heritage centre

One of the town's bridges, the Tickford bridge, is one of the last remaining cast iron bridges in the UK still actively used for road traffic and dates back to 1810.

Tickford Bridge

Links: Run report | Results | Strava

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