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Lingwood parkrun

This week, like last week, I found myself in the position of not really having any obvious targets for events to attend. As I was looking at the parkrun events page to help me narrow down my search, my mind kept drifting towards the Norwich area, as there are a number of events in relatively close proximity to each other.

The area

Lingwood is a village near Norwich. The built-up area is primarily residential, with the village featuring its own pub, and village hall. The surrounding area is primarily farmland, with nature reserves forming a major part of the area along the River Yare, which runs to the south of the village.

View towards Lingwood from the south

Aside from the village, the wider area is very popular with bird watchers, with a number of RSPB sites within close proximity, including Strumpshaw Fen located between Lingwood and Brundell, and Buckenham and Cantley Marshes located due south of Lingwood.

The course

The course is run entirely on grass and gravel paths, and squiggles around the village hall's playing fields, before runners peel off the course the village hall on the third lap and continue through the finish funnel.

Lingwood Community Centre field

Apart from a minor lump on each lap, the route is extremely flat, with Strava reporting a total elevation change of a mere 10 metres over the whole course.

Parking is available on site, and toilets are available within the village hall. The village hall cafe also offers refreshments after the run, and an opportunity to chat to fellow runners.

The run

I arrived at around 8am for today's event, as is normal on my journeys, however, I seemed to be largely alone in the car park until around 8:30am. I knew I was in the correct place, and so it was a slightly worried wait until the team turned up, but when they did, the event setup happened like clockwork - the team are obviously very well rehearsed.

After a quick briefing near the finish funnel, we walked to the start line in the middle of the field. A quick countdown followed, and we were under way!

From the event overview, the course looks like a real challenge to follow, however, on the ground, it is actually extremely easy, especially thanks to the gravel path in the northern field, furthest from the community centre. I did notice however, that many runners chose to run mostly on the grass throughout the whole run, despite the path - my trail shoes protected my tootsies in any case.

Thank you to the whole team for hosting a very welcoming event! As a visiting tourist, the community spirit was palpable!

After the run

When the event was over, I took the opportunity to explore the area along the River Yare, which runs through Norwich further upstream.

Marshland at Cantley Marshes

Interestingly, much of the land adjacent to the river is below the river's water level, and so has to be actively pumped to avoid flooding.

The River Yare surface level above the surrounding marshes

A number of pump houses are dotted along the marshlands which now contain electronic pumps to keep the water levels at the correct position.

A pumping house protecting the marshes

Even as someone with no birdwatching experience, it was evident how important the marshland is for wildlife in the area, as there were birds in virtually every direction you could look.

Canvasback ducks

One word of caution however - while picturesque, the area surrounding Lingwood village is not flat! Fortunately I had managed to recover enough from parkrun that the gentle decline, and subsequent incline on the return journey wasn't really a problem, but something to keep in mind if you plan to visit and explore after parkrun too!

Links: Results | Strava

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