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Millennium Country parkrun

My plan for parkrun was simple this week - attend an event which involves minimal travel, and take it slow. I'm running the Brighton Marathon tomorrow, which will involve me travelling to Brighton on Saturday afternoon to check in, coupled with an overnight stay, so I decided to attend Millennium Country parkrun between Bedford and Milton Keynes.

The area

Millennium Country Park is located between Stewartby and Marston Moretaine, in Bedfordshire. The area is perhaps best known for its brick works under the ownership of the London Brick Company, which was a major contributor to the redevelopment efforts after world war 2, although emissions regulations have more recently drawn the brickworks operations in the area to move on. A number of chimneys remain on the skyline from the former brickworks, although the chimneys are being demolished as time passes, especially in favour of new housing developments.

Built on the site of a former quarry, Millennium Country Park is owned and operated by the Forest of Marston Vale charity, which aims to create a forest across the Bedfordshire area, and has planted a number of sites already. The park is primarily based around two lakes in the Stewartby area, with one of the lakes designated as a pay-per-entry wildlife conservation area, while the other lake hosts sailing clubs.

The course

The course is a flat, fast out-and-back along three sides of Stewartby Lake, on gravel and dirt paths.

Paid parking is available at the Forest Centre. Free parking is available in various points surrounding the country park, but involves a short walk to the start area. The Forest Centre is the location of toilets and a cafe for after-run refreshments, and is conveniently near the start / finish area.

The run

It was a cold, but dry, still and sunny start to the day today, makin for great running conditions! With Brighton in mind, and having tapered for that in the preceeding week, I decided that I was going to use today's run just to freshen up for tomorrow, and so I positioned myself towards the back of the start for this week's run.

I managed to hold myself back for the entire run, deliberately getting my slowest time for a very long time, even getting pipped to the finish line by a very young runner (although I did have to fight the urge to sprint myself)!

Thanks to the volunteers for organising a very relaxing run this morning - just what I needed before Brighton!

After the run

As I needed to head towards Brighton, I didn't wait around for too long today, but a walk around the lakes is definitely something I would recommend. The surrounding landscape is also makes a great setting for longer walks too.

Links: Results | Strava

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