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Sloughbottom parkrun

With the weather reflecting a stereotypical British summer in the week prior to parkrunday (cloudy), I decided against attending one of the remaining seafront events this week. With a small island of unattended events in Norwich still, I couldn't fight the temptation to make that island smaller, and so Sloughbottom was to be this week's event!

Welcome to Norwich

The area

Sloughbottom parkrun (pronounced "slow-bottom" by the locals) is held in Sloughbottom Park, and the adjacent greenspace and former railway line in Norwich. The park is a recreation ground, and was created in 1929 as part of the council's efforts to kick-start the local economy at the same time as Eaton Park, which hosts Norwich parkrun.

Sloughbottom park

The former railway line which makes up part of the course is now known as Marriott's Way, a 24 mile trail path which follows the path of the original railway lines from Norwich to Aylsham. The trail is named after the former Chief Engineer and Manager of one of the former railway companies, William Marriott, who is responsible for developing and patenting many improvements to the railway infrastructure.

The course

Runners follow a single lap of a Y-shaped out and back route around Sloughbottom Park, with two legs along Marriott's Way - first heading west away from the city centre, and the second heading east towards the city centre. The course is mostly flat, and is run on a mixture of grass, trail, gravel, and tarmac.

Free parking is available in the car park to the north of the park, however spaces are limited. Toilets are available at the Pavillion, or alternatively, at the near-by Asda supermarket, which is just a short jog from the car park! The team also offer free refreshments in the Pavillion after the run!

Sloughbottom park pavillion

The run

While the weather forcasted clouds for the day, the irony wasn't lost on me when the clouds broke, allowing the sun to come out for the start of today's run!

I was planning on taking part in a local 10k race the following day, and although I was intending to run the race as a training run, I decided against pushing myself too hard this week, and instead just took in the scenery, which was very pleasant both in the park, and along Marriott's Way.

View along Marriott's Way

Thank you to all of this week's volunteers for such a pleasant event!

After the run

As I've explored Norwich city centre on several occasions during previous visits, and today's event heavily featured the Marriott's Way path, I decided to explore the path in more detail after the run.

Signpost to Marriott's Way

Being a former railway, it's perhaps not suprising that the first major sight encountered was the abandoned Hellesdon station.

Hellesdon station

There are a number of artifacts from the stations past in the vicinity, but perhaps most striking is the station sign itself.

Running along the trail, you encounter a range of train-related artifacts, including benches and artistic creations forged from old rails, marker miles, a tree-swing overlooking the river, all with the background of the Norfolk greenery.

View of greenery from the trail

Links: Run report | Results | Strava

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