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Hunstanton Promenade parkrun

After running The Big Half last week, I have taken the week off running, making today my first run since the race! While I didn't feel completely fresh again yet, I decided that I wanted to ease myself back into it today to see where I am in terms of recovery, and so in searching for a flat grass-based event to attend, I couldn't overlook the chance to run at Hunstanton Promenade parkrun, which is also one of the furthest events to attend that I haven't yet attended!

Another bonus of attending Hunstanton Promenade is that is that it allows me to complete all of the current list of coastal parkruns in the East of England while the weather is pleasant!

Following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II earlier in the week, parkrun advised that events could choose whether to hold the event or cancel. A number of the events local to Hunstanton decided to cancel, but fortunately, Hunstanton decided to go ahead!

Union Flag flying at half mast

The area

Hunstanton is a seaside town which has been populated since the 800s, where St Edmund reportedly landed in the area, before assuming the thrown of the East Anglia.

One of Hunstanton's claims to fame is the fact it is one of the few places in the East of England where you can see a beach sunset, given most other beaches in the East of England face north, east or south!

The course

The course follows three one-mile out-and-back loops of the clifftops, followed by one much smaller loop to round out the distance, tracing the central reservation at all times. The route is run on grass, and is has a slight undulation throughout.

Southern turn-around point after the event

Several public toilets are available near the start/finish area and in the car parks, while several paid car parks are located nearby. There are many opportunities for post-run refreshments near the start/finish area.

The run

For the first time in a while, rain was falling as I travelled to parkrun this week!

I arrived in Hunstanton in good time for this week's run, and so headed for a brief warm up before heading to the start area for the run briefing. Because of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II earlier in the week, all of the participants started by observing a minute's silence.

Following the silence and the briefing, where the team realised that seemingly half of the participants were tourists, we headed to the start line and headed off. The grass was still wet from the rain earlier in the morning, but was still quite firm following the heatwave some weeks prior.

I managed to keep my enthusiasm contained during the run, keeping to a relatively slow pace compared to prior weeks, although a week off running meant my heart rate was higher than ideal, but that will reduce as I begin exercising again. My recovery plan however means I will likely do some cycling over the coming weeks, and I will be in unchartered terretory as far as the impacts of that are concerned!

Thank you to all of the volunteers for a great event!

After the run

As this was the first run I had done since The Big Half, I decided to limit my explorations of the area to just those within reasonable walking distance.

As the tide was rising during the morning, I decided to explore some of the land-oriented focal points first, such as the ruins of St Edmund's Chapel. Built in 1272 , little remains of the chapel, beyond its main doorway, and groundworks which show the chapel's layout.

Ruins of St Edmund's Chapel, with lighthouse in background

Next to the start/finish area lies Hunstanton Cliffs, and the site of the day's parkrun. The cliffs for around 1 mile, and are famous for their red and white stripes.

Hunstanton Cliffs

The stripes of the cliffs developed over many millions of years, during different global circumstances, which are responsible for the different colours.

Stripes of Hunstanton Cliffs

South of the main cliffs lies the Esplanade Gardens which also houses the town's war memorial, overlooking The Wash. On a clear night, the lights from Skegness are reportedly visible, although I didn't stay in the area late enough to witness them on this occasion.

Fountain at Esplanade Gardens overlooking The Wash

Hunstanton is known for its beaches and leisure activities, but unfortunately, the weather took a turn for the worst, and I decided to cut my visit short before more rain started to fall.

Links: Run report | Results | Strava

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