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Chilton Fields parkrun

This week I decided would be the week that I complete the Pirates challenge by attending my 7th's "C" event, having already sailed at Cambridge, Chalkwell Beach, Clacton Seafront, Catton, Colney Lane, and Colchester Castle with an "R" at Rushmere.

The area

Located half way between Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds, Chilton Fields parkrun takes place at Chilton Fields Sports Club, Stowmarket every week. Stowmarket is a historical market town, and owing to its strong transport connections with London, is set to grow in population significantly over the coming years.

Rubgy pitch at Chilton Fields

The course

The route follows three laps of the recreation grounds, mainly on a mixture of grass and trail, with a small amount of tarmac. There is no significant elevation to speak of.

There is no parking at the site, and so visitors are encouraged to arrive by other means, although alternative parking arrangements are available in the Kingsfield Centre or in the town centre - each a short walk away. Toilets are available at the rugby club pavilion. There are several cafes a short distance from the event for post-run refreshments, including the town centre, but nothing on site.

The run

After some rather heavy downpours during the week, we received our first warning of the year that there were wet leaves on a tarmac path which could be quite slippy. The wet weather also meant that the grass was heavier to run through than previous weeks, and some exposed areas had become slightly waterlogged, which made me think it might be time to start considering running in trail shoes again, or at least having them as an option!

Much like Thurrock parkrun, and many others, Chilton Fields parkrun is a very community oriented event, and it seemed like most participants knew one another.

Thank you to all of the awesome volunteers!

After the run

At the south-west tip of the course lies a wooded area, which is the site of countless Pauper's graves who died while attending the adjacent workhouse. Each number on the cross was originally attached to a smaller wooden cross and use to mark each grave. After the first 100 metal plaques, numbers were painted directly onto the crosses. The original wooden crosses have since rotted away, leaving the metal plaques as a reminder.

Cross at Paupers Graves

The workhouse (situated on the corner of Union Road and Chilton Way) has since closed, spent some time as a hospital, before being converted to its modern use as a residential building. The exterior of the building remains largely unchanged.

Former Stowmarket workhouse

Links: Results | Strava

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