Skip to main content

Manor Field parkrun, Whittlesey

The cold weather which started last week had worsened in the week since, with many cancellations across the country. After seeing my original planned event cancel, after some research, I decided to visit Manor Field parkrun, Whittlesey this week, as it and its neighbours were all due to take place on Friday night, so even if Manor Field cancelled last minute, I still had alternatives!

The area

Whittlesey is a small town on the outskirts of Peterborough. The town is built on a former island, but as the Cambridgeshire fens were drained in the 1600s, the island became much more readily accessible.

The town has a local tradition known as the Whittlesey Straw Bear, where someone is covered in straw, and dances in the local streets. The event takes place on a Tuesday in January.

Manor Park before the event

The course

The course follows one part-lap of the leisure centre playing field, followed by three complete laps, is all on grass, and is very flat throughout.

Parking is available both in the leisure centre, as well as within the town itself, while the pavillion houses toilets. A number of cafes are available in the town centre for refreshments, only a short distance away.

The run

In a rather unexpected twist, today's event began with a mention of it being the 119th anniversary of first Wright brothers flight, which was followed by an aptly themed run briefing which had all of the participants laughing!

Fortunately, the all-grass course meant the run today was fairly straight forward, while making the views particularly impressive, even though on paper, Manor Field is largely just a run around a recreation field.

River Nene at Manor Field

Thanks to all of the volunteers for a great event, especially in the cold!

After the run

As the town dates back so long, I took the opportunity to explore some of the sights, including the church, which was constructed in the 13th and 14th centuries

The traditional Straw Bear is referenced at several points throughout the town.

Artwork depicting the Straw Bear

One of the more extreme aspects of the surrounding landscape is the River Nene. Much like further downstream at Littleport, the river acts as a drain for the surrounding fen land, which was drained in the 1600s, at the same time as the rest of the fens.

River Nene from near Whittlesey

As the waterways have historically been navigable, they were deemed to be significant enough a risk to warrant defence, and several pillboxes were constructed to this end.

A pillbox guarding the River Nene

Because of the recent snow, an ice sheet had formed near the river, which locals decided to use as an ice hockey and ice skating rink.

People playing ice hockey and ice skating near the River Nene

Links: Results | Strava

Popular posts from this blog

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! 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 . 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 f

Flegg High parkrun

After running Brighton Marathon last week, I was in desperate need of an easy recovery run this week, in all senses! Flegg High parkrun ticks all of the boxes I was looking for, in that it is a flat, small event, with some off-road surfaces to help with the recovery. The area Flegg High parkrun is hosted by Flegg High Ormiston Academy - an academy in the village of Martham, near Great Yarmouth, in Norfolk. The village of Martham is a primarily residential area, while also being home to Martham Broad - a nature reserve slightly north of the town. The course The route at Flegg High follows three laps of the perimeter of the school grounds, taking in the playing grounds as well as the school's playground. The course is run on many surfaces, including tarmac, gravel, and grass, but can best be thought of as 2-thirds off-road (mainly grass) and 1-third on-road (gravel and tarmac). Toilets are available in the school, and free parking is available on site. The run Tod

Mildenhall Hub parkrun

This week I decided to make some more progress on the Fibonacci Sequence challenge by attending event number 5 of the new Mildenhall Hub parkrun! The area Mildenhall is a small market town located between Cambridge and Bury St Edmunds. The modern town's population is heavily influenced by the two airforce bases located on the outskirts of the town, with up to a third of the town's residents being born in USA! The town is also where the Mildenhall Treasure was discovered - a collection of Roman silverwar considered to be perhaps the most important and valuable Roman treasure find in Britain. Owing to its importance and value, the treasure is now on permanent display at the British Museum. To the west of the town lies Mildenhall Hub, a newly built community centre, and host of this week's parkrun event! The course One lap of the course follows an initial out-and-back section, followed a lap of the adjoining meadow, with runners following the route two and a hal