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My first outing with my new cow cowl…Lowestoft

29th June

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Just a quick mention about last week-I  visited my home course and clocked up my 54th run there and my 81st park run.I had read on Facebook that the author of the Stay frosty podcast was planning to visit so I hastily listened to a couple of episodes in case I should spot her in the crowd.I didn’t see her and haven’t caught up with all  the podcasts yet so don’t know if she did visit after all.It was nice to see some regulars there though-Deborah,Morag and Dini.I came away with inspiration for future events.

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Its official!I am now a fully fledged Park run tourist!Yay! Haha.The idea to visit Lowestoft came about because the weather forecast for the weekend in London, predicted sunshine and temperatures could  reach low 30s  so  we thought  it would be nice to go to the coast for the day.We haven’t been to Lowestoft before and it ticked ‘L’ and ‘West'(although it is actually in the  East)  and it has a uphill section so it seemed ideal. And it was.

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We left at 5.45 to drive there and arrived at 8.20.When we arrived ,I could see some volunteers and the run director by the pier.He asked us where we were visiting from as he likes to make a list.He directed us to the start line which was about 300 metres back along the prom next to the pavilion.First timers brief and then we lined up.

The course is 2 and a bit laps on tarmac.It starts on the lower  promenade with the beach on your left.You pass the pier and  continue until you  pass some beach huts on your right before going up again  via a winding narrow slope.There was a marshal here asking you to walk on the left and run on the right.I was surprised that most people were walking,even the speedy runners.I managed to get up there without walking on both laps,which I was pleased about,  although I did feel a bit lightheaded the second time round.I had been running with a lady from Kesgrave who left me behind at this point.Perhaps it wasn’t my best idea to start running uphill on the hottest day of the year. There was another marshal at the top of the slope.You now have the beach on your right as you go back along the upper prom  towards the pier again.You turn left in the gardens opposite and complete a circuit here before turning left onto the prom and right to start  your  second lap from this point.You finish back in the gardens.

 

There was 2 large carparks and street parking available.There were toilets  by the pavillion usually 20p.There was a café by the pier.I forgot to ask if there was somewhere to leave your belongings,I daresay you could ask someone to look after them at the finish line before you make your way down to the start.There was a volunteer taking photos at this event.

I loved this course and had a nice day on the beach and walking to Ness point.We  plan to come back soon. I shall postpone  any more plans  for  hill training  until the autumn though.

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Wearing my cow cowl as a sweatband

 

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D is for Dinton Pastures

14th September

I chose this because the course description sounded nice and would tick ‘D’ for the alphabet challenge.Another park that we wouldn’t have visited if not for park run.We left at 7am and arrived with a couple of minutes to spare,missed the first time brief so joined the runners on the grass by the finish funnel for the last of the announcements before having a short walk to the start.

Beautiful day and beautiful setting .Flat with 2 different laps on trail and gravel paths round the lakes returning back past the start to the finish funnel.Km markers on the way round.So relaxing and I felt very well after my run.

The course
Fishermen by the lake
Beautiful scenery


Everyone here was so friendly.Massive thank you to the volunteers!You could leave your belongings on a tarpaulin sheet near the finish.There was a cafe and toilets near the car park.Parking £1.50 per hour or £6 for 4 hours or longer.Beware,the traffic warden was hovering!

This is one of my favourite courses and hope to visit again.

Lon-Doing Part 21-Harrow Lodge

7th September

Monday 2nd September was my 2nd Park run anniversary!I still recall that random comment from a friend in the gym ,as I was running C25K on the treadmill ,that would lead me to travel to various places most Saturday mornings and change my life.

Happy Park run anniversary to me!

“Why don’t you join that running group over the flats”Jenny said.

I had no idea what she was talking about but I googled and registered,printed out my barcode and went along the very next day.

Here we are,2 years later…

Last minute change of plan had us heading east to my 6th NENDY course,Harrow Lodge for Lon-Done 21/56 and hub’s ‘H’.Nice cool morning-perfect for running.Short drive-took about 40 mins.No parking restrictions on the road alongside the park,also there is a free car park near the start/finish further along Warren road.

‘Round the tree’ on the first km

Harrow Lodge park is large open fields,with wooded areas.It reminded me of Wanstead flats and Wanstead park but more undulating.There were several tourists at the first time brief,most of them quite local like us.There was a runner celebrating his 200th run.

4K to go…

The course is a single lap around the park keeping right with km markers as you go round.It is on grass to start with a tarmac path and trail at times.It was deceptively undulating.You keep left as you head back past the lake,onto the finish funnel alongside the start.

Not far now…
The lake

I liked the challenge of this course, I was pleased with my time too-32.46.There was a cafe and toilets by the lake.I didn’t see if there was somewhere you could leave your belongings.The volunteers here were brilliant,especially the lady who was very particular about us not cutting corners and running ‘Round the tree’.A lovely relaxed event.

Peckham Rye,Lon-Done 20/56

31st August

We’ve had fun discovering Saaaf London this summer,Peckham Rye was our next stop.

A fresh morning as we left but it soon warmed up.The journey was the most scenic one,at one point we were at the top of Westwood Hill looking at a clear view across London.It took us an hour to get there.There was a free car park and toilets just inside the park.

Peckham Rye park was surprisingly large and pretty with tarmac paths dividing the different areas.

The course is 3 anti-clockwise laps along the tarmac paths with marshals directing at junctions on the path.The start is by the picnic area and then round past the new toilet block and back of the children’s playground.The path is narrow now and slightly uphill.You go across a bridge over the river Peck and then right past the bowling green and pond.The path gets wider when you are back alongside the large picnic area again and turn left for your next lap.You can see the Crystal Palace mast in the distance.On your third lap you turn right towards the finish funnel on the grass.

The bowling green
Crystal Palace mast in the distance

We went for a walk in the park afterwards. On our way home,we found Only fools and horses’ Del boy’s yellow three wheeler parked outside the Great Western hotel but couldn’t stop for a photo because it’s on a red route.One for next time!

Burgess.Lon-Done 19/56

24th August

Decided to visit Burgess because it’s my NENDY and it’s on tarmac which appealed after a few weeks running on grass and trail.

Another hot one.Got there in 50 minutes,the car park on Albany Road is free for 4 hours-it’s a 15 minute walk from there through the park to the start.

The course is out and back on tarmac and is flat except for when you go through the underpass.It starts on the straight path,through the underpass,past the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ and a couple of left turns towards the lake.You keep left and the faster runners are coming back on your right.

The lake

This is one of my favourite events.It was quirky and had a relaxed vibe.We went for a walk round after.

You pass the lake on your left and continue round to your right past some fishermen.Then left again towards the cones.Then back towards the bridge and underpass and turn left on the grass through the finish funnel.The Bridge to Nowhere

The Shard in the distance

My NENDY is now Hilly Fields.

All done ✅

‘N’ is for Nonsuch

17th August

I chose Nonsuch park for my ‘N’ for the alphabet challenge just because I love the name.It was a large event with over 700 runners.

Lots of runners …

Well organised event with 2 first time briefs and a double finish funnel.Toilets and cafe next to the mansion.There were 2 car parks.

The finish funnel

I had a nice visit here.My time was 33.37.We spent some time in the mansion gardens afterwards.It took us 3!!! hours to get home.

‘N’ ✅
The mansion gardens

A is for…Ally Pally

10th August

I  decided to visit Ally Pally  for a couple of reasons…it ticked ‘A’ off the park run alphabet challenge and it had been my NENDY for a while. Not much to say about this one… I was unwell and my memory is vague about the order of the course and I didn’t get many photos. But I did get  round both laps without stopping!

I do remember the steep uphill path though,onto another path,and turning left and continue ascending into the woods and then a sharp right turn. I also remember the  much steeper slope downhill,which,on the first lap, I started to run down hoping to gain some time but nearly went arse over tit, so slowed right down on the second lap.

Everything about Ally Pally park run made a good impression on me- so I shall  return soon  and fill in the gaps re toilets, facilities etc.

My new NENDY is now Burgess.

 

 

 

August tourism-Bethlem Royal Hospital

3rd August

RideLondon freecycle was  abandoned due to last minute issues with my bike blah blah so we decided to visit the  Bethlem Royal Hospital course and the Museum of the mind instead.

Another muggy morning when we left at 7.15.We arrived at 8.20 and it was about 5-10 minute walk from the car park to the start of the course within the hospital grounds.There were clear signs directing us where to go.The first timers briefing informed us of no photography allowed of unknown people in the grounds and no dogs unless you have permission from the hospital trust.

The course is 2 laps of 2 fields.You  follow  a trail path to where the start is,on the first field.It was slightly uphill at this point.The first field joins the second field via a narrow path,you need to stay right at this point as runners are coming back past you on the left.The course is uneven in places.The finish funnel is on the same  trail path that led you to the start.

The volunteers were lovely, there is a nice little café where I got a coffee for 80p! the toilets at the community centre were already open when we arrived,there was free parking and this weekend, the Museum of the Mind was open too.This was very interesting and we spent 2 hours in there.

I found this course challenging today,it seemed longer than 5k.I hope  to visit again when the weather is cooler.