The beauty of this challenge is you get to run some cool places and Wicksteed Park, Kettering is definitely in the cool category being my first ever amusement park to run around!
So Wickstead park for the record is the second oldest amusement park in the UK and it’s name comes from its founder Charles Wicksteed who’s father married into the famous Lupton family of Yorkshire!
So the kind Charles in 1913 bought a track of meadow land that would be a safe and beautiful park for the local community to use, now this was the start of the development of the lovely amusement park that we see today!
It is always great to meet a fellow likeminded park runner who set a goal for themselves and makes sure they will achieve it, so it was my good fortune to bump into Val Nix at Kettering! She has set herself the goal of running consecutively the first 100 events at her beloved Kettering parkrun that today was on number 74!
A great coincidence on Saturday it was Val’s 79th parkrun (her first 5 runs were run at Corby) the exact same number as the different parkrun events that I have run to date, spooky stuff! Val lets enjoy our various 100th milestones over the next few months with cake and the very happy realisation that we have reached our goals!
Again it is always a pleasure to bump into a really good tourist friend in Matthew Wateridge this week at Kettering, not only did he run an excellent time of 23:28 but has now run 182 different parkrun events, top running mate!
This was run on their winter course that is 2 and a bit anticlockwise laps of Wickstead Park that incorporated running beside/over the miniture railway and around the lake!
The surface was made up of mainly gravel and tarmac paths that were very wet in places due to the low level nature of many parts of this course, snow melt and overnight rain!
Points to note
- Great to run on the pontoon bridge over the lake
- Only real incline is the lovingly named Wicksteed slog on Strava that is a steady slope on the backend of the course coming back up to the start of each lap!
- Small grass section to finish on but still in the wet conditions normal running trainers are fine!
- You do cross the train tracks a couple of times, but even in the summer when the trains are running they do not normally start until the parkrun event is over!
My time was not great at 37:24 but considering what been happening in my life over the last month I will take that time!
There is free parking at Wicksteed park Upton until 10:30am for park runners Sat Nav NN15 6NJ and the parkrun volunteers will guide you to their preferred parking spots for you to park before the event starts! Another bonus toilets were available before the start of the event!
Had to get home but for the post run coffee they either normally use the Carousel Cafe or Ideas Café depending what is open!
There is so much at this event afterwards especially in the prime summer season that includes amusement rides, narrow gauge railway trips , boating lake, the list is endless!
A lot of this park was closed down at the moment as it being off season, but there is still a lot to do including guided winter walks, cafes and nature animal area for the kids to visit!
I would like to thank run director John McManus and his team of volunteers for making me feel extremely welcome on my visit to Kettering, thanks guys!!!!
So if you have a family or young at heart like me you will have to partake in all the fun of Wicksteed amusement park after your run, a must visit event on your parkrun tours!
Event 80 Henley-on-Thames 17-03-2018