On a blindingly hot July morning I arrived at Westmill Farm that is just outside the town of Ware, Hertfordshire! The name in this instance seems to have come from the nearby The Mill Westmill that according to the Doomsday book has stood over the river Rib for 1000th years!
The interesting fact about Westmill Farm is that it seems to have evolved from a traditional working farm into an outdoor leisure and camping complex that include fishing, 9 hole golf course, function rooms and restaurant with stunning views over the Rib valley!
It never ceases to amaze me the brilliant stories I get to write about every parkrun morning! Today I met a super vet parkrun legend, my tourist friend who is a world record holder and a lovely tourist family, wow!
So the picture below from left to right is Diane Constable, Andrew James, Me, John Butcher and finally James Constable.
The word legend aptly applies to John Butcher who set himself a challenge to break as many different parkrun course records for the 85-90 age category after sadly losing is wife of 60 years at christmas 2016, you are a true inspiration to us all John!
Now aged 86 years young he has currently set 69 parkrun course age group records and run 206 parkruns, wow!!!
World record holder
Always a pleasure to see my good tourist friend Andy James who apart from being a fast runner, uber parkrun tourist, he currently co holds the world record for the faster time to complete all 270 London Underground stations with the record now standing at 15h 45m 38s, excellent achievement mate!!!
Finally always my pleasure to meet new fellow Cow-cowl tourists and at Westmill I chatted to the lovely Constable family visiting from Peterborough.
Diane for the record you are a star pushing your daughter Lucy in her buggy in that heat and on that course, when the rest of us were just struggling to get ourselves around!
I hope to bump into you all again soon 🙂
This is Westmill’s summer course, which comprises of two anticlockwise laps of the farm complex that starts off at the Three Rivers Campsite and at the end of the second lap finishes outside Three Rivers restaurant!
The surface is entirely run on both grass and trail paths, with the terrain very undulating in it’s design running down, across the hill, around millennium lake then finally back up the hill on this picturesque Rib valley course!!
Points to Note
- There is quite an awkward camber when you are running across the hill for approx 300 metres
- A few exposed tree stumps/roots on an opening section between 2 hedges of the course that was pointed out at the run briefings and the obstructions were spray painted white for the runners to avoid!
- Definitely a trail shoes course after prolonged periods of rain, that is currently not a problem though in these current arid weather conditions!
- Lovely touch the event supplied water to the finishers that was very welcome in this heat!
My time was 37:58 I was just happy to get round and tick off another event on my challenge!
There is free parking at Westmill Sat Nav SG12 0ES and toilets facilities are available before the start of the run!
For the post run coffee we retired to Three Lakes Restaurant a real treat with excellent food and stunning of the valley below!
Sorry I need to apologise to a group of runners I chatted to after the event at the restaurant who inevitably paid for my breakfast by mistake as I change tables half way through to be with my friends!
The restaurant say’s they will refund you the cost of my breakfast and I will pay the money I owe over the phone, sorry guys!
Other Facilities include
- Golf (par 3 course)
- Outdoor activities
- Art centre
- Garden centre
I would like to thank the lovely run director Sue Dougan and her team of volunteers for making me feel extremely welcome on the morning!
You may not be the biggest parkrun in terms of numbers of runners but you much up for this with a big heart and being a top community!
I hope you all have a brilliant official first birthday next week and I know you will celebrate with tons of cake, enjoy 🙂
So finally my fellow tourist if you like a tough cross-country style course with stunning views and tick another compass point off this specific parkrun challenge, then Westmill is definitely the place to visit!!
Mark aka Silent Runner
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