Bicester

There are times when you are just privileged to run at such a lovely park in Langford Fields that is located in the beautiful quintessential English town of Bicester, Oxfordshire.

Langford Fields

The best thing about this park is its design that beautifully incorporates streams, ponds and meadow land, but at the same time it a functional park for people just relax and enjoy it was a sheer joy just to be there let alone run their parkrun!

Special Mentions

Always great to bump into fellow tourists with special mention to Dan Warner from Bognor Regis and Dave Warner RD at Oaklands parkrun 🙂

Big well done to Shelly Everett who selflessly volunteered as a tail walker on her 50th parkrun, you are what makes parkrun so special to me. I hope though you celebrated with cake afterwards 🙂

Shelly 50th parkrun

Course

Bicester summer course map

This was the first time this year they started using the summer course that consisted of two clockwise laps of Langford fields. The terrain was a mixture of grass, gravel and tarmac paths.

On the final lap you peel off and run onto the meadow field where the finish funnel awaits.

Points to note

  • After prolonged rain I can see a few grass sections getting very boggy
  • Position yourself where you think where you think you are going to finish in the event as there is little bit of bunching at the start, but to be fair soon dissipates
  • Always great to run a 2 lap course with in my case not having to worry about faster runners overtaking me multiple times.

Facilities

There is free parking facilities available at Langford Village Comunity primary school between 8:15am to 10:15am post code OX26 6SX

There are no toilet facilities availbe at the school or inside the park, the closest one available is at Claremont car park that is paid parking and is located 12 minutes away from the start of the parkrun post code OX26 6PB

I went with Dave and Dan to FLTR Coffee for our post run refreshments that is only stones though away from the school with free onsite parking available and they make a lovely cup of coffee to finish of a perfect morning!

FLTR Coffee

Final Verdict

A big thank you to today’s run director Kathryn Andrews and her team of volunteers for making us all feel extremely welcome, top stuff!

So, if you want to run on a beautiful parkrun course that is flat as it comes then Bicester is definitely the place to add onto your bucket list!

Finally, I have already picked the next event from my luck dip list and who knows it could be your event 😉

Best Mark aka Silent Runner

Corby

Well after over two years away it’s great to be finally back parkrun touring again and today, I am at West Glebe Park, Corby, Northamptonshire.

History

West Glebe Park has a very interest past was originally a vast quarry mining for iron stone and had a blast furnace on site to process the iron ore until 1916, then when the quarry flooded the local children used to swim in, finally it was used as a landfill site, grassed over and left to become derelict! Link here

I love to hear though about once disused pieces of land can be resurrected for the benefit of its local community in the shape of a new park with West Glebe Park being a fine example of this kind of transformation!

Kindred Spirits

One of my pleasures is always meeting new people and fellow avid parkrun tourists so today I met we met Alex Brown and as always, it’s great to run with my good buddy Martin Ball on my parkrun adventures 🙂

Course

Corby course map

This multi-terrain course comprises of at the start one tarmac footpath smaller lap and then follows two larger laps of the park that includes running across grass playing fields, woodland and tarmac sections.

Finally you almost finish the course where you started from just outside of the pavillion!

Points to note

  • The course is undulating in nature, but love the down run towards the finish, even though there is a very small incline at the end up to the finish line.
  • Even though I have been told that this course is quick drying there are a couple of places that they say can be tricky to navigate after a lot of rain!

Facilities

There is free parking at West Glebe park Sat Nav NN17 1SX this is slightly different postcode than the one stated their official parkrun course web page.

There are toilets available before the start at the pavilion and afterwards you can have a post run coffee from there as well 🙂

Pavilion

We asked one of the local patrons if there was a cafe nearby though where we could have a cooked breakfast and we were sent to the one called Boating Lake Cafe that was only half a mile away from the parkrun. A lovely breakfast and a very friendly service finished off a perfect tourist morning in Corby:)

Final Verdict

I would like to thank run director Matt Robey and his team of hi vis hero’s for doing a great job and being very encouraging to us all on the course, top stuff!

Corby Hi Vis Hero’s

So, if you are ever in area I can highly recommend this parkrun and its community to you all to visit, you have been told!

So finally, what is next for me I will carry on completing the 50th closest parkrun events not completed from my lucky dips list and be very happy in doing so 🙂

Best Mark aka Silent Runner

Other News

I would like to congratulate Kettering parkrun local neighbour of Corby on their 200th event run on Saturday and my good friend Vax Nix who has run every one of them, top stuff and happy anniversary!

Review 2021

In the toughest of years for everyone with this pandemic continuing into its second year it was great to rely on both running/walking for maintaining good physical & mental health for me throughout this past year!

Virtual challenges

So, the mainstay for me this year was completing two virtual challenges set by the website End to End.

First up was finishing off the 874 miles Lands End to John O’ Groats that I started on 18th August 2020 and the final 5k was run as a freedom parkrun at my beloved on event of Luton, Wardown on 10th June 2021.

Accompanied by my good friend Martin Ball we even had chance to have a game of crazy golf afterwards to finish off a lovely morning!

Straight away after completing his challenge I went headfirst into signing up for the South West Coast Path one that entailed a 630 mile route with this challenge completed on the 11th December just before Christmas!

Finally on virtual challenges front I have finished the year signed up for the much shorter famous 271 miles Trafalgar Way between Falmouth & London that I hope to finish by the spring of next year!

parkrun

One of the main highlights for me this year was the start-up of parkrun UK again after a long layoff due to the pandemic!

For me it has been a slow return to do the thing I love the most namely parkrun. It was great to cheer people on volunteering as a marshal and at Houghton Hall Juniors always fun being a tail walker, I even managed to run at an event at home!

A real pleasure of mine is meeting up with good parkrun tourist friends again in Christine Imbert and parkrun legend John Butcher (below right picture wearing grey running top) 90 years young on 2 separate occasions at Luton!

Finally on parkrun I would like to congratulate all my friends who have broken milestones and run PB’s throughout this shortened year!!!!

Love Luton 10km

In October on one of the bleakest wettest of autumn mornings with the clocks going back I run in the 10km race (also has a half marathon option) of the annual Love Luton event.

I know it is hard to beleave but it was such great fun running in the rain, people coming out of their houses to cheer us all along and it made me proud to be a Lutonian!

Conclusion

So, for me it’s been a very cautious year continuing running through this pandemic, but I do intend to do parkrun touring again in 2022 and who knows I could be writing a blog report about your home parkrun event.

And until then I wish you all a happy New Year and I look forward to seeing you all in some form in 2022 🙂

Stay Safe

Mark aka Silent Runner

VIRTUAL Challenge – lejog

So, in the strangest of times we are living through this pandemic like everyone else I was looking for a challenge that would keep me fit and motivated over a long period of time!

Virtual Challenge

I had already completed a virtual challenge of walking 100 km in a few months over the summer of 2020 for a local hospice charity that was great, but I needed something more, so to my joy I saw a Facebook post inviting me to complete a virtual challenge of run/walking between Lands End to John O’ Groats (LEJOG) 874 miles.

This challenge is run by End to End formed by husband & wife team of Tori & Nathan that decide with the UK locking down in March 2020 they wanted to keep people motivated via virtual challenges.

So in May 2020 they came up with their first challenge LEJOG and the rest is history.

You can read their full story here

Virtual challenge rules

  • Have up to one year to complete this challenge from the start date of your LEJOG group (in my case it was group 4 with a start date of 17th August 2020)
  • You can either run or walk or both on this challenge
  • Upload daily combined total miles completed data up to a interactive virtual map page

Benefits

  • See where you are on your virtual LEJOG map
  • Milestone post cards given along the route
  • Medal & T-shirt given out to everyone who completes they challenge ( I decided to donate planting a tree as a different option to the T-shirt)
  • Brilliant supportive Facebook community

Have Fun

It would have been so easy just walk or run repeatably the same routes, but for me I needed to make my journey fun, and this included:

Synchronised Not parkrun

With a friend, I was in Stopsley, Luton and he was in Harlington, Bedfordshire. We both started at 10am, run a 5km local not parkrun course of our choosing and took pictures along the way as proof.

Finally, we had a good chinwag at the end of our adventure and shared our routes together via Strava 🙂

Strava Art

Always a bit of fun trying to draw GPS line drawing of say an animal on your run/walk! Think on this 5km I may have managed to draw a dragon 🙂

Beautiful Countryside

I am so lucky to have some beautiful countryside to walk/run in the form of the Chiltern hills and surrounding public footpaths of South Bedfordshire, I feel truly blessed 🙂

Final day

So where was I going to run the final 5km of my LEJOG challenge? Simple run my local parkrun of Luton, Wardown with my very good friend Martin of course!

It was great to finish at a parkrun event that is very close to my heart and is one of the loveliest communities you could ever wish to meet, I could be biased, but I don’t care 🙂

Be very rude not to after my final 5KM run we had to have a go at our parks new 18 hole mini golf course 🙂

Personal Stats

  • Average daily mileage 2.93
  • Not parkruns 114
  • Longest single distance 10.37 miles
  • Day’s to complete 298 from 17th August 2020 – 10th June 2021

Conclusion

Thank you Tori & Nathan from the bottom of my heart for this much needed challenge that has been a massive boost to my mental & physical wellbeing over the last 10 months 🙂

Good luck to everyone on their current virtual challenges and for me I will be trying to complete 1000 miles in total by the end of my year long LEJOG and in doing so personally donate £100 to my favourite local charity!

Finally, I have only gone and done it just sign up to their 630 miles South West Coast Path challenge 🙂

Happy virtual run/walking everyone,

Best Mark aka Silent Runner

Update 16-08-2021

On the final day of this challenge I have completed a grand total of 1,144.71 miles and will be donating a good personal sum of money to a couple of charities that are close to my heart!

Dedication

I am dedicating this challenge in the memory of my Uncle Dermott who sadly passed away on the 1st August this year.

RIP Uncle Dermott

Review 2020

What a year it has been for the world, one to forget with the pandemic effecting how we live & socialise, but there have been a few running positives in this bleakest of years!!!

parkrun

Volunteer Milestone

The year started off so well at Wardown Juniors where I was celebrating my 100th parkrun volunteering day.

So as the run director I decided it would be a purple takeover event, promoting hi-vis volunteering heroes that without them parkrun could never take place each week!

There was cake and sweets afterwards with everyone having a great time on the first junior parkrun of the year 🙂

250th Celebration

Always good to help celebrate Vicky Hamblin a very good parkrun tourist friend on her 250th parkrun event held at Alice Holt a tough, but beautiful course!

Well done Vicky! I look forward to meeting you and the rest of the Basingstoke crew again in the future!

Lockdown

So on the 23rd March we all entered a national lockdown in the UK, even though I was lucky in a lot of respects, the loss of parkrun, club coaching especially on our annual club beginners course, did help to have an negative effect on my mental wellbeing for a while during this time 😦

But on the 12th May I took my first steps outside since March with a 1.6 mile walk and it felt brilliant!

Couch to 5K

So how was I going to get fit again after such a long period of running inactivity, take the NHS Couch to 5K programme of course that has inspired so many people into taking up running!

This was one of the best things that I could do for my sole, a structured programme that supports you through 9 weeks with a coached audio files for each session supplied by an accompanying phone app!

I feel this course is brilliant way of introducing non runners into our world and I loved it so much some I wrote a post about my experiences on my journey back to fitness! link here

Virtual Challenges

I still needed something extra to keep me motivated during lockdown with no club meets, parkrun or races almost non existent, I stumbled upon virtual run/walk challenges to sign up for that were a life saver!

Keech Hospice – Summer Challenge (completed)

First up was a summer challenge for my favourite local charity Keech Hospice Care where I set a target of 100 km walking that I started on the 3rd July and finished on the 20th August. I completed this in between each session of my Couch to 5K.

Land End to John O’ Groats 17th August – current

Love this challenge it entails that you have a year to complete a virtual mapped route from Lands End to John O’ Groats from End to End run website that total distance is 874 miles.

You can either run/walk or do both on this challenge and all you have to do is upload your daily total to their interactive website with accompanying photo image of your recorded distance!

As of this moment I am just reached over the halfway point and love the community support from their associated Facebook group 🙂

Conclusion

So in summing up I never really knew how important running was in my life as it took a global pandemic for me to see with the freedom running gives you that I had sadly taken for granted over the years!!

Finally lets hope 2021 is a year that will allow us all to run together again and make new memories 🙂

Stay safe everyone,

Mark aka Silent Runner

Couch to 5K+

After recently graduating from the excellent NHS Couch to 5K programme c25k, I decided to give their own graduates Couch to 5k+ podcasts a go.

They are designed to improve your technique, speed and stamina over 3 distinct podcasts!

Structure

The 3 distinct areas in this series are stepping stones, speed and stamina that includes the usual 5 mins of warm up and cool down walks!

Each podcast has Laura as your coach there to support you and each set has specially designed music for you to be able to run to different speeds associated to the beats of music per minute that in turn replicates your running strides!

As the say “The music has a beat to match and drive your stride when you run to increase your performance and make your running easier.”

Stepping Stones

The aim of stepping stones is to run continuously for 30 minutes and you are instructed to run at ever higher beats per minute (bpm) over 3 time sections!

Set

  • Warm up walk 5 mins
  • Continuous running for 30 mins starting off with 150 through to 160 bmp for the last 5 mins
  • Cool down walk 5 mins

Duration 40 mins

Speed

The purpose of this set is to enable you to improve your overall speed by running at alternative slower and faster interval paces over 16 mins!

Set

  • Walk 5 mins warm up
  • Run 5 mins at 155 bpm
  • Interval running of 1 minutes at fast 165 and slow 150 bpm x 6 sets
  • Walk 5 mins cool down

Duration 24 mins

Stamina

This is a simple continuous 35 minute run to music to allow you to be able to run at a faster pace for longer!

Set

  • Warm up walk 5 mins
  • Run 3 x 10 min sections starting with first at 158 bpm and then 2 x 160 bpm
  • Final 5 minutes of running is at 165 bpm
  • Cool down walk 5 mins

Duration 45 mins

Conclusion

These Couch to 5K+ podcasts successfully help bridge the gap for graduates of the C25K programme wishing to improve their running technique/pace in a very supportive way to specially designed music!

Finally on a personal level, I would like to thank everyone involved in this c25k programme in helping me get my running fitness back through this period of lockdown, top work guy’s!!

Best

Mark

Couch to 5K – review

Introduction

During lockdown after 2 month’s of worrying about Covid 19 and no physical exercise, I decided to take control of my life again for my own heath and mental wellbeing!

So I decided instead of just starting to run again, try out the NHS Couch to 5k exercise programme and write a review of what I found.

C25K

Background

The course originally created by Josh Clark is designed for complete beginners to running and helps them over a 9 week programme that’s aim is to build up your stamina/fitness to be able to run continuously for 30 minutes without stopping!

Programme

The course is split up into 3 runs per week over a period of 9 weeks with every run starting with a 5 min warm up and finishing with a 5 min cool down walk.

Breakdown

Weeks 1 to 4 – You complete multiple run/walk combinations over each run and by week 4 your are running more than you are walking!

Weeks 5 to 6 – Each weeks runs have a different set of combinations, run 1-2 have differing run/walk time durations, while the final run of each week is run for a continuously for a period of time.

Weeks 7-9 – Very simple you are just continuously running between warmup and cool down walks. On the final week 9 you are invited to run 30 mins without stopping per run!

Support

This programme is supported by a smartphone app that can be downloaded from Apple’s iTunes and Android Google Play respective app stores or if you prefer you can just download the podcasts to be used by your mp3 player. I do recommend using if you can run with either the app or podcasts, why?

  • The app and podcast coach instructs you when to run and walk
  • On the app you can play your own motivational music playlist while on each run and the C25K app’s coach will only cut in to give you more instructions!
  • Great fun on the app you can choose who you want your personal coach for this programme 🙂

Tips

  • Before I started this programme I walked daily for a few weeks to build up my general fitness & strength
    • Allowing for social distancing try to run away from busy roads
  • Mix up your runs by taking different routes if at all possible
  • I would recommend a pair of bluetooth earbuds to pair up with your smartphone
  • Most important invest in a good pair of running shoes

Personal view

I found the c25k programme an excellent in regaining my running fitness, supported by the app helped motivate me to succeed!

I will admit though my running club beginners course 12 week schedule to be much more gentle in its run progression, but you still run for 30 mins at the end of week 12.  

Conclusion

So I would highly recommend the couch to 5K programme to anyone wishing to start on their running journey, you have all been told 🙂

So what next for me I will try out the follow up NHS Couch to 5K+ podcasts and I have signed up for the virtual run/walk Lands End to John O’ Groats that entails you have a year to complete the 874 miles distance, I will use this to keep my fitness up over the next year 🙂

So happy running everyone 🙂

Stay safe

Mark aka Silent Runner

Alice Holt

My first parkrun of a new decade took me to the beautiful location of Alice Holt Forest, located at Bucks Horn Oak, Farnham, Hampshire

Alice Holt Forest – History

The history of this royal forest goes back to the 18th and 19th centuries where it was then an oak forest that’s wood was used in building the ships for the Royal Navy. In much more recent times though the oak forest has now been replaced by conifer trees and ownership of the land as of 1924 been passed over to Forestry Commission.

So as of today, the forest covers 350 acres of land and caters for nearly 300,000 visitors a year who can enjoy many of the activities the park has to offer!

Double celebration

The purpose of my visit to Alice Holt was to help very good tourist friend Vicky Hamblin celebrate her 250th milestone parkrun and this turned into a double celebration when she teamed up with friend John Whitehall who was running his 250 as well.

Brilliant achievement guy’s and John it was all my pleasure to have a chat with you afterwards sir!

Course

Alice Hill course map

The course consists of two clockwise undulating laps of differing lengths around the park’s beautiful forest with the running surface being made up from a mixture of cycle paths to forest trails.

Points to note

  • Strange my Garmin watch recorded a distance of 3.26 miles on this course
  • Think you can get away with just running trainers here
  • After prolong rain there were a few mud patches in places
  • This course is very well marshalled and signposted, so there should be no fear of getting lost
  • Finally, on the second lap only if you dare can test your hill fitness on their infamous named Dragons Hill climb 🙂

For me it was just completing the course after a 3-month layoff from running 5KM distance with the added bonus I went round with my very good friend Carl. Time 48:14

Me, Carl & Gruffalo

Facilities

There is paid parking available near to the start that has a concession tariff of £2 to park-runners as long as you leave before 10:30am, Sat Nav GU10 4LS. Always a welcome bonus are the toilet facilities are open from 8am at the park’s visitor centre.

Alice Holt entrance

After the run we all retired to the parks cafe for tucking into the well-earned celebration cakes and nibbles on offer, for the record loved the lemon drizzle cake 🙂

Also point to note that the cafe gives a 10% discount off your bill if you present your barcode at the till, nice touch!

There are loads of activities Alice Holt Forest has for you to stay longer if you have the time and they include:

  • 4 walking trails
  • 2 cycling trails
  • Go Ape
  • Play areas
  • Gruffalo sculptures
  • Nordic Walking
  • Picnic area
  • Fishing

Final Verdict

I would like to thank this week’s run director Charles Brake and his team of volunteers for making us all feel extremely welcome. Top work guys!

Alice Holt volunteers

So, if you are looking for a tough, but rewarding parkrun through a beautiful forest then Alice Holt has to be high on your tourist to do list, you have been told!

Finally, for me it was a real pleasure to meet up with my very good tourist friends from Basingstoke again, chat about our latest parkrun adventures and discuss our future plans.

Basingstoke Friends

I simply love these celebration meet ups 🙂

Best

Mark aka Silent

Review 2019

After a hectic time last few years completing two big parkrun tourist challenges it was always going to be quiet 2019 in comparison, a year of reflection and a recharging of the metaphorical batteries!

Races

I run in two races in 2019 with first up back in February was the Hillingdon 10KM and then Rocket 5KM in May that is part of a festival of running at Milton Keynes!

For me though I will remember with great happiness the London/Luton airport runway charity run in June on the longest day of the year and it was a beautiful sight seeing the sunrise as we run on an out and back course on the runway.

Finally on this matter the inner child in me I had to do plane arms out running towards to the finish line with my friends 🙂

Coaching

We had another successful year on our annual Stopsley Striders beginners course with this year I co-coached this time Gill on group 5 that culminated with a graduation parkrun in July at Luton, Wardown.

I would like to take this opportunity in thanking Gill and all the volunteer helpers that made it easy to support this years beginners and at the same bringing fun to each session!

Parkrun – year

New challenges

It is always good to set yourself new challenges to keep things fresh and this year I set two long term ones:

Lucky dip touring – I set a list of 50 of the closest parkrun events to me that I have yet to run as of the 9th March. Then I choose a random raffle ticket out of a bag and that will be my next event to attend, it is a great fun not knowing when you are going from week to week 🙂

Here is my list of lucky dip events – click here

National Trust parkuns – I was so in awe of the beauty of parkrun events held on National Trust land after attending both Yeovil & Wimpole Estate I decided to run the 29 events held in the UK at the same time become a member of this very noble charity!

Here is my list of National Trust events – click here

Parkrun milestones

One pleasure of mine is help celebrate with very good parkrun friends running at their milestone events with 2019 being a bumper year

500 ClubCarl Heaps running this magnificent milestone at his home parkrun at Basingstoke.

IMG_0460

250 Club – The lovely Christine Imbert joined this club at the stunning chosen location of Wimpole Estate back in September.

christine-cake-cutting.jpg

100 Club – Very good parkrun friends in Alexis Weedon, Julie Tysoe and Jen Avis all celebrating this excellent milestones at my home parkrun of Luton, Wardown.

For the record Jen also doubled up on the day with 100 days of volunteering, brilliant effort Jen!

Cowell Club

The Cowell club refers to parkrun tourists who have run at least 100 different parkrun events and Chris Cowell was the first person to achieve this brilliant total!

Ken Thomas reached this on a tough winters day at Westmill in March and Scott Clarke son’s Joseph & Samuel both reached this at Dunstable Downs back in May. Finally last up this year was Mark Brady at one of my favourite London locations of Richmond in November.

Special Mentions

Yeovil Montacute parkrun who celebrated their 6th birthday with Pirates in Mens Pants  theme with loads of  wonderfully dressed pirates ready to take on their beautiful Montacute House single lap course!

Bethlem Royal Hospital is the first NHS trust hospital in the UK to allow parkrun to start an event up in their own extensive parkland and in doing so promote the benefits of running on one’s mental health.

What a wonderful idea and this trust should be applauded for their enlighten thinking!

Rory Marriott super parkrun volunteer with 589 volunteers as of writing in June, parkrun ambassador and current home event is Felixstowe parkrun where I met him.

Rory Marriott

Outstanding achievement sir and you are a true credit to us all who adore parkrun!

Evelyn Lutterodt who completed 1000 consecutive days of running back in August with runs ranging from 1 mile to full marathons, also included in these these days was a large number of parkruns throughout the year.

Evelyn Lutterodt

Wow Evelyn you are amazing in what you have achieved and did you say you are now going for 2000 days!

Last but definitely not least very good tourist friend Wai Meng who invited me to visit to her at Leavesden Juniors. Luckily on the day I decided to visit when she was celebrating 100 days of parkrun volunteering at Leavesden and the cake she brought along was delicious 🙂

Memory Lane

I took my mum back to Friary Park, London 45+ years after she last took me there back in the 1970’s in my childhood visiting family. In many ways the park had not changed much and holds lovely memories of childhood past!

For the record I volunteered as a marshal at their Friary Park Juniors parkrun and we retired afterwards to the bowing club for a well earned cuppa and a chat about everything parkrun!

Finally sorry to every parkrun event and person that I have not mentioned on my parkrun adventures this year, but I can say without any doubt you all have been brilliant and I loved running on all of these different types of courses!

Remembered

This year we said a very sad farewell to local runner Martin Cowley, one of the loveliest human beings that you would ever want to meet in your life.

Martin Cowley

RIP Sir

Conclusion

For a relatively quite year I have still packed in a lot of memories that I will remember with great fondness when I look back 🙂

So what next for me is on the 5th January I will be celebrating my 100th separate day of parkrun volunteering at Wardown Juniors where I will be the run director and trust me there will be plenty of cakes and sweets to enjoy 🙂

So finally whatever your running goals are in 2020 be happy and have fun 🙂

99th celebration with ice cream

Best

Mark aka Silent Runner

Wardown Juniors

This report is very personal to me as I was lucky to be there right at the beginning when this parkrun event was just an idea!

For me when my dad and best friend sadly passed away in February 2018 I needed something positive in my life to concentrate on and to my shear joy a Facebook post appeared asking for interested parties to create a core team for a new junior parkrun to be held at Wardown Park, Luton!

So on the 8th April 2018 after a Houghton Hall Juniors parkrun event, we had our first meeting as a core team and the rest was history!

Events Development

I have acquired a new level of respect for parkrun events starting up and the hard work that goes into the process from idea to inaugural event. We were lucky at Wardown as the funding was already in place that was a great start!

So with expert guidance from Tam our parkrun ambassador and Rick our event director we took to the task of creating Wardown Juniors!

Prerequisites for any core team that needs to completed before your event is ready to start are:

  • Every core team member has to volunteer in all the key roles of a parkrun event including timekeeping, barcode scanning etc
  • Walk round and set up of new course
  • Core team take over day at a local event that in our case was our sister event at Houghton Hall Juniors
  • Test event to make sure everything is working OK

Once all of these stages were completed the date of 1st July 2018 was set as our inaugural event.

What a beautiful hot Sunday morning it was too with 79 junior runners and 27 volunteers, expertly managed by our run director the lovely Lisa, it was a very happy day that will last long in the memory!

wardown-junior-parkrun_28265063197_Junior Parkrun - Wardown event one - 01-07-2018 - 0177

My Reputation

Have to smile I have a unique gift that on a majority of my run directing days it rains, which has not been lost our the local community. Even on the hottest summer of 2018 on record it rained on my first stint as RD. So now everyone looks at the roster to see when I am next on and they bring a brolly just in case 🙂

Course

Wardown Juniors course map

The course is just over 2 clockwise laps that start at Wardown Lake boathouse. The course is run entirely on tarmac footpaths and is relatively flat in elevation! Overall this is a fast course for a Junior to get a personal best on!

Facilities

There is free parking available inside the park with a 40 spaces next to Wardown museum, Sat Nav LU2 7HA. There are public toilet facilities near the children’s play area that are generally open before 9am!

For the Post run coffee the Wardown Museum cafe is open from 10am if you are still in the park and please do have a look around the museum itself as it is great fun as well as being educational 🙂

IMG_3035

Conclusion

I would like to thank all the members of the core team past and present for allowing me to be part of this top team! To the event directors Rick & Karen keep up the excellent work and all the best to our new RD’s in Claire, Debbie and Michelle, you are all going to do a brilliant job!

DSC05676-2

So if you are looking for a parkrun that is set in a beautiful green flag park, has a top friendly community, then Wardown juniors is a must attend event to visit 🙂

Finally for me I am looking forward to the 5th January 2020 where at Wardown juniors I will run directing and celebrating my 100th separate days of parkrun volunteering and there will be cake 🙂

Best

Mark aka Silent Runner

running blog for everyone