Tag Archives: running

Event 75 Woodley

On a very cold wet winters day it was all about a significant personal milestone and a fond farewell for one local park runner at Woodley, Berkshire!

So Woodley is the largest suburb of Reading and it’s name is derived from old English term meaning “a clearing in the woods” with today’s parkrun situated at Woodford park that is the largest park in Woodley!

 

It is great to see how many different elements of Woodford park just worked from a beautifully kept War Memorial for the brave soldiers who lost their lives to a lake to walk around and leisure centre including playing fields at the other side of the park. A true great use of available space for the local community, top stuff!!!

parkrun Milestone

I have now completed 75 different parkrun events over a period just over year and a half in taking parkrun tourism seriously, so now well on my way of reaching my 100th target at Houghton Hall parkrun on the 8th September!

Woodley 75 parkrun celebration

For the record I am aiming to join the unofficial parkrun group of Cowell club members that is named after Chris Cowell who was the first person to complete this impressive 100 parkrun total.

I was lucky to meet the great man himself at Heartwood Forest parkrun and what gentlemen he was to talk with about his adventures!!!!

Me with Chris Cowell
With Chris Cowell

Farewell

For Simon Goodall who run with is guide Andy Loring his last parkrun at Woodley this weekend as he is moving home to Hatfield, Hertfordshire. Must feel strange as parkrun is more than a 5k run every Saturday morning it’s where you meet your friends, share stories and feel part of a wonderful community of likeminded people!

Simon Goodall last woodley parkrun

Each week on my travels I get that little bit more homesick for Luton, Wardown with Pete’s corner, chatting with friends and having coffee at our lovely cricket club!

Rest assured though Simon Ellenbrook Fields parkrun community are a great bunch people as I can testify from a recent visit ūüôā

Course

Woodley course map

Woodley consists of 3 clockwise laps of the perimeter of Woodford park that is mainly run on tarmac paths, but there are grass sections around the playing fields and the short turn onto the grass to run into the finish!

 

Points to note

  • There is no real elevation to this course, just minor undulations up to the war memorial and the playing fields sections respectfully!
  • With over 400 runners at this event it did become quite congested at the start, so I would recommend place yourself in the queue where you think you are going to finish the run in relation to time!
  • As shown the grass sections were very muddy but if you run at the sides of the path you could still find firm footing though!

Not sure what happened with this weeks time 37:02 two minutes slower than last event, can only think that taking it steadily on the grass sections in the rain!

Facilities

There is paid parking at Headley road opposite the park with charges upto £2 for 4 hours Sat Nav RG5 4JA

I have been told that toilets are available inside the Oakwood centre from 8:30am that is always good to hear!

For the post run coffee we retired to the lovely Brown Bag cafe that is situated inside the Oakwood centre for a well deserve hot beverage on this coldest of days!

Oakwood centre

Facilities included

Final Verdict

I would like to thank run director Samantha Whalley and her team of volunteers for making us feel welcome on a bitterly cold day! Special mention to fellow uber parkrun tourist Jenny Mulhearn, it was great meeting you and sharing our tourist stories together!

Woodley volunteer group shot

So if you are looking for a interesting multi terrain 3 lapper and want to meet a friendly parkrun community then Woodley is a must on your travels!

Best

Mark aka Silent Runner

Event 76 Billericay 10-02-2018

Event 69 Nonsuch

Where to start on this blog post, the beautiful Nonsuch park and mansion steeped in history, my milestone of completing all 58 parkruns inside the M25 area, no quite simple on this occasion the lost of a friend and a parkrun tourist brethern!

Mark Sherwood – A tourist friend

Mark Sherwood RIP

I have been so lucky to meet so many lovely people on my parkrun adventures and Mark was up their with the best of them, what I knew of him was a kind unassuming man that let his running do the talking!!!

My happiest memory of Mark was at Vicky’s 100th event celebration at Cassiobury parkrun, where Mark was running his 99th parkrun and with great fun he went and gave us all a Cadburys 99 ice cream to celebrate his feat, top gesture from a top man!

99 ice cream celebration

He has only just completed his 100th different UK parkrun event that is my current goal and I will be now dedicating this challenge under Mark’s name!

RIP Mark

Nonsuch history

It is great to come to Nonsuch park with such a rich history that started in 1538 when then King Henry VIII built the splendid¬†Nonsuch palace with the name came from the boast this palace was,¬†“none such place like it” in Europe!

It survived until 1682 where it was demolished by Charles II then mistress Barbara, Countess of Castlemaine who decided to raise the palace to the ground and use the building material to pay off gambling debts!

Today their are markers in the park to show where the palace once stood and the Friends of Nonsuch have commissioned a beautiful recreated model of what the palace once looked like in all it’s splendour and is available to view by the general public at the Nonsuch mansion house!

Initiative

First for me on my parkrun travels Nonsuch parkrun have introduced at their event the Nonsuch 5K+ that is all about how to improve as a runner, it starts at 8:30am before the parkrun. This week we had a lecture expertly delivered by Tim Jones on nutrition. I love these initiatives especially as in being a running coach!!!

nonsuch 5k+

Course

Nonsuch course map

The course is just under 2 clockwise flat laps of Nonsuch park that is made up of a mixture of surfaces from tarmac to grass surfaces!

Course Grass Nonsuch

Points to note

  • The grass surface in wet or icy conditions should be run with a degree of care
  • There is little or no elevation making it again in the right conditions when the ground is firm for a very fast course!

I decided to run the course steady and gather my thoughts, I would like to thank Angela Sandy Ambrose for allowing me to join her excellent one minute walk/run group! I had to finish my final parkrun inside the M25 by crossing the finish line with my very good parkrun friend Robert Kidd, time 47:40

Robert have a great christmas and enjoy your 250 parkrun celebrations in the new year mate!!!

Me and Robert Nonsuch

Facilities

There is free car parking area’s dotted around the park and toilet facilities are available at Nonsuch mansion before the start of the parkrun that is always great news!

For the obligatory post run coffee we retired to the Nonsuch Pantry café that was very welcome sight on the coldest of morning runs!

Also I would throughly recommend walking around the gardens at Nonsuch mansion especially in summer and take a look around Service Wing Museum and Nonsuch Palace Gallery if you have time!

Final verdict

I would like to thank the run director Jane Bransgrove and her team for making everyone feel at home, I love the way the event was organised given the size of the field with over 400 runners, top marks guys!!!

Nonsuch volunteers

So if you want to run a fast parkrun time in a beautiful park steeped in history then Nonsuch park is the event for you and in my case a great location to finish running all the parkruns inside the M25!

Thank you Nonsuch

Best

Mark

Extra News

Back at my home parkrun of Luton, Wardown it is my great pleasure to announce two very good friends reached their respective 100 parkrun club this weekend, Geoffrey White and Philip Davies!

Geoffery & Philip Davies

For the record Geoffrey in orange is one of the parkrun legends at Luton and has the honour of being fastest man with a walking stick reaching speeds/times some runners would envy!

Now in Philip case is a fellow Stopsley Strider club member with a bright future, just last month he broke the magical parkrun barrier of sub 20 mins, brilliant effort sir!!!!
See you all over the festive holiday Luton!

Event 70-71 MK double new year header