Friday, December 31, 2021

Parkrun Tourism Part 05 - 2021

All over the place. 2021.

This year added four more venues in the last five months of 2021 (showing location, date, my time and number of participants) bringing my total to 30 unique locations:

  • Workington
  • Crichton
  • Mole Valley
  • Morecambe Prom

Parkrun in the UK resumed on 24/07/2021 after lockdown eased and the parkrun team decided the criteria for resumption had been met. Many landowners were reluctant to give permission for the resumption of parkrun even with the government relaxation of the rules. The organisers had decided that a certain percentage of events had to get the go ahead to prevent overcrowding caused by migration of runners from events not yet re-opened. Not a popular decision with everyone but, in my view, the right thing to do.

Workington. 28/08/2021. 26:31 [36 / 114]

We went to Solfest music festival at North Lakes Country Park, Cumbria. 28/29-August-2021. It is a long time since I sat in a field listening to music.  Saturday morning, of course, we had to check out one of the nearest parkruns so went to Workington and ticked off another tourist venue.

A small friendly crowd, a simple out-and-back course and a very respectable time for me of 26:38.

Salento. 02/10/2021. 27:14 [16 / 49]

Not a new tourist venue to add to the tally but I have to mention this here as it was both my 100th run and their 100th event plus it was the weekend of the 17th anniversary of parkrun itself. Lots of cake! I have written more about this special event at Salento parkrun 100.

Curiously I have done Salento more times (29) than my original home parkrun of Tooting Common (28) or my current home parkrun of Penrith (19). 

Crichton. 23/10/2021. 27:55 [84 / 152]

Heading north to Scotland for a Galashan family event we decided to do a bit of parkrun touristing. Early start and stressful journey as we were predicted to only just get there at 8:50 and still had to find the parking, facilities, etc. Great relief when I suddenly remembered that parkrun starts at 9:30 in Scotland! 

Lovely setting,  convoluted course but loads of friendly marshals to ensure you don't get lost.

The only downside was that they got Mary's time wrong (three minutes too fast) but were not able to correct it.

Mole Valley. 06/11/2021. 29:38 [143 / 266]

Part of a road trip around southern England in November including a stay at Denbies Hotel from Wednesday to Saturday. After breakfast we only had to walk out the front door to get to the start line. For me it was my 29th different venue and my 103rd Parkrun.

It sounds lovely running round the vineyards but vineyards like slopes and the first 3km or so of the course is a long, steady uphill; I was reduced to something very close to walking. The second half is downhill, I picked up a bit of speed and came in under 30 minutes

The course starts with a quick loop of the start field then a long loop round the vineyard.

Morecambe Prom. 25/12/2021. 28:50 [97 / 113]

Christmas house and cat sitting for friends in Storth, just outside Milnethorpe, we had a choice of two Christmas day parkruns - Lancaster or Morecambe Prom, both about half an hour's drive . Mary decided the former looked a bit hilly so we went the the flat-as-a-pancake option. Boy was it windy and the wind-chill factor made for teeth-chattering temperatures. No parkrun signage as it would have blown away so we posed against the sea view - note how we are both standing on our coats to stop them being blown out to sea!

Nice of them to post a picture with me right in the centre: all black with Santa hat, red braces and a yellow Cow Cowl round my neck.

The course is out and back apart from the jetty which you only do on the way out. I passed the statue of Eric twice but I was so focussed on keeping moving that I missed him.

During the year I joined the FB group UK parkrun tourists open to those who have done 20 or more different venues. They do merchandising: I bought a Cow Cowl and for Christmas Santa brought me a Cow bobble hat! It is a kind of Masonic handshake for fellow tourists in the group to identify each other at parkrun.

Next year will kick off with New Year's Day at Rothay Park as we will be spending a week in our timeshare at Ambleside. Till next year.

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