I love doing a bit of parkrun tourism. It is fascinating going to different places to see how they do their parkruns and to experience so many of the beautiful places in which these runs take place.
My home parkrun in Cambridge was taking a short break for a couple of weeks so that Milton Country Park could do some work on the paths. Richard and I discussed the alternatives and decided to go slightly further afield to try out one that we’d never been to before.
The Bury St Edmunds parkrun is held in a beautiful park full of fine mature trees and splendidly springy grass to run upon.
The run has a wide start so that no one is far from the start line even with the 259 runners there were today. We set off like a charging barbarian horde going uphill across the grass. There is much shuffling for position but as we turn the corner to run back downhill, everyone is beginning to spread out a little.
We curved around to the right keeping the trees on our right hand side and then back down another slope eventually arriving at a large clump of trees and a narrow path through the middle. This is very welcome for the shade the leaf cover gives us from the sun but it is a bit of a bottleneck and we must tread carefully to avoid the many tree roots strewn across our path. Having survived the deadly obstacles we emerged back into the sun to skirt around the enclosed football courts and then up the hill back to the start so that we can begin our second lap.
I’m hurting quite a bit now from the ankle injury and reckon that I’m beginning to slow a little. I huff and puff a little up the hill. Richard is running at the side of me and I reckon he’s a little bit alarmed by the noises I’m making. He suggests that maybe I could slow down if I wish. We turn to go down the hill and my breathing eases a little but as we turn right I’m hurting again and I can tell that my speed has dropped,, as people are beginning to go past. I’m trying to ignore the pain from my ankle and just keep my legs turning over. It’s damn hot and sweat is running into my eyes causing them to sting. The trees are a welcome relief but as we run through this section Richard trips on a tree root and goes down onto the floor. Fortunately he manages to put his hands out and roll so doesn’t get hurt too badly. He gets up and we carry on.
We burst out from the trees again and curve around the fenced football pitches. I put on an extra bit of speed up the hill and am incredibly relieved to see the finish funnel this time and take my token.
This was a lovely course and it must be delightful to see how it changes with the seasons. I should imagine parts of it become fantastically muddy during the winter months. Of course that kind of weather was a long way away today and both Richard and I suffered from the heat and the humidity of that glorious summer Saturday morning. We grabbed a couple of cold drinks from the shop and made our way back to the car. We both really enjoyed our visit to Bury St Edmunds parkun and thank all the volunteers for making it happen and helping to give us such a fine running experience.
I got a time of 27:03 which wasn’t amazing but I was reasonably happy with it.