For those not in the know, the parkrun movement started just over 10 years ago with a small time trial event at Bushy Park. It’s now parkrun’s biggest event, with around 1,000 runners and 50 volunteers each week. Many of whom (like me) are on a parkrun pilgrimage to see where it all began.
I can’t tell you what Bushy Park looks like as it was really very misty. I could swear that it was bright and sunny when I set off from North London (but am really not a morning person, so may have just been too bleary-eyed to notice). Walking through the park on the way to the start though, it was very definitely very misty.
With 1,000 people, I was surprised not to be held up at any point in the race. There’s lots of space, and the start in particular is very wide, allowing everyone to settle at the right pace before the path narrows. The course is an easy one – a flat, single lap, on a mixture of tarmac and firm grass and dirt paths.
The top three things for me were:
- Deer 🙂 Signs in the park warned you against going ‘within 50 metres’ of a deer, but they were right up on the edge of the path, completely un-fazed by the hundreds of runners coming past.
- So many people! This is a really big event – lots of people and lots of enthusiasm about parkrun.
- Being cheered on by Paul Sinton-Hewitt (parkrun founder and celebrity) who was encouraging runners through the last few hundred metres, having just finished the course himself.
And I’m sure there are lots of other really great things about the park which I missed through the mist.*
I was really pleased with a new ‘best time of 2016’, finishing in 24.45 (see results). And it was great to meet fellow parkrun tourist Chris for some tea and cake after the run.
Many thanks to (all 52 of) the volunteers this week. I particularly appreciated the ‘puddle marshal’ who was warning runners of puddles ahead!
Please check out my JustGiving page if you’re able to help me raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
*To anyone who’s run Bushy on a sunnier day. What are your favourite things about the park? What did I miss through the mist?