I was visiting my parents over the Easter weekend, and we ventured down to Netley Abbey, which is just south of Southampton. There was quite a gang of us: me, my mum Jane, brother Peter, friend Vicky, and her friend Claire.
I was really impressed with the course. It’s 3 laps, with a really pretty section where you drop down to the sea and run along the seafront, and a section where you head up through some bluebell woods (which will be much more flowery in a few weeks time). In winter the course is set up so it’s entirely on tarmac and gravelly paths, and in the summer I think they replace the seafront section with a grassy loop round the Royal Victoria Hospital chapel.
The route loops back on itself several times so people are running in different directions on the same paths. This is great for keeping a track of where your friends are. I could see that Vicky was super-fast and second of the women, and that Peter was getting increasingly anxious that he might be overtaken by a 10-year old girl. I personally spent much of the run alongside (and in awe of) a woman pushing a double buggy.
The course is not a quick one, but certainly one of my favourites so far. I finished up in 27.22, and Vicky got a very impressive PB of 20.28. I’d have thought sub-20 is within reach on a flatter and less windy course… (Results up here: Netley Abbey 26th March)
I’m running a different parkrun each week through 2016 to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Please take a look at my JustGiving page if you’re able to help out with sponsorship.