I’d normally start Saturday with my local Parkrun, but this week it was cancelled to make way for a county cross country event.
So I took the opportunity to be a Parkrun tourist and give the Forest of Dean event a go instead.
Smaller than Cheltenham, with an average attendance of only 50 runners (there were 87 today), the start was tucked away in the trees. The route is a zig-zagging, switch-backing, in and out with the outer first lap being quite straightforward and the inner second lap having huge potential for confusion. However the route marking is superb, there has been some investment over the 3.5 years the event has been running and permanent direction posts have been fitted as well as distance markers. The 5km is all trail, mostly hard packed earth and stone but some muddy sections and tight corners to slow you down.
Despite the mud, not knowing the route and any other excuse I can think of I was quite happy with my time. A great start to Saturday.
How do you follow a good run in the woods? By taking the bike out for a spin obviously!
As we were going down there anyway, and I currently have a van for work, it just seemed the obvious thing to do. So we’d loaded up ready for our Saturday duathlon.
The trails in the Forest of Dean are brilliant, especially the Verderer’s trail, so we fuelled up on post run/pre ride tea and cake and headed out.
The trails have definitely lost that summer shine now. Where there was hard lines and dust it’s now soft mud and puddles, but I was prepared.
I love riding in these conditions, when the tyres stick exactly where you point them and the mud coats every surface.
Just as we finished a great ride the heavens opened and the cafe started to get busy, signalling it was time for lunch and the end of morning well done!
Thanks Saturday, let’s do it again some time.