Coming from the pancake flat parkrunning environs of Pittville Park, Cheltenham, it’s always a shock to be running up hills on a Saturday morning…and Brockenhurst, you’ve got hills!
When a planned weekend abroad fell through I looked for an alternative, and key to my decision making was being able to do a parkrun (I’m on the hunt for my 50th by March!) Waking in the New Forest on Saturday morning to raking winds stripping the trees outside the hostel window, I took to social media to check the forest parkrun would still be on… With worrying course updates coming in from across the country they are obviously made of sterner stuff in Hampshire, there was never any doubt in Brockenhurst, my 45th parkrun was on!
The course was a single lap which made a nice change, through Wilverley Enclosure (the winter course and conveniently much closer to the hostel than the summer venue!) We were met with the usual friendly crowd of runners, and got a warm welcome as tourists. With minimal fuss (the joys of just 82 runners not 382!) we were sent on our way for a slightly damp, slightly chilly 5k.
The course starts fast thanks to a lengthy downhill, with the local wild ponies paying us no attention as we streamed by. We were promised hills and the course didn’t disappoint. There were some steep climbs to wrestle with but it felt like a good balance between the hard work uphill and the reward of an easy descent on the other side. Although a one lapper there was an out-and-back section that allowed you to cheer and be cheered by fellow runners, which is always welcome. The final hill was a struggle, but there was a great reception waiting at the finish.
A quick look at the results reveal I finished in just over 28 minutes, which considering the activities of the weekend and stopping for photos wasn’t too bad. More importantly there were 10 PBs on the day (well done all!) and maybe more importantly still there were 13 new parkrunners doing their first ever event. Here’s hoping they will be back soon, I know I’m planning to be one day!
I need to check out some more parkruns this year…I fancy becoming a parkrun tourist! Good luck on your quest for 50, I’m hoping to tick off a large chunk of parkruns towards that goal in 2015 but you’re much closer than I am!
I love touring, and the parkrun family guarantees a warm reception anywhere you go! I always drop them a line via Facebook to say I’m coming and offer to do the run report for them 🙂
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