Sutton parkrun – take two

Saturday morning so how about a parkrun ? My training schedule says twelve miles for today but a parkrun is only 3.1. A bit of maths reveals that I’ll have to walk a further nine miles at some point today.

At 06:13, I left the car and proceeded to Sutton Park for a circuit of said park BEFORE parkrun at nine. It was still dark as I activated the head torch and set off the short distance from where I’d parked the car to the Banners Gate entrance to the park.

Previous research said that the park gates were closed between dusk and around 07:30, hence my parking in a side street close by. On arrival at the park, the gates were open and the car park deserted.

My walked started along the main drive before veering off towards Boldmere. Normally, this path could have been quite muddy but at -2 it was fairly solid underfoot.

From the Boldmere car park, I continued to the visitor centre, near Town gate, then on to Keepers Pool and Blackroot Pool.

From here, the route went ‘cross country’ crossing the railway for the first time to reach Bracebridge Pool.

Now heading across open land, I spotted a few ponies before re-crossing the railway and heading for the golf course.

Leaving the golf course, I continued back towards my starting point just as the sun rose illuminating the frost covered park.

Checking my watch, I noticed that I would be a little shy of my nine miles so a short extension was added so that by the time I got back to the car I have covered 8.9 miles. The parkrun would be another 3.1 – 8.9 + 3.1 = 12.

I deposited my bumbag in the car, made sure that I had my parkrun barcode then made my way the the start of the parkrun.

Whilst waiting I was accosted by one of the organisers to ask if I had considered volunteering. Cutting a long story short, I’m tail walker on 23rd Feb.

After waiting around in the cold for a while, we were called to the start and at 09:00, to the sound of a hooter, we were away.

I soon got into my stride, passing people to cover the first mile in 12:46. Happy with that.

Up the Hill of Doom we went before levelling out to the memorial stone then descending to the turn around point.

When I did this same parkrun, a fortnight ago, this turnaround was in the wrong place and all the times had to me ‘manipulated’. Today it was further along so hopefully the times will be correct.

Returning to the memorial stone, my watch bleeped for the second mile (12:27). A tarmac path was followed for a while before heading off across the model aircraft field (luckily none were flying) then all downhill to the finish.

I crossed the line in 39:06 at an average pace of 12:25 per mile or 4.83 mph. When I received the official time I was happy to see that parkrun had me down at 39:02 – even better !

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