Parkrun #47

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After a pretty ropey start to the week, I tried to pull it back together later with a couple of dog walks on Thursday and Friday.

Saturday called fro twenty four miles. Well, I had to do a parkrun (see previous post – LINK) and, obviously, tag a few miles on either side.

This week, I decided to go back to my parkrun routes with a trip to Solihull’s Brueton Park. Technically the parkrun is in Brueton Park but also in the adjacent Meriden Park. The start / finish is now in Meriden Park having moved from it’s original spot in Brueton Park. It’s a good job that I checked the Bruton Park parkrun page (LINK) or I’d have been queueing up on my own in the wrong place !

By following the Solihull Way, or thereabouts, I could get nine or ten miles walk in as a warmup for the parkrun.

Working backwards, if I needed to be at parkrun for say half eight, ten miles or two and a half hours meant that I had to leave home at around 06:00. I left the house at 05:58.

After a couple of miles I crossed the River Cole and found myself in Meriden Park. Today’s parkrun started in Meriden Park but this was another Meriden Park !

I continued through (the other) Meriden Park following a small stream known as Kingshurst Brook. This small waterway splits, one half being Hatchford Brook as it approaches Marston Green.

The brook was followed towards the airport from where I chose the less walked path between the airport and Hatchford Brook golf course.

Just before my path joined the A45, Coventry Road, I spotted a big grey and yellow building within the airport perimeter. This was built as a maintenance hangar for the now defunct, Monarch Airways and I worked there, looking after the building during it’s commissioning and shortly afterwards.

It is now owned by a company called STS.

I crossed the busy A45 and regained the path running alongside Hatchford Brook which took me to Elmdon Park.

From the park, I followed a circuitous path skirting around the mighty Jaguar Land Rover works at Solihull emerging onto Lode Lane for a short stretch before descending down to the Grand Union Canal which was followed for about a mile.

I was back amongst the houses now as I followed the Solihull Way, past Solihull Hospital and into the town centre.

I was greeted with the sight of some odd looking animals as I crossed the main shopping area, Mell Square, to make my way to the other Meriden Park.

After entering Meriden Park, I walked past a group of people assembling to take part in a boot camp. The vans that they were unloading bore the emblem and name of Bear Grylls and his Be Military Fit outfit.

Cleaver marketing as this enterprise used to be known as British Military Fitness, so the initials are still the same.

This crowd was seen running around the park (not in the same way as the park runners) carrying kettlebells, stretchers and each other. Sod that for a game of soldiers !

I slowly made my way to the start, where I bumped into some runners from my old running club, Centurions RC, for a little pre-event chat.

To accommodate the large number of runners (and walkers) the participants are sorted into pens according to their anticipated finish times then released in turn at nine o’clock.

I positioned myself in the 35+ area. One thing that I did notice was that as you move along the pens from the serious sub 22 runners the people seem to get happier. In the 35+ pen, you find the proper FUN runners who are there more for the social side than being too competitive.

One such person was Margaret (in the purple top, above) who is in the VW85-89 age category. Margaret has been a keen local runner for many years and I used to bump into her in my running days as she’d often pop up at most local races.

After the obligatory pre-run briefing (which I couldn’t hear) a hooter went off and the runners were released pen by pen. It took about thirty second before us tailenders crossed the start line.

Brueton parkrun is almost flat but with a slight rise just after the start. With eh course comprising of two and a bit laps this ‘hill’ would be encountered a total of three times.

Heading out towards the Bruton Park end of the course, we were serenaded by couple of blokes who had cycled into the park for some music practice – although they sounded that good that I don’t think they needed much practice.

On the first lap it was guitar and clarinet and lap two it was Baker Street on guitar and saxophone.

I did play cat and mouse with a runner who would slow down to a (slow) walk on any slight incline, overtaking her only for her to pass me on any downhill sections.

After the two and a bit laps, I finished ahead of her. Speaking to her post-event, I did tell her, “Next time?”

I stopped my watch at 39:43 – a tad quicker than last week’s 40:01.

When I got the official result through, I was informed that I had finished in 338th place (out of 361 finishers) in a time of 39:46.

More importantly, I had completed my 47th parkrun leaving me just three more for my 50 tee shirt.

After a short recovery, I roughly retraced my steps along the Solihull Way arriving home having completed 23.28 miles (near enough to twenty four).

I am, possibly going to attend Perry Hall parkrun in Perry Barr. I want to take to opportunity to see what is happening around Perry Barr in preparation for the upcoming Commonwealth Games next year.

I will need to walk twenty six miles on Saturday so I think that this may work.

TOTALS for 2021
TODAY’S MILEAGE   23 miles
ANNUAL MILEAGE   1077 miles
#WALK 1000 REMAINING   -77 miles
ROUTE 66 REMAINING   1201 miles