Sandwell Valley parkrun

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With Saturday fast approaching, I was debating wether to do a parkrun on Saturday or because of the recent cold, volunteer again.

After surviving the race walk session on Thursday, I reckoned that I could manage a parkrun a couple of days later.

I am trying to visit a few of the local parkrun and my nearest, unvisited event was Sandwell Valley.

I checked Google Maps and discovered that it was only about twenty five minutes away.

I was up nice and early (thanks to two doggies) I had a bit of time on my hands so made my way to Sandwell via the scenic route – namely along the Chester Road, Kings Road, Queslett Road and Scott Arms.

As I approached the park, I missed the turning to the car park but decided to park in a side street and use the mile walk as a warm up.

I arrived at race HQ at around 8:40 so after a short stretch, listened to the newbies briefing quickly followed by the main briefing before being led to the start.

During the main briefing, we were told that the course had a few hills in it so was not a fast course. Oh well, I’ll try my best.

As we were lining up at the start, the front of the pack moved off so I assumed that we’d started.

The first section was steeply uphill over a bridge crossing the M5 then slowly uphill past the Sand Well and the remains of the Sandwell Priory up to Park Lane.

Just before reaching the road, the course turned left and followed the path to Swan Pool. On the way to the pool, I spied a chap with a most pronounced walking style a little ahead so I made it my mission to catch up with him.

As I caught up with him I commented on his style but reassured him that he was making good time. However, I still eased past him wishing him good luck.

As I approached the car park for Swan Pool, I spotted a guy in swimming trunks getting ready for a spot of wild water swimming – rather hime than me !

Also along this stretch, a passing runner, commented on my volunteer 50 T-shirt, “Good shirt!” he cried as he shot past me. “Cheers”, I replied.

After a lap of the pool, we had to climb back up, gaining about fifty feet in four fifths of a mile. That slowed my down a bit ☹️.

After another partial lap of Swan Pool it was steadily uphill (another seventy feet of ascent) before crossing back over the motorway and a short downhill to the finish.

As anticipated, it wasn’t a quick time, coming in at 37:08.

My official time was a few second more (37:11) but considering the “vert” and my recent cold, not too bad.

As you can see from there results, I am now, officially, a Nuneaton Harrier.