When I ran the Bedfont Lakes parkrun back in February, I got talking to a parkrunner called Ron Hill (no, not the Ron Hill) who had decided to spice up his journey to his 100th parkrun by trying out new venues.
Since then, our paths have crossed at Richmond (though I only found out afterwards when I looked at the results), Pymmes (a gem of a parkrun that has far more charm than its attendance records suggest), and again today at Lloyd Park, near Croydon.
I had intended to run today’s parkrun very slowly, to save my legs for Bupa, but the lure of running with a buddy proved too strong, and I decided to keep pace with Ron. Just as well, as the course has six extremely tempting shortcuts (three per lap) and the company made it easier to stay honest.
Lloyd Park is beautiful. It feels like a bit of rolling countryside in the middle of the urban sprawl. There are some uphill stretches, but nothing too difficult and they are repaid by some nice gentle down-hill sections that you can really relax into.
Spurred on by Ron, I even managed a sprint finish, as we fought it out for places 60 and 61. Who won? The history books will say I did, but I’m not convinced that they have the right of it. It really was too close to call.