Forest of Dean parkrun and Trailblazer #2

It has been a very long twenty-four hours.  I’ve driven 333.3 miles, been overwhelmed by a stay in one of the friendliest hotels I’ve ever stayed in*, run the Forest of Dean parkrun, run the Forest of Dean Trailblazer 10k, and cycled up and down a hill in Bath.  All in the blazing sunshine**.

Forest of Dean parkrun…

…is beautiful, but then I’m a complete sucker for trees.  It’s reasonably flat, but you need to concentrate on your footing, because there are tree roots galore.  I’d also recommend finding a local runner who’s about your speed and sticking to them like glue, because it’s one of the most twisty, turny courses I’ve ever run, and getting lost would be easy.  Don’t get me wrong, the really complicated junctions (where you go one way on lap one and another on lap two) are marshalled, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Going to the parkrun turned out to be an inspired move, because I met a group of tourists from Ashton Court (the 2.5km uphill / 2.5km downhill challenge in Bristol) and a Forest of Dean local who were also running the Trailblazer.  Which meant that when I turned up at the…

…Runners World Trailblazer 10km (Forest of Dean)…

…there were plenty of familiar faces around to chat to.  If Alan, Ruth, Lesley and Merlin are typical of the Hogweed Trotters, then it’s definitely the running club to join if you’re looking for friendly and welcoming near Chipping Sodbury.

The trailblazer itself was fun, if you ignore the looooooong gradual climb between 3.5km and 5.5km.  The compensation was a downhill finish, which made a pleasant change from the uphill end to Bedgebury.  Granted it was a tad warm, but being a forest there was a decent amount of shade around to keep the sunstroke at bay.

It was a beautifully organised event, and with a beer tent for the adults, a climbing wall for older kids, and a bouncy castle for younger kids it was also very spectator friendly.

A hill in Bath…

…was my next stop, albeit slightly unintentionally.  Bath isn’t a place that I’m very familiar with, but it does have a bike shop that sells folding bikes, so I hit on a cunning plan that I’d swing by on my way back home and ask for some advice about making my Brompton more hill friendly.  I looked at the map, found the closest park and ride to the city centre, lifted my bike out of the boot of the car and set off.  Down a steep hill.

Fortunately the bike shop had not only advice, but also time and parts, so I nipped off to grab a bite to eat, and returned to a bike that even I could cycle back to the park and ride.  Yay!

*I can see that arriving at a hotel, having your bags whisked up to your room while you have a free drink in the bar, and then being shown up to your room by the proprietor may be your idea of heaven, but I turn into a zombie at the end of a long drive, and it was all a little unsettling and overwhelming for my suspicious, introverted, Londoner soul.

**Have I mentioned how much I adore my once a day Ultrasun sunscreen?


About abradypus

A Bradypus or Sloth am I, I live a life of ease, contented not to do or die but idle as I please; ... [Michael Flanders and Donald Swann]
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4 Responses to Forest of Dean parkrun and Trailblazer #2

  1. JovialGnome says:

    Now that sounds like one rather special day, glad you enjoyed it!

  2. abradypus says:

    It was great fun, if a little too energetic for my inner sloth!

  3. plustenner says:

    sounds wonderful!

  4. fortnightflo says:

    Oooh that does seem a bit much with the hotel thing – it freaked me out a bit when they did that for us in Las Vegas. You’re doing such fantastic training for TR24, I think you’ve earned (t?) yourself an extra circuit…

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