On Saturday, six days after the Brighton marathon, I returned to Preston Park for their inaugural parkrun.
It’s one of the more unusual parkrun courses that I’ve run*.
To anyone from Cardiff, St Albans, York, Harrogate or Bushy parkruns, this is a hilly course. To anyone from Dewsbury, Ashton Court, Ally Pally, Hampstead Heath or Conkers, it’s flat.
Visitors from King’s Lynn, Netley Abbey and Maidstone will find the switchbacks familiar, and will be well trained in the art of keeping to one side of the path looking for friends or rivals running in the opposite direction. Visitors from more traditional lapped courses like Wimbledon, Dulwich or Hilly Fields may find the sight of so many approaching runners disconcerting.
Buggy runners from Finsbury Park and Riddlesdown will find the relatively gentle gradients and tarmac surface a welcome relief (though they’ll need to watch out for the bollards), and everyone will be able to appreciate the café.
*Three slightly different laps of gently undulating tarmac, each with an out and back section.