I’ll be honest. I read the course description and my heart sank. Four laps of a playing field. Four laps. Of a playing field. After the lakes and trees and general loveliness of Newport parkrun last week, I was tempted to give this inaugural a miss.
In the end, I decided that inaugural trumped playing field, and I went along. Which turned out to be a good decision. Because, although this course may not be exactly my cup of tea, it does have a great deal to recommend it.
For a start, it’s four laps. Bear with me on this one. This means that if you have supporters, they have the chance to cheer you on four times. Or even eight, if they stand near the little out and back section. It also means that if you have little people who can’t yet run the full distance then they can run one lap or two laps or three laps with you while they find their parkrun legs.
It is also run on a playing field. Again, bear with me on this one. Run on a playing field means that it’s flat. So in summer at least, it will probably be fast. Add this to the four laps, and you’ll have lots of runners that you can use for inspiration to wind up your speed. Faster runners lapping you. Slower runners you’re lapping. Either way, you’ll have targets to pick off or hang onto.
The other redeeming feature of the laps is that they wiggle. There are left hand turns and right hand turns and U-turns, all of which add interest to the course. So, all in all, despite expecting to hate the course, I ended up thinking that it had a lot to recommend it.
In any case, even if it isn’t the most beautiful or challenging course in the parkrun family, it is still a family member. Which means that it’s friendly and welcoming and fun. So, if you’re in the area, do check this parkrun out. You won’t regret it.