Three concrete laps of a park.
I confess, I was not expecting to be impressed.
I opted for Peckham Rye because I knew some other tourists would be going, because I could run there to clock up my extra miles for the day and because it would (re)complete my set of Greater London parkruns.
I arrived at the park. Playing fields. My heart sank. I looked around for signs of parkrunners, and kicked myself for not having read the course details more closely. Where was the start in relation to the café? I went for a wander to kill a little time, and had just spotted the tell-tale signs of a finishing funnel, when I bumped into a familiar tourist face. As we approached the pre-parkrun huddle, it became clear that there were more than a handful of tourists – everywhere I looked was someone I recognised*. At least that would take my mind off the course.
Just before nine o’clock, the run director went through the salient details (three laps, lead bike for fast people, arrows, cheery marshals, follow the person in front) and we were off.
It’s beautiful. I take back every mean thought I ever had about it. The laps meander through the trees, past play areas, bowling greens, ponds and flowers, turning left, turning right, going up a little, down a little and over a bridge or two. I was bowled over. Yet another picturesque London park that I never knew existed. With yet another café serving full English breakfast, houmous and pitta bread, ice cream, cake and iced lollies.
If you ever find yourself in the area, do yourself a favour, and check this one out.
*Including Charles Green, running at his 100th different venue.