“Easy around a Park Run where you run marathon tempo / pace for the 5km.”
Over the next couple of months, my weekly mileage and long run distances are going to ramp up and my parkrun tourism is likely to go on the back burner. So I decided to make the most of today and sneak in a new-to-me parkrun. I narrowed the choice down to Chichester (undulating grass) and Bognor Regis (flat tarmac), but as I went to bed last night was still not quite sure which one to do.
This morning, I looked at the weather. Light snow. Hmmm. That made Bognor Regis a high risk option as the tarmac can get icy*. Decision made, I headed to Chichester.
From the route map, Chichester looks as though it falls firmly into both the “laps of a playing field” and “summer course” categories.
The map lies.
Yes, the course encloses two different playing fields, but it has trees and turns aplenty and enough undulation** to keep things interesting. The little out and back section allows you to keep tabs on those running close to you, and there is also a short section at the start of each lap where you run past people who are either 1/4 lap behind you or 3/4 lap in front***. As for the “summer course” aspect, it was certainly muddy, but luckily the temperature this morning kept the mud at the firmer end of the goo spectrum.
After I’d finished the parkrun, I headed out to fit in my extra miles. I was just thinking “maybe I won’t bother with the full mileage” when I saw a brown sign point me towards “Brandy Hole Copse”. Intrigued, I turned down Brandy Hole Lane to see where it led…
…and apparently it leads to the Centurion Way. How could I resist? It’s a 5 mile stretch of cycle path that follows a disused railway line from Chichester to West Dean. I only ran a mile of it, but it’s placed Chichester firmly onto my list of easily extendible parkruns.
Which means that at some point in the not too distant future, I’ll be back.
* I found out later that Bognor was cancelled today due to ice.
** Gently undulating in lap 1 rising to blooming hilly in lap 3.
*** Though this may only be on the ice-adjusted let’s-stay-on-the-grass-and-avoid-the-tarmac-path course we were using today.