On Friday night, I was in Derby for a Christmas do and the hotel we were staying in was a mere 2 miles away from Darley parkrun. It was the obvious choice, and the course description* promised an interesting run, but Derby is really quite close to Nottingham, and I know people in Nottingham.
I fired off an exploratory tweet…
…pencilled Forest Rec into my diary, and filed Darley parkrun away for future reference.
A few weeks later, after confirming that @notmucharunner was still game, I inked Forest Rec into my diary and decided to see if I could tempt this year’s Cleethorpes Maravan WINNER to the party.
Forest Rec is a tourist’s dream. It’s easily accessible by both public transport and car, has toilets by the start, a café selling cake and full cooked breakfast at the end and a team of enthusiastic and highly visible volunteers to answer any and all questions about the course. It also has a small indoor area where you can loiter if the weather is less than balmy and the café opens at 9am so any long-suffering other half you have dragged along can enjoy a coffee or two or three while you run. The course may not have the beauty of woodland trail or the speed of flat tarmac, but it boasts a runnable up, a super-fast down and an enjoyable flat section which combine to make it a good all-round workout.
All of which was eclipsed by the chance to catch up with runners I only see very occasionally …
…even if one of them did take one of the most unflattering pictures ever to grace this blog 😉
*Grass … river … rowing club … small bank … bridleway … up the hill … rough tarmac … park gates … down the hill … café … grass … large tree … gravel trail … cricket pitch … meadow … river … patch of trees … meadow … children’s play area … rowing club … bank … bridleway … up the hill … rough tarmac … park gates … down the hill … café … grass … large tree … finish.