In January this year I made a rash statement about completing 20 different parkruns at 20 different locations from the start of the year hoping to complete the challenge before the end of June. I am pleased to say I am well on target. I have missed three Saturdays, through work, giving blood a couple of days before and a bout of man flu but I have now completed 16. With runs in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and of course Leicestershire the sporting capital of England. Travelling as far as Lincoln, Gainsborough, Peterborough, Swadlincote, Moira, Corby and a host of other places.
The great thing is I don’t decide where I am going until I get in the car on a Saturday morning and I never know what I am going to find until I get there. With courses ranging from tarmac paths, gravel paths, grassy paths muddy paths or in the case of Gainsborough waste land at the back of the leisure centre. Some are pan flat such as Mkt Harborough others very hilly like Gedling. Most of them are 2 lap courses or out and backers, others like Lincoln and Gainsborough are 3 laps. Some very picturesque like Rosilston in the national forest others less so such as Forest Rec which is in the middle of Nottingham. But which ever one you do they all present a different challenge and are always a friendly social occasion and always near a cafe for a cuppa at the end.
After completing 16 my favourites so far are the 2 in the National forest at Rosilston and Conkers with my least favourite being one in Lincolnshire that wasn’t Lincoln. Times range from 21.41 at best down to a couple around 24.30. with a few age category ‘wins’, a few top 20 finishes and a few 70% age grading results but remembering all the time its a run not a race.
In fact I have enjoyed it so much so far that I have revised my challenge hoping to complete 25 or even all the parkruns within 50 miles of Melton Mowbray which is still on this years to do list.
Mansfield on the radar for this week, another one to tick off.