Ahead of the National Running Show a few weeks ago, some of my running club – and plenty of others – flocked to Brueton parkrun in Solihull. Only a few miles from the NEC, it was the natural parkrun to attend.
Travelling for around an hour before a run, usually means that there’s a requirement for a toilet break, so when I read beforehand that there was no toilet open before parkrun it that I needed to go 10x more than I would have if I was none the wiser! So once we arrived we went off straight away on the hunt for a nearby toilet, or a bush anything would do. Hanging around the cafe, the lady who worked there obviously felt sorry for us and sneakily let us in before we caught up with the others in the start area.
The huge numbers were anticipated and two volunteers were brought in to complete the first timers briefings. We found out about the course and then made our way to the start pen – which literally was a pen with timings so it made it easier to know where to start. My home parkrun does this and on a course where the start is small it is so useful as a tourist because sometimes you just don’t know where to position yourself.
We were off…
Reading the course description and seeing ‘hill’ I was dreading it, even now nearly four years after starting running the word hill sends shivers up my spine, you can only imagine how I feel when you the course takes you up the hill three times. You’ll note that I’ve used inverted comma’s for ‘hill’. Because it literally was that – a small, short barely there incline that didn’t hurt even on the third line. However, I will say the parkrun finished on the small incline which didn’t encourage (not me at least) a sprint finish.
The course was essentially two laps and a little bit more around the park. It was encouraging seeing other runners come past you in the opposite direction which enabled you to cheer each other on.
I finished in 27.23 and was put into the funneling system. I have no idea how or who knew what was going on but somebody did and there ended up being three funnels which appeared to work smoothly.
The parkrun achieved a new record of 749 people taking part with 190 of that number being first-timers!
Thanks to the volunteers for doing such a great job for a super organised parkrun. It was the biggest I’ve attended and it all seemed to work well and we received our results within a few hours.