Raphael park today was the encapsulation of what makes parkrun a great concept, the local community with a smattering of tourists coming together to celebrate being in each others company, becoming friends and comrades through running!
In today’s event was a run pacers day, a 4 years old girl birthday running with her dad with everybody singing happy birthday to her at the start, milestone celebrations and this was all witnessed by the founder of the parkrun movement Paul Sinton-Hewitt.
Paul you must be one very proud man how far the moment has come since it’s start at Bushy Park 2nd October 2004
The course comprises of 3 clockwise laps, the first 2 laps of Raphael park include running by Black’s Lake, then you turn right up an incline then at the top for the first two laps you turn left and proceed to do a circuit around the tennis courts and the children playground. When you run back to the top of the incline you turn sharp left and follow the parameter fence back to the start!
On the final small lap when you get to the top of the incline this time you turn right back to the finish funnel that is very close to the start of the parkrun!
For the record this is a 100% tarmac course with the surface in good condition, the only bit where you may have to be a bit careful is the section of the first two laps where the runners are going in both directions to and from the tennis court circuit on the same tarmac path!
Finally it is very well marshalled around the interchange section at the top of the incline with signs directing you which direction to go depending what lap you are on, stops any confusion for us tourists!
Time today was 34:48, I need to start asking the question am I happy just for me steadily running around in times between 32-36 minutes or do I seriously want to go for a time and really be uncomfortable and push myself on the remaining events on this challenge!
There is a free car park at weekends across the road from the start of the parkrun at Lodge Farm Park. Toilet facilities are available before the start of the run at the cafe that is situated at the far end of the park! Finally bags and belongings can be left at the bandstand at the owners risk!
I would like to thank Nicola and her team of volunteers for making everyone feel extremely welcome to the extent I thought that I was running at my home parkrun!
This was a very interesting course was a great mix of a steep short inclines and great recovery steady downhill sections. I would thoroughly recommend coming at Raphael as a tourist!
Lovely people, top parkrun community!!