Lordship Rec has been on my list since it started, as it’s fairly close by in North London, and accessible by underground. I had looked into it before but rail strikes meant I went to Grovelands, and postponed this visit.
After achieving my Cowell (100 events) in Norway, this was my 101st event. I drove to Oakwood tube station (there is on street parking not far from the station) and then got the Piccadilly Line to Turnpike Lane, where it was less than a mile to walk. Now, that might sound simple, but I get lost very easily. However, Andy had pointed out to me that within Google Maps there is now a Live View within Google maps- if you press it and hold up your phone, it inserts large arrows (and writing that says “this way”) so you can easily see which way to start walking. This is an actual game changer (see below for a couple of screenshots)- so often I walk the wrong way for a bit, and it takes a while for the maps to update. It really meant the walk/run was so simple and I got there with plenty of time to spare and no stress.
I was there for event 33, along with lots of 500 clubbers- the most I’d seen in one place I think. There were only 131 participants on that day, so it’s a nice manageable size too.
The start line is in a slightly different place to where everyone meets- there is a little lake/pond, with the start line shaded on one side, and then the meeting place (with the flag) on the other side, outside the community centre. The park is quite small so I don’t think you would have trouble finding the start. I saw lots of the high viz signs as soon as I got in there, as the route goes right around the perimeter of the park.
It was a baking hot day, even stood in the shade on the start line I already felt too hot, so knew I needed to take it gently.
The route is three laps of the park, it’s pretty flat so could be very fast on a cooler day. There was little shade, and in the final lap I stopped and walked for a bit as I felt like I was really pushing myself.
The park itself is great, packed with facilities such as a skate park, pump track, splash pool, playground, community centre…. the list goes on. Before the start I was looking in the pond and a dog walker started chatting to me, pointing out the turtles, and then asking about the runners as he had seen them from his window. I did tell him about how there were always walkers and tail walkers as he said he would never run, so you never know, he might get involved.
As I finished I had to go and stand in the shade for a bit to feel OK, and then I scanned. There was a lady talking to the scanner who had not printed out her barcode, so she was about to walk away, but I asked her if she had registered, thinking there was a way for me to find her barcode on the 5k app, but when she pulled up her email and I showed her the link to click on, she got it up on her phone- phew! I am still so annoyed about my friend who came with me once (literally the week before they accepted phone barcodes)- she hadn’t printed it out and they would not scan her (well, one scanner was about to and then another one came over and told them not to)- I am sure this is one reason why she hasn’t been back. Anyway, I digress. This parkrun had such a strong community feel, the park was full of facilities and the route was all paved and pretty flat. Lots of ticks all round.
After finishing running, I headed back to the tube and then drove to Hatfield House as the vegan market was there. I was hoping to bump into some Herts VR’s, but I didn’t see any of them there. I did get the biggest iced chai, but there wasn’t really anything breakfasty, so after buying a few bits (the vegan honey was the main reason I went there as I had bought some before and ran out) I came home as by that point I was very very hungry and needed breakfast (well, lunch by that point!).
Sunday was time to marshal at junior parkrun, again in the sunshine. I was glad of the shade of the big tree as I could wait there before they started running. Once home I got to try out my newest vegan purchase on a homemade açai bowl. Perfect in the hot weather.
I was thinking about my preference for touring – driving or public transport (and this was a combination). I get anxious when driving somewhere new, so I like the trains or undergrounds as then I don’t need to stress about getting lost while driving, or getting stuck in traffic, but of course with trains you can have cancellations etc. I will count myself lucky that I have so many parkruns that are within travelling distance.
Do you have lots of parkruns near to you, or do you need to make more of a day of it if travelling? Do you prefer public transport or driving?