Harrow parkrun

Not to be confused with Harlow parkrun or Harrow Lodge, Harrow parkrun is another of the north London ones that really isn’t that far from me. Dad was away and I only had work plans for the weekend so fancied some tourism.

Thankfully some people in my club also wanted to go there and so a little band of 5 of us set off in Saturday morning. We drove and one thing I would say is that the post code on the website does not take you to the car park. The car park is tiny and we ended up using street parking, but some of those streets had restrictions (including Saturdays) so it is best to research before you go. (I don’t want to put information here as that sort of thing can date very quickly).

The park looks fairly small and as soon as we got inside we could see signs, high viz and the flag- always good. Some of our group popped to the toilets and I was photographed while waiting! We missed the first timers welcome but we had seen it was 3 laps (plus an extra mini lap)- I’d rewatched the A Little Adventure Time video of when they visited to give me an idea of what to expect.

The start area in the park, running up the “secret hill” and the purple pop up photo.

Very soon after arriving we heard the main briefing- the RD told us that as it was the football clubs’ party later on, by the time we finished their might be a bouncy castle by the finish area and they might even put the scanners in there! A fair few people had milestones and they were all called to the front for photos. It had a really friendly vibe. Then we walked to the start and began. As we walked to the start another participant mentioned my socks (the orange parkrun ones)- she was very impressed by how coordinated I was with my orange top (it’s my I Love Ellenbrook Fields top). I would say that the secret hill was not that secret- it was a long drag up one side of the park and even on the first lap I found it tough. I had to remind myself that I was just over my cold and had not run that much in the past two weeks.

The map of the route- you can see the extra mini loop in the middle.

The park was really varied with some wildlife areas and some more manicured parts. It had a really busy feel, with loads of people out being active in so many different ways- tennis, cricket, football, outdoor exercise machines, walking… it reminded me a bit of Brighton in that there are great outdoor exercise facilities and people are always using them. I think it’s crazy that you can be in such a built up area and then suddenly be in a park, particularly one like this that was bigger than it initially looked. The volunteers were amazing too- I was thanking them on each lap and wondering if some people just thanked them on their final lap. They were all calling out “great running”/” have an amazing weekend”/ “looking strong”/ “one more lap to go” etc- and did not stop. Even though we arrived relatively late (close to the start time) we had so many interactions with the team and this was just so welcoming.

Three of us being photographed at the end/ our purple sign photo/ up the hill again/ finish token.

I actually felt a bit wobbly when I finished and had to sit down for a minute before I was OK. Then the same lady who had complimented by socks came over with a camera (she was wearing a volunteer vest too) and asked to take some photos of us, and then of my socks!

Always good to see the new map once the result has come through!

So that was location 114 for me. One that in paper would not appeal particularly, but actually the volunteers made it fantastic, and the park was really varied so it didn’t feel monotonous like laps can sometimes. Once again, thanks to parkrun I have experienced a new place which I would not have been to otherwise.

How do you choose which new events to visit? Have you ever been really surprised by an event compared to the description?

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2 thoughts on “Harrow parkrun”

  1. I really enjoyed Harrow too – I wish I’d got to enjoy it on a drier day! I agree that the volunteers really made the event and it’s a worthwhile visit for sure.

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