If you are not sure, NENDY is Nearest Event Not Done yet (or NENYD if you want to swap the final two words around).
My initial idea for parkrun tourism was to visit Lordship Recreational Grounds parkrun, in North London, as I could do a similar journey to the previous week, getting the train to Finsbury Park and then changing to the underground. However, engineering works meant that there was a rail replacement bus which takes ages (over an hour- I think if I had got the 7:50 train I would have got to Finsbury Park after 9) so that was off the table. I then thought about driving to an underground station and going in that way- I could easily drive to Oakwood station and then head in.
After realising that the purple icon on the 5k app was showing the actual location of my NENDY, I realised that Grovelands parkrun was only a little drive further than the underground station I was aiming for, so decided to plan to go there instead.
There isn’t a car park listed, just street parking, which did make me worry, but when I looked on google maps the road was wide and quiet, with enormous home and driveways and plenty of parking. I knew the vague direction I needed to be heading in (past Cockfosters tube, keeping going straight until I got to the road I needed to park on, where I needed to turn left). I was nearly there, and then started seeing warning signs for the ULEZ coming up, which I didn’t think I would be driving into. (The car is electric, but still I would need to register). I looked again at the maps and they were swirling and recalculating- I’d lost connection and so had missed my turning. I had a bit of a panic at this point as I was gone 8:30 and I didn’t know how far I’d gone past the turning. Thankfully it wasn’t far (maybe a mile) and when I got closer the map loaded up again so I was reassured that I was in the right place.
The park was varied with a little lake, a wild wooded area (I could hear so many birds calling), lawns, tennis courts and a grand looking manor house. They mentioned at the first timers welcome that the start might be a few minutes late as the RD had been told that there were delays on the underground- very thoughtful. I chatted briefly to another tourist who had come up from Wimbledon as she was completing all of the London parkruns. My journey was super easy in comparison!
The route was just under 3 laps of the park, with a bit of a hill in each lap. There was a brilliant marshal at the top shouting out personalised running advice to each person- keep your eyes up, move your arms (and to me) keep your elbows close to your body. She was so encouraging but helpful too.
As you ran around the earlier laps the timer was calling out times too, so you could get a bit of an idea. As I neared the final part he was telling everyone that sub 30 was in their reach. and I’d not gone below 30 minutes this year, so pushed a bit, and managed 29:37- super!
So, my 95th event! I didn’t even know the park was there, so I’m thankful to parkrun was making me explore more of this area that is fairly local to me. And at least now I understand what the purple icon on the 5k app means!