Cannon Hill parkrun- why we always check social media

We had tickets to a comedy gig in Birmingham on a Friday night, and as it’s a fair way away, decided to stay overnight after. Of course this means a new parkrun on the Saturday morning.

I’d not been to any Birmingham parkrun before, and it seemed there were plenty to choose from. In the end I went for Edgbaston reservoir as it was the closest to the hotel. It was 1.5 miles away, which meant a nice warm up in the morning.

I’d checked the future roster and added it to the planner in the 5k app, and it was good to go. For some reason on the Thursday night, after packing, I checked their facebook page, only to see a cancellation message- due to some event (rowing?) happening that the event team didn’t know about. On to find a plan B. Thankfully there are loads of parkruns, and the next nearest one, Cannon Hill, was only around 2 miles away, so still a nice distance for a warmup. I’m so glad I checked, as if I had run there, I would not have had enough time to get to a different one.

Cannon Hill in the sunshine- everyone meeting at the bandstand in the park

Confusingly, Cannon Hill parkrun was by Edgbaston stadium- I checked that many times before setting off. Our hotel was on one of the canals, so I did get slightly lost when heading out, and I think the tall buildings confused the satellites as part of my run was a straight line through several buildings. Anyway, after the initial getting lost it was a fairly simple route. My phone battery has been getting worse and worse (I did take it to the shop for them to have a look at and to see about it being replaced, but they said it wasn’t worth it)- by the time I got to the park I had used over half, so had to remember the way back without using google maps which is always challenging for me.

The park was very pretty- a manicured park with plenty of flower beds, a band stand (where the volunteers were meeting), a lake and various buildings, cafes etc. It was a sort of two lap course, with an out and back bit too. It reminded me of Stevenage parkrun in that it’s a similar park, all flat apart from a little hill up to the finish funnel. It was very busy, with 668 runners that day. The finish funnel was very long, and one of the volunteers told me that they usually have around 500, but probably with Edgbaston being cancelled they had a few more. It was well managed, and with wide paths it didn’t feel that busy after the first few metres. At one point I was running along and a buggy runner passed me, and then a toy dinosaur fell out. I picked it up and called out but they didn’t hear, and another runner told me to catch them up- I had to sprint very hard as he was going super fast! I handed it over, and then as soon as he handed it to his child, they dropped it again so I picked it up again! Thankfully that was the end of catch the dinosaur!

The canal by our hotel, penguin art in the centre, parkrun magazine and of course a postbox.

At the end they had boxes of the parkrun magazine- this was the first time I’d seen this issue, so I picked one up for me and one for my dad. I managed to get back to the hotel and only had to get out my phone to look at the maps once, so that was not too bad.

After a shower, we headed into the centre as we’d booked lunch at The Ivy (as we had vouchers), and then had a little wander around the centre. It reminded me that I am not a Saturday shopping person. We did see some cool penguin art by the station.

That was my 96th different event. Another really enjoyable one (aren’t they all?). And an important lesson to always double check social media in case of cancellations!

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