Some of my club mates had been doing a “Stay in Beds” parkrun challenge- all the parkruns in Bedfordshire, so I joined in. When I looked, I only needed 2, Bedford being one of them. After we’d driven up there for the George Ezra concert and I’d seen that it wasn’t to bad of a journey, I decided to head there. The Cambridge and MK Vegan Runners were having a meet up there too, so another reason to head there.
parkrun were celebrating 75 years of the NHS, and had asked everyone to wear blue, so I wore my Ware 10k race top.
The drive up there was fine, apart from me going slightly wrong in the centre and then having a bit of a diversion, but I arrived with plenty of time, to find that the car park had free parking for 3 hours on a Saturday, you just had to get a ticket to display. I had a bit of a jog around the park first, and then got very confused as to where the start area was, as I found the finish area but could not work out for ages where it started. It turned out to be close to the car park, so when I had run past in my warm up, I hadn’t noticed it as not many people were there yet.
I saw a few of the vegan runners, so had a little chat with them. We asked someone to take our photo, and then the weirdest thing happened- after they had taken our photo with one of the VR’s phones, they got their own phone out and asked us to stand still while they took one with their phone. It’s a public place but that felt a little strange.
The RD at the start gave a wonderful little speech about the NHS, and pointed out a few of the team who were NHS workers. I saw a couple of people running in their paramedic gear which didn’t look like the most breathable fabric- kudos to them.
I loved the wildflower meadows that were part of the park. It was a varied town centre park, with a little lake (featuring cygnets), a few wooded areas, a band stand and a cafe. It tipped with rain at the end!
The route was just under 3 laps (I think they said two and a half), starting lower down in the park and finishing in the centre. It felt like a well supported event with lots of marshals on the route, and loads at the finish area (reminding us to keep right as faster runners headed left into the finish). It was pretty flat, but as you went past the lake it then went gently uphill- all fine but the third time up there I was feeling more tired.
After I’d finished, I ran back over to the lake to see if I could spot the cygnets again, as I’d seen them while running, and while I was there is started tipping it down with rain. I had seen a nice vegan cafe in the town centre, and was originally planning on going there before driving home, but I was soaked through so quickly so decided to just head home instead.
I’m there in blue with the other VR’s. Plus cakes, matcha and pistachio butter.
The vegan market was in WGC, so in the afternoon I popped in. I got myself a strawberry matcha (so good), picked up some pistachio butter (I’ve not yet opened it) and bought some cakes from Kim’s Vegan Cakes as they were half price.
102nd parkrun visited, and only one left for the Beds challenge now (Great Denham)- that will be in the autumn I think.
Do you like different parkrun challenges? Did your parkrun do anything for the NHS 75?