Alice Holt parkrun

I’m still pretty new to parkrun in the grand scheme of things, with just 25 under my belt. I absolutely love my local parkrun (Havant) but being a curious sort I’d like to see what is out there and visit other parkruns. This is known in the trade as parkrun tourism, so today Matthew I’m going to be a parkrun tourist. My 3rd different parkrun in as many weeks.

This morning I’ve decided I’m going to head to Alice Holt parkrun. I’ve never been to Alice Holt park before so this also a bit of a recce for a family outing, 2 birds 1 stone and all that. According to the map it’s about 25 miles up the A3, so probably about 30 minutes away. Not too far at all and a nice easy drive by the looks of it.

I’ve done a bit of preliminary research (visited the parkrun website at 5am because I couldn’t sleep) and it looks nice.  

The course is 5000m (5K) long. It’s run in Alice Holt Forest, Bucks Horn Oak, Hampshire GU10 4LS and run on a mixture of tarmac paths, trail paths and gravel roads. Some sections of the course may accumulate mud, leaves and puddles after rain. Time for the trusty light trail Hoka’s.

The first thing that struck md when I got to Alice Holt was the level of organisation, there were flags up, areas cordoned off and a good turnout of volunteers. There was a newbies brief which was very jolly and made everyone feel welcome and at ease. The course was described, with a couple of hills mentioned by name and I should have paid more attention here and remember their names, something like the dragons tail and treacle hill.

After this we headed up to the start for the run directors briefing, there were a few announcements, a centurion runner (100 parkruns), a birthday, a naked runner prize from the week before, all met with applause and cheers from the parkrun family. I love parkrun, it’s so supportive.

Next thing it’s 9am and time for the off! The start is pretty crowded and the first mile is a bit congested, but also pretty much straight into a nice downhill do soon spreads out. This is when I wish I’d paid more attention in the brief, it’s hillier than I expected, winding through the picturesque forest up and down hills is a great way to spend your Saturday!

It is a couple of loops but slightly different each time, the marshals out on course were very supportive and encouraging. I’d not known how to pace this so probably made my life more awkward than it should have been, but that’s the fun of running somewhere new.

Knackered at the end of the run and looking forward to a coffee I nip into the cafe and grab one. There is plenty of room outside the cafe to sit and it’s a nice atmosphere.

Paul, your time in position 66 today at Alice Holt parkrun was 25:54. Well done on your 1st run here…service powered by aql

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