Week four of parkrun tourism sees me heading off to my fourth different parkrun in as many weeks, this time it’s Netley Abbey on a chilly and slightly drizzly morning.
The course is in Royal Victoria Country Park, Netley Abbey, Southampton and run on a mix of tarmac, compacted gravel and grass. Some sections of the course accumulate mud, leaves and puddles after rain, but for my visit it was pretty solid underfoot. I wore my Hoka light trail shoes, but probably could have gotten away with road shoes.
This morning I’ve been joined by my friends Rachael and Aimee who are regulars at Havant parkrun, my home parkrun, they tagged along for a change of scenery. The country park was easy to get to and parking is plentiful on site. There are on site facilities there too, toilets and cafe.
We head over towards a decent size crowd of neon clad runners of all shapes and sizes and wait for the pre-run briefing. The run director is soon stood on a fence post making his announcement. These are pretty similar from one parkrun to the next, but they all have a slightly different take and humour to them. Milestones were announced(applause), volunteers/park/sponsers thanked (applause), definitely not charging us a quid(laughter), new runners welcomed and so on, all pretty standard parkrun stuff.
We get directed to another volunteer to explain the course and how parkrun works (newbie brief) and in no time we are up to speed and off to congregate at the start for the 9am go!
Today we were running course C (sea), which has a lovely run down to the sea, a little bit of promenade and then sweeps up into the bluebell woods in a long gentle uphill incline. This is repeated 3 times before going straight at the end to the finish. I’m not a big fan of laps, but quite enjoyed this, I saw Rachael and Aimee 3 times, as well as spotting local celebrity and running legend, Iwan Thomas. He was flying along appearing ridiculously comfortable, looking him up after he’d come in 5th. I also got Boshed on route which was great, there was a fellow Bosher there who was doing his 50th parkrun, I was his first Boshaaaa!
I’d decided I wasn’t going to run with the girls and went off at my own pace. Here are the details:
Netley Abbey parkrun results for event #221. Your time was 00:24:28.
Congratulations on completing your 27th parkrun and your 1st at Netley Abbey parkrun today. You finished in 53rd place and were the 44th male out of a field of 253 parkrunners and you came 11th in your age category VM40-44. Well done on your first run. We have set this as your PB.
After the run we headed to the cafe for a coffee and post run chatter, always an essential part of the parkrun experience.
I enjoyed Netley Abbey, it’s a good event at a nice site with great facilities.