Havant parkrun

The one with all the Pirates. Today marked Havant parkruns 4th birthday and as I’ve dropped out of the event I’d planned on doing today it’d be rude not to pop along to where my love affair with parkrun started. I’ve just realised that whilst I’ve been documenting all the different places I’ve visited over the past 10 weeks or so I’ve not once written about my home parkrun. Terrible show on my part.

Havant is a lovely and lively parkrun held in the grounds of Staunton Country Park. It’s very easy to get to and parking is easy on site, it costs £1.80 for an hour and this also provides you with a voucher that you can exchange for coffee afterwards in the gift shop. It’s a medium sized parkrun, today attracting 260 runners on its 211th event. 

The course itself is a short walk across the road from the carpark and is predominantly on compacted gravel paths. The route profile is what you could label gently undulating. It takes you around the lawns, down a steep hill, affectionately known as the black slope. Once down the slope you run around the north side of the lake, which looks great now that the bushes have been cleared, through some woodland, where I have on occasion seen deer and been known to splash through muddy puddles, up a gentle(ish) hill, which probably has a name but I just don’t know it, around the lawn and repeat this lap before finishing down the funnel on the lawn.

If it’s been raining there will most certainly be muddy puddles to splash through, in fact I don’t recall a time when there hasn’t been at least one puddle on the course in the 25 times I’ve run it. It is a really interesting, varied and technical course with the camber on the paths being quite challenging. I may be biased but it is my favourite course so far and I’m proud to call it home.

The events crew and locals make it very friendly and entertaining, today for example was pirate fancy dress with water pistols and stocks. If that wasn’t enough to whet the appetite there were also pacers out from 20 through to 40. Lots of great running and water fights going on today. 

I can’t talk about Havant parkrun without talking about Cake Club. These guys get very involved week in week out and bring along awesome goodies for all to enjoy over coffee afterwards. They are, in no small part, responsible for my love of Havant and all thing parkrun. They have become an integral part of my running life, they’re my running family. So much fun and support to everyone of all abilities. I love these guys and am so happy to have met them.

There were awards dished out today for the points earned by the participants over the year, 3 awards in each category, junior girls, junior boys, ladies and men. A nice bit of recognition for the participants. There were also a few milestones handed out, a handful of 50’s and a couple of 100’s too. One day I’ll get there.

Even though I’m injured I decided I’d run anyway and just not push too hard. It was really nice to be out running the course again as I’ve not been there since April. I ran it in exactly 25 minutes dead, it wasn’t a 5k PB or a Havant PB, but it was still a PB, it was a Pirates Best, my fastest 5k dressed as a pirate, Yaaaar!

Havant parkrun results for event #211. Your time was 00:25:00.

Congratulations on completing your 34th parkrun and your 25th at Havant parkrun today. You finished in 57th place and were the 51st male out of a field of 260 parkrunners and you came 12th in your age category VM40-44. Your PB at Havant parkrun remains 00:24:19. Congratulations on your fastest time this year.

If you’ve never visited Havant parkrun then you really should. Most definitely hang around for a coffee and cake afterwards and get chatting to some of the wonderful locals, you won’t regret it, I promise. Likewise if you ever see me at a parkrun do feel free to say hello and have a chat.

Next week perhaps a trip to Moors Valley.

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