Chichester parkrun

The one with all the traffic! This morning did not go as planned, I was supposed to be in Bognor Regis. My journey to Bognor was not thwarted by hordes of roaming zombies or immigrants or indeed any other form of Brexit fallout, oh no, it was the Goodwood Festival of Speed that scuppered my plans this morning. I knew it was on and had made allowances for it, leaving the house just after 7am to make the 24 mile trip, but this just wasn’t enough! I ended up stuck on the A27 before the first of the Chichester roundabouts. Nightmare!

The queues started about a half mile back from the first roundabout, it took a good 40 minutes to get to it. The decision was made at that point to forego going to Bognor, missing the chance of a nice catch up over post parkrun cafe breakfast with Judi from Bosh, and head to Chichester parkrun instead or miss doing a parkrun altogether. That was just not going to happen! Not an option!

Negotiating the roundabout and heading off into Chi wasn’t easy as there was traffic everywhere, but I managed to get relatively close to Oaklands Park, found somewhere to dump the car and ran the rest of the way to where I thought the start was. Doh! They’ve changed the course and moved the start to the other end so the run up college road hill hadn’t been necessary and I had to backtrack down to the Festival Hall.

As I was in good time I had a chat with a few volunteers and runners before the start. I found out that it was their 100th event as they were putting up balloons and decorations and there was lots of cake being laid out on the tables. A perfectly timed if somewhat fortuetous visit on my part! Everyone loves a bit of post parkrun cake right?

A lovely lady asked me where Simon was, I had no idea, I’m new here I explained, who’s Simon? Simon is Chichester parkruns coffee baron, he turns up with his pop up coffee shop and serves up delicious hot coffee. Damn you Goodwood traffic, double dam you, a hot coffee would have gone down a treat! Fair play to the guy though, see a need, fill a need, the perfect business model. Hmmm, maybe I should tour parkruns in an ice cream van!

There’s a new runners brief, parkrun and the course is explained. As you can see from the picture it’s a bit of a wiggly worm back and forth, across and up the playing fields to the top and a run downhill, 3 times then finish. There are a few first timers and a handful of tourists from Alice Holt, Alton, Milton Keynes and Paris! Ooh la la! As the traffic is still terrible the start is a little delayed, the RD gives a full briefing, the milestone runs are announced, volunteers thanked, future run info divulged (it’s cancelled on the 16th July for instance), and a plea from a college student for male volunteers for a trial that I must follow up on.

With all that done and dusted it’s approaching 09:15, time to start. 140 of us lined up at the start and were released to run free after a count of 3, 2, 1, go! The course is on a playing field and my road shoes were fine today as its well kept and not a boggy quagmire. As I’ve stated before I’m really not a fan of laps, but I didn’t mind this too much, even with the back and forth, you can see where people are and as its a gradual up followed by down its quite nice like this. You sort of run up then across in steps, you can see them in the graph.

The marshals along the course were supportive as was the tail runner when I passed her. As usual, I thanked all the marshals each time I passed them, if it wasn’t for them these runs wouldn’t happen.

Chichester parkrun results for event #100. Your time was 00:24:39.

Congratulations on completing your 35th parkrun and your 1st at Chichester parkrun today. You finished in 39th place and were the 37th male out of a field of 140 parkrunners and you came 4th in your age category VM40-44. Well done on your first run. We have set this as your PB.

Looking at the results the lead runner went round the course in an amazing 15:50! That’s simply amazing, he lapped me as I was coming down the hill towards the end of my 2nd lap, so so quick, I wonder how much quicker he’d be on a flat course.

After I’d finished I grabbed a bit of cake and went back to the finish funnel to cheer a few more runners over the line. I had a quick chat with the run director afterwards and thanked her for an enjoyable event (and the cake). I was commenting on how nice a morning it was and that I was glad I’d got snared up in traffic and come here instead when the heavens opened. This was just what I’d needed as I was roasting, it was quite refreshing.

So, Chichester parkrun, usually simple to get to and to park at with reasonable charges, I paid £1.40. There are toilet facilities nearby and usually a pop up coffee shop there. There’s a play area for the kids, if they’re not running with you, and the whole atmosphere is very friendly and you can’t forget post run cake to boot! Oh and it is Canix friendly too if you want to run with your dog.

Thank you Chichester I look forward to revisiting in the future.

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