The one with the 99 steps, well, it’s more like 37. I’ve been ridiculously parkrun light of late, it feels like an eternity since the last time I ran one. In fact my last two parkruns have been Inverness at the end of September and Blickling mid October. In my defence I have been busy moving house and completing my 12 marathons in 12 months challenge, but that’s a story for another time.
Having read the course description for Bath Skyline a while back it was on my list of places to visit and this weekend I had the opportunity for a trip to Bath so why not kill two birds with one stone. Bath is such a beautiful place with so much history and some amazing architecture. I found a lovely place to stay via Airbnb not far from the city centre and not a million ways from ‘Free Fields’. We weren’t the first parkrun tourists to stay at that particular property and won’t be the last, we will no doubt be returning in the future.
Bath Skyline parkrun is held on National Trust property just outside of the city. It’s held at ‘Free Fields’ and there is free parking at the BMI clinic a stones throw away (BA2 7BR), I believe there are also toilets available there which is good to know. I believe that there is overflow parking at a nearby school if you don’t manage to secure a space at the clinic. Please don’t park on the road, whilst you are legally entitled to please avoid doing so as it upsets the natives.
The course is a gently undulating 5k figure of eight with a variety of surfaces to contend with, at the time of writing this Jegmar rate it as the 319th flattest parkrun out of 458 in the UK with 152ft of elevation. It’s a really enjoyable course with steps to contend with, it would be a ‘Tragedy’ if you missed the amazing views over Bath as you ‘Stomp’ around the course. ‘Words Are Not Enough’ to describe it ‘Here And Now’, though I might be overdoing it now with the Steps song references, they are ‘Better Best Forgotten’!!
It’s a well attended mid size parkrun with 284 participants this week, including 33 first timers to the course, the first timers brief covers everything they need to know. There are regularly around 300 runners so the start can be a little congested, however they do have signs up with suggested times to help get people in the right place and it thins out fairly quickly. I found the sub 25 sign and positioned myself accordingly. The RD stood on the bank nearby and addressed the collective, giving clear and concise instructions about the course and parkrun.
The course has got some great names, Klondyke Copse, Little Klondyke Copse, Fairy Wood and so on. There’s marshals at every key turn making sure no one goes astray and keeping people motivated, don’t forget to say thanks as you pass. There are steps as mentioned, so it’s not suitable for buggy runners but it’s great for running with a dog. I wore trail shoes but would have got away with road as it wasn’t too bad underfoot, but it’s not been too wet so far, I can imagine that it gets quite muddy in wetter weather.
There’s a great downhill finish so you can push a bit harder for that last half a mile. There was a great atmosphere around the finish with a lot of runners hanging around and supporting and cheering others in. It’s always nice to see. The events team are also very nice and welcoming, friendly and chatty, it’s a lovely place to visit.
The only thing we missed was a post run coffee but we had to rush off to go check out of our Airbnb room. It states on the official site that there is a pavilion at the BMI clinic that can be used to host refreshments but it’s a bring your own affair, I’m not sure if people do that still or not and forgot to ask.
I had a great run and finished sub 25, just like my positioning marker. Bath Skyline was my 49th different parkrun, my next tourist trip will be for my Half Cowell, my cow run. It seems like only yesterday I was trying to complete 20 events to join the UK Parkrun Tourists Facebook group. Time flies when you’re having fun travelling round the country, visiting new places. If you’ve not given parkrun tourism a try then I highly recommend it, so many lovely places to see and nice people to meet.
Thank you Bath Skyline parkrun, we will be back.