Babbs Mill parkrun, 21st September 2019

Ian Reynolds reports: My 40th parkrun; this is one of the newer and smaller parkruns. With this run taking the number of events to a grand total of eight and the number of runners per week currently standing at around 130.

The course is set in a Nature Reserve and is run on a mixture of grass, tarmac and trail. No toilets or café facilities are available at this site and the car park is quite small, although parking is free.

The start of the course is situated a short distance from the car park on a narrow path and almost immediately after the start, the course leaves the path and runs across a grass field for the first 1Km. It then joins a narrow tarmac path which runs along the River Cole, eventually reaching the lake. The course then runs anti clockwise around the lake and is partly run on a narrow or single-track trail. After completing one circuit of the lake, there is a very short up-hill section as the course crosses the river via a bridge and, following a left turn, commences a second anti clockwise circuit of the lake. The bridge is crossed for a second time once this circuit has been completed. The course then takes a right turn and follows a narrow tarmac path back to the finish. The course veers off the path to the left and runs on a short section of grass which takes you to the funnel, which is a short distance from the start point.

This course is relatively flat apart from the short uphill bridge and although a lot of it is run on tarmac there are sections where it is reduced to a single track with an uneven surface. A keen ear and a sure foot are needed to listen out for faster runners wanting to pass and to hopefully get out of their way without incident. In my eagerness to let a runner pass I ended up running into some stinging nettles, which woke me up a bit. This added to some insect bites I’d already got, as I’d forgotten my repellent.  Care should also be taken when running the tarmac sections as there are a few obstacles to negotiate, in the form of low metal fence “slaloms”.

The atmosphere here is friendly and it was good to hear encouragement from faster runners as they made their way from the finish, as well as others, who had remained around the funnel area to cheer slower participants home.

This was for me, yet another run to see how I was getting on with my injuries. I’m glad to say that I ran pain free and after starting off very slowly, I had lots of energy left and managed a moderate sprint towards the finish line.

This was the third time that I had run this course and my stats so far are:-

24/8/19, parkrun 38, Time 29:44, Place 80th, 57th Male, 7th in age cat.

7/9/19, parkrun 39, Time 31:28, Place 73rd, 70th Male, 3rd in age cat.

21/9/19, parkrun 40, Time 31:14, Place 97th, 78th Male, 4th in age cat.