A parkrun tourist – (Sheringham, Norfolk)

On Friday night I was back in Norfolk visiting my parents.  I knew I needed to get a run in on Saturday morning and I realised I would be able to make Sheringham parkrun once more.  I last ran Sheringham parkrun back in March 2013 when I discovered it was a very different parkrun experience to running Northampton parkrun, my regular haunt.

The appeal of Northampton parkrun is that the course is flat.  One and a half loops around the racecourse and you can see the entire route from pretty much anywhere out on the course.  Although it’s nice to get a PB, I prefer slightly more challenging terrain and Sheringham definitely has that!

I didn’t want to push it too hard as I’ll be running Mablethorpe marathon next weekend so wasn’t after a PB but rather just a more challenging 5k route on a Saturday morning!

I sat in the car a little later than intended, not yet ready to remove my hoodie but this meant I missed the walk down to the start with the other runners…cue a quick sprint until I got them in sight.  Good job I had run the course before and at least knew my way to the start line!

Once at the start line a minutes silence was held for Darryl Davis, the runner who had died during the Round Norfolk Relay race not very long ago.

Because I had had to catch up with the runners headed down to the start line I was starting right at the back, although I quickly picked off several runners when we began.  It’s nice to run a parkrun where the route isn’t all on a pavement … although I must have crushed a thousand conkers on the first stretch of the run, followed by a hundred pine cones when we tackled the more sandy path along the next stretch!

I allegedly ran the first mile in 8minutes.  I say ‘allegedly’, because despite a large chunk of it starting off on a downhill slope I’m still not certain my legs moved that fast for an entire mile.  And my Garmin recorded the total distance as quite a bit over the 3.1 miles.

8mmI always prefer an undulating course to a flat one.  When my legs are planning on giving up and getting bored, the change in terrain keeps them interested. My second mile was a little slower at 9:25 – this was really the pace I had intended to run at throughout.  Mile three I unintentionally managed to pick the pace back up to 9:10 and my final nubbin of 0.47m (quite a bit over the 3.1 distance I should have run!) was recorded at 11mm.  Although the nubbin contained Heartbreak Hill, an incredibly steep hill with tree roots sticking out everywhere, close to the finish that had been in my gameplan to walk.  I really must go and take a picture of this hill one day!parkrun paceI’m pretty sure it was my Garmin recording the course distance wrongly that added the extra mileage onto my run.  This is something I need to be mindful of when I run Mablethorpe next week though, as my gameplan is based on following the pace displayed on my Garmin.  From memory, there were mile markers out on the course last year so I should be able to track the accuracy of my Garmin against these at least.

To get an idea of the speed differences of the two courses, at Sheringham this week there were 93 runners posting times between 20:57 – 43:17, with the quickest female running 28:15 (I’m not sure if this is similar every week but that is an achievable target for me to aim for in the future having run 29:40 last time, in the midst of marathon training.)
This week at the Northampton course there were 232 runners but the times ranging from 17:00-53:43, with the fastest female getting round in 17:46, a new course record.
My time for the parkrun came through at 31:44, and 12th female.  69/93 overall.

After parkrun I headed into Holt with my Mum to pick up a few bits and spotted this road sign.  Clearly a sign that Dan and I should move to Norfolk!  :)Pearsons roadHave you ever spotted anything with your surname on?  My friends who are getting married next weekend have the surname Piper, so tweeted Piper’s crisps to let them know that they would be supplying Piper’s crisps as part of their buffet and the lovely guys at Piper’s sent them a batch of crisps for their day.


10 thoughts on “A parkrun tourist – (Sheringham, Norfolk)

  1. I would love to be a parkrun tourist, but have not managed one yet. There is meant to be a new one starting up a bit nearer to me than the one I go to, so I am looking forward to giving that a go.
    My local one is so busy now- nearly 400 people did it this weekend, so parking is difficult now. Plus I do like a change of scenery every now and then. My local one is flat though- the record for fastest female parkrunner was made there this year- I think it was 15 something- I have no chance of every being anywhere near the top of the list. But of course that does not matter :)
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Coconut chocolate slicesMy Profile

    1. It’s nice to see different courses. I really must get round and visit a few more! We should have a new one starting a bit closer to us soon too. It is quite frustrating having to travel 30 minutes for a run that will take less time than that!
      400 people?! Your parkrun is really popular!

  2. I don’t think that I would ever find a street with the same name as my married surname, it’s pretty unique! It must have been a nice change from the old routine to do the Parkrun in a different setting. I would live to try one out once I can start running again. :-)

  3. I always fancy giving the Sheringham parkrun a go as I love it there! Don’t think I can muster up the energy to get there for 9, seeing as I live in Norwich. Plus I’m not really a lover of hills. Blickling Hall also do a parkrun which is a lot closer to me, perhaps I’ll drag myself there one morning. I work and swim train with Darryl’s wife, so it’s lovely that the parkruns in the area dedicated them to him.

    Jenny x
    Jenny recently posted…Adventures in DreamlandMy Profile

    1. It seems like lots of parkruns have popped up in Norfolk now. It would be nice to see one pop up out Dereham / Fakenham way though as another option!
      It was lovely to know that Darryl was being remembered at the Sheringham parkrun. As well, I’m sure, at a large number of races in the area over the coming weeks. It did really make me think during that minutes silence. How awful it must have been for his wife and the other runners on the day.

  4. 17minute parkrun!?!?! That is INSANE. I love parkrun tourism. I don’t really mind what time I get in a different course, it’s more like ticking it off a list rather than achieving a certain time. I’ve done Basingstoke, Southampton, Netley Abbey (usual one) and Chelmsford. There are quite a few round us that I really should try.
    Sadly my previous name (James) and now my married name (Smith-James) aren’t really that interesting to spot on anything as they’re such boring names haha 😉
    I find in a race it’s better to monitor the pace you’re actually running (rather than average pace) and watch out for the mile/km markers and compare to the time on my watch (overall time, not pace time) instead. So often I run further than the course so it’s safer to do it this way. Especially in a marathon – I ran 26.5 for Berlin!

    1. I know. 17 minutes is absolutely crazy! I do need to get out and visit a few more. Our weekends have been so busy lately though.
      I find it almost impossible to stick to the blue line in races. 27.9miles at London was ridiculous! I need to keep checking at each mile marker on Sunday how far I am out from my watch distance so I can judge if I am on course for a time I will be happy with. Although, at the same time I have low expectations for myself on Sunday.

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