The inaugural Linford Wood parkrun

As I mentioned in my parkrun post last week, I’m hoping to up the amount of parkrun tourism I complete this year.

Last weekend, Laura had heard of a new event taking place in Milton Keynes, so we toddled off to the inaugural Lingford Wood event.
I wasn’t sure how long it would take to get there, so left just before 8am. Despite being further away than my home event at Northampton it was actually a lot easier to travel over to and parking at the designated car park the other end was super easy as there was a marshal in an orange parkrun top stood on the entrance to the car park who was then directing runners along the short walk to where the race briefing was to take place.
Laura and I met another runner from our club there as we arrived. (The guy I mentioned in my post last week who has run in 31 different parkrun locations so far.) Laura started a conversation with him about her parkrun times dropping recently due to her injury and my pregnancy. Turns out, his wife is also pregnant at the moment and due on the 5th Oct (the day after me) with plans to deliver in the same hospital!

Linford Wood parkrun(I’m in the blue jacket at the front with my back to the camera.)

Apparently the event organisers had been nervous that the new event last week would attract large numbers and had been pushing the fact that the other Milton Keynes parkrun was offering a pacing event on the same day in the run up to the event.  There ended up being the perfect amount of starters on Saturday morning though with 188.

We had the pre-race briefing where the Race Director mentioned that he had a sign up list for anyone looking to marshal at future Linford Wood parkrun events.  I haven’t seen a sign-up list at any other events before, but it clearly works, as I believe they have six different Race Directors lined up for the coming weeks.  All of the marshals and volunteers on the day were absolutely superb and very encouraging.

When we were directed along the track towards the start I took a short detour to the edge of the path in order to drop my jacket off by the tree where some marshals were stood.  We would be running past the tree on the way out, and then we would pass it again just before the finish.

Linford Wood parkrun(I’m in the purple tank top in the middle of the photo.)

What we hadn’t realised was that upon reaching the start line, we needed to push our way through the already-forming line of front runners, as we would be running back in the direction we had come from.  Laura and I were some of the last runners to make our way to the start and were desperately trying to squeeze our way through to the back ready for the start, but never made it and instead ended up just turning around when the run began.  Much closer to the start than I am comfortable with at the moment!  There wasn’t a lot we could do though, except spend those first several minutes getting overtaken by faster runners!

Linford Wood parkrun

I had been in two minds whether or not to remove my jacket before the run, but I was so glad that I had.  It was a really warm, muggy morning and I was glad to be wearing one less layer out on the course.  The whole route is through woodland, so we were actually pretty sheltered from the sun which made things a little easier.  Still not comfortable wearing my loose shorts over the baby bump I had opted for a pair of very thin three-quarter tights and this combo seemed to work well to keep me relatively cool out there.

I felt better and better as the run went on, and managed to pick my pace right up towards the end.

Linford Wood parkrun

Mile 1: 10:51
Mile 2: 11:11
Mile 3: 10:36
Nubbin (0.16m): 9:06mm pace

Paths are narrow on the course, and it was very twisty-turny out in the woods along several of the tracks.  There wasn’t a huge amount of space for overtaking in some parts and brambles and nettles encroached onto some of the edges of the footpath in places.  I’m not sure that it makes for a ‘fast’ course as such, but definitely an enjoyable one and one I would like to try again when I’m back to full fitness later in the year.

Garmin time: 34:08
Official time: 34:10
Position: 147/188
Gender position: 42/70
Age category position: 4/6

There were loads of 250 parkrunners out at the event.  For one of them it was their 381st parkrun!  I don’t think I’d even seen a 250 parkrun t-shirt before!  I still haven’t worn my 50 parkrun top as it arrived when my bump was too big and I didn’t want to stretch the material so that it looks silly after I’ve had the baby.

All pictures are from the Linford Wood parkrun Flickr page.

What is the highest number of parkruns run by someone you know?

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6 thoughts on “The inaugural Linford Wood parkrun

  1. That seems a lot of runners for a first event! Although I think they tend to get more nowadays- even though they try to keep a low profile it’s easy to find out about them on the internet.
    We have a volunteer co-ordinator on our roster- they have a clip board and encourage people to leave their emails at the end- it’s a good idea as even if everyone helped out once a year it would make a difference. I am hoping to visit some more but now I have two local ones, trying to fit in volunteering and running them leaves less weekends for visiting other places!
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…A cinema trip, multipurpose cool downs and 100 mile updateMy Profile

    1. Apparently the Fetch website lists all of the upcoming inaugural parkruns, and I think they are listed in the parkrun newsletter as well? We have a new one starting up near us in Kettering soon, so it will be nice to add another local one to my regular-list.
      Northampton doesn’t seem to do anything to really promote volunteers, and they struggle almost every week to round up enough, despite being quite a big event. Like you say, if everyone helps once a year it would make a massive difference.

  2. Thanks for writing the blog! Enjoyable read. Will definitely aim to make it clearer tomorrow that slower runners should head to the start first.

    Hope to see you back at the wood soon.

    I’m a tourist myself and look forward to mixing up looking after Linford Wood and visiting other courses. Linford Wood tomorrow will be my 68th different event.

    You may be interested to know that you ran with the most prolific tourist last week. Paul Freyne tops the global most events table on 309 different events. Impressive stuff.

    Happy touring!

    1. It was a great first event – with all of the other runners I spoke to afterwards agreeing with me as well.
      68 events is very impressive. My mini aim for this year is to get to 20 and on that leaderboard!
      How cool that the most prolific tourist was at the first Linford Wood parkrun. 309 different events is insane…That’s six years of a different event every single week! He must do a lot of travelling!

  3. Well, 31 is certainly high!! I’m not sure to be honest (without tooting my own horn…) I think I’ve done quite a few in comparison to people I know. I’ve done 16 and I’m going to hunt down four more to get on that special list. Very exciting.
    I’m always so surprised how busy new events can be. It’s not like one parkrun appears and another diminishes into non-existance. Runners just seem to multiply and come out of the woodwork! Netley has stayed the same (more of less), even when new nearby parkruns cropped up. The one at Lee-On-Solent (by the beach) has only just been going for a year and is really popular!
    Also love the RD of the parkrun commented above – how cool!
    Anna @AnnaTheApple recently posted…Sunny parkrun and I’m long running again!My Profile

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