Gunnersbury parkrun was cancelled this week due to preparations for the London Mela, which takes place tomorrow, so we headed off to the Wormwood Scrubs parkrun instead for our weekly parkrun. The Son was excited to go past a real life prison and had visions of orange clad inmates scaling the walls while armed guards gave chase. I had to lower his expectations slightly and he was only a tiny bit disappointed to find out that it was a big old building with big old walls around it.

We drove to the site and there is plenty of free car parking available at the weekend, which is a huge plus point for me, and we went to the finish funnel area first so I could leave our water bottle ready for the finish. Gunnersbury starts and finishes at the same location but checking the Wormwood Scrubs route online yesterday I noticed that the start area is in a different spot to the finish area.

I sheltered in some shade with The Son while the pre-run briefing was given out, with the important notice to say good morning to any dog owners who sometimes choose to deliberately walk across the runners on the narrowest point of the route, and then we were off. Kind of. Actually, we were not. I am not quite sure what happened but the volunteer with the timing device was on our side of the start line and I distinctly heard it making a series of pitched noises consistent with a start countdown. Then nothing happened. The race director was on the opposite side with his back to everyone and we seemed to stand around for a while before he turned around and officially started the run.

So what was the route & run like?

Running Dan View: Really enjoyable grass / mild trail loop around the Wormwood Scrub with plenty of plant & wildlife to view. Friendly volunteers for a lower amount of runners compared to Gunnersbury (approx 50 compared to 150). It was a warm day so no sign of puddles or mud but the narrowest section of the path was quite worn down and looked like it might provide some mild challenges during the rain & mud seasons (which, to be honest, is 90% of the time in England). I give it a thumbs up and I look forward to running it again.

The Son View: Too hot, sulk. Not enough shade, sulk. Too hut, sulk. I have had enough running and we will walk the rest, sulk. Why is someone flying a plane in the middle of the field? Sulk. Too hot, sulk. I do not care if you are going to be last because I will make sure to cross the finish line before you, sulk.

So there you have it. I really enjoyed it but it was t0o hot a day for The Son and he missed the generous sections of shade given by all the trees around Gunnersbury. He was also disappointed by the lack of escaping prisoners but we cannot hold that against parkrun.

Note: something was definitely suspect about the timing today. I started my Garmin when the race director shouted go and everyone started to run. However, my official parkrun time was nearly 60 seconds slower and that does not make sense. My guess is that the timing volunteer started the timing device and the race director thought the timer was also going to shout go but that did not happen.

Running Dan parkrun result:

  • parkrun time: 0:40:24
  • Garmin time: 0:39:29
  • Gun position: 49 / 49
  • Gender position: 44 / 44
  • Age category: SM35-39
  • Age grade: 33.29 %

The Son parkrun result:

  • parkrun time: 0:40:23
  • Garmin time: not taken
  • Gun position: 48 / 49
  • Gender position: 43 / 44
  • Age category: JM14
  • Age grade: 39.08 %