Our parkrun tourism odyssey continues and this week we made our way to Black Park parkrun for our Saturday morning timed run. We have both visited Black Park before for non-running activities – the first time for a walk where we unexpectedly watched the filming of some motorcycle stunt work for the movie Captain America: The First Avenger and the second time on our bikes for a cycle around the park land.

Black Park is not easily accessible by public transport with an 11-year-old in tow but thankfully there is plenty of car parking space, which carries a £2.50 charge before 9am. We arrived in good time so sheltered in the car from some sporadic light rain and then made our way to the start area with some slow jogging to try to warm-up (it was cold!).

This parkrun event is well attended and I found that the start area was quite narrow so you really need to make sure that you are in a suitable start place based on your predicted finish time. As this was our first visit to Black Park we made our way to the back of the starters ready for the run briefing, which was carried out with the aid of a loud megaphone. Unfortunately the people around us decided to carry on chatting across the run briefing so even with the amplified sound we had some difficulty hearing everything – not ideal!

The Son was happy to run by himself again so I set off with a finishing time target of 23 minutes but found myself caught up behind other runners. I finally cleared the main bunch ahead of me and the pathway widened so I hit my stride and found myself using the people ahead as targets to reel in and pass.

My recent marathon training has improved my running fitness & ability no end and I was amazed at how easy it was to maintain my pace. That lasted until just past the 4km point and gradually it became tougher to keep up my speed but I stuck with it and was thankful to finally cross the finish line.

I had time to get my barcode scanned, jog back to the car, and get back to the finishing straight where I took a few pictures of The Son using his iPod. After scanning his result we made a pit stop at the café where The Son refueled himself with a hot chocolate, which he rated as the best parkrun hot chocolate so far.

We enjoyed our visit to Black Park and I was especially grateful to run on firmer ground and not the soggy grass areas of previous weeks. The course is scenic and relatively flat so there is certainly PB potential. The Son rated Black Park parkrun with a ‘double thumbs up’ and is keen to return again in the future.

Running Dan parkrun result:

  • parkrun time: 0:22:38
  • Garmin time: 0:22:39
  • Finish position: 43 / 314
  • Gender position: 43 / 193
  • Age category: SM35-39
  • Age grade: 59.87 %

The Son parkrun result:

  • parkrun time: 0:30:24
  • Garmin time: not taken
  • Finish position: 216 / 193
  • Gender position: 157 / 193
  • Age category: JM14
  • Age grade: 50.33 %