Running groom, Womble hunt & is it a sandwich?

An away fixture as I joined Other Dan at Wimbledon Common parkrun to strike another London event off our list while completing the last parkrun for Other Dan as an unmarried man. He had a busy day ahead of him getting the local wedding venue and reception site into final order while I had the luxury of a run, heading home for lunch and then returning later to see the wonderful couple get married before dancing the night away.

There is ample car parking at the Windmill Museum, which is a short walk from the parkrun meeting point and the crowd is clearly visible as you arrive. I saw plenty of bike racks at the edge of the car park, between the café and the parkrun meeting point, and there seems to be good public transport links. We were time restrained today due to the afternoon wedding so both of us had driven.

When you travel round different parkrun locations then you start to get a feel for how things are run in a certain area. parkrun ambassadors now work in certain areas to help set up new parkruns and you can feel their ‘touch’ if you visit events in their area. I haven’t visited many of the Kent based parkrun events but I know that they have the ‘fingerprints’ of the event activation team across them so that the look and feel across Kent is the same. So this made things interesting as the ‘touch’ on Wimbledon, which has taken place since 2007, is completely different from my usual West London events. In fine Seinfeld tradition… “not that there’s anything wrong with that“.

The meeting point is 400m from the parkrun start line and the run briefing started just after 9am rather than a run start of 9am. I don’t know if that’s a normal feature but there were plenty of runners still arriving from 9am onwards so I suspect that this is a common occurrence. We were all led down to the start line, marked out with a chalk line substance, and everyone was off and running at 9:11am.

We set off at a very gentle pace with intention not to ruin legs or injure ourselves before the afternoon festivities. The course reminded me of Black Park parkrun, a mixture of wide and narrow trail paths through the woodland, and consists of two and a bit laps to finish in the area where the run briefing takes place (which makes sense why the briefing takes place there, so items can be safely left ready for collection at the end). The same chalk like substance appears around the course in the form or arrows pointing where to go so there is a little chance of running down one of the many crisscrossing paths.

Our slow first lap led to a faster second burst, especially as our competitive spirits took over when we spotted several junior runners ahead of us (yes… it’s not a race… but we can still run faster when our egotistical male ego tells us to) and we were soon jogging through the finish funnel to collect our tokens and get our barcodes scanned.

The Windmill Tearooms is located at the side of the car park and is the site of choice for everyone at the end of the run with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. They offer a large range of food and drink although no scrambled egg option (boooooooo!) so I went with bacon and fried egg on toast that I then realised was a bacon and egg sandwich without the bread being pressed together. There were no Wombles to be seen on the Common but it was nice to see a family of Wombles settled on the shelves above the café serving area.

We enjoyed our visit to Wimbledon Common parkrun and we have both pencilled in a return visit when we are in good shape and want to record a fast 5km time. This is a flat & fast course with a friendly core team with heaps of parkrun experience.

Running Dan parkrun result:

  • parkrun time: 0:28:01
  • Garmin time: 0:28:00
  • Finish position: 205 / 283
  • Gender position: 159 / 181
  • Age category: VM40-44
  • Age grade: 48.72 %