The Son is back from Japan and had already been up and about for several hours by the time I got out of bed so he was looking forward to joining me and Other Dan in our ongoing bid to run all the London parkruns (defined as any parkrun that starts within the M25 boundary… I know… I know… that’s not quite London and doesn’t even line up with the events listed under ‘Greater London’ on the parkrun UK web site… but that’s the definition from Danny Norman on the parkrun show and that’s good enough for me).

This week I selected Ally Pally parkrun, simply because it’s top of the alphabetical list, and we made the short journey across London. Parking was plentiful along the South Terrace and I believe that there is also lots of parking available further up at Alexandra Palace. The free road side parking on South Terrace is closer to the start / finish area and always check what events are going on at Alexandra Palace. I hadn’t thought to check in advance and there was a large social media event taking place with hundreds of teenage visitors arriving to meet their YouTube & FriendFace heroes. We bumped into some parkrun tourists who had dropped their teenage offspring at the event and were running before killing time in London.

The course is a combination of trail and tarmac across three levels of the hill that leads up to Alexandra Palace. I have a real soft spot for the smaller parkruns as they tend to have small group of passionate and friendly volunteers and this event is no exception. The run briefing gave us a feel for the course and then we were off running.

The Son hasn’t run at parkrun for a loooooooong time. He hasn’t run in a loooooooong time. He hasn’t completed any physical exercise for a loooooooong time. This meant that we were jogging round near the back together but I was quite happy because we were chatting away about his holiday in Japan. Although he had been home for a few days, we had not spent much time together because he was jet lagged and sleeping in the evening when I arrived home from work.

We completed the first of the two laps, taking in a steep climb up the hill, and were slowly overtaking a few runners on our way round. The Son then blew up near the end of the second lap, which meant that we walked the last section into the finish funnel as everyone passed us. We thought that we were the last finishers, not that it mattered, but the results show that there was one more person after us.

Unfortunately there did not seem to be a café nearby but we also had to get going since Mrs Dan was expecting us for lunch in London. We really enjoyed the playful nature of the course and the friendly core team who setup and run the event. Hopefully I can plan a return visit sometime to have a go at running fast time.

Running Dan parkrun result:

  • parkrun time: 0:35:09
  • Garmin time: 0:35.09
  • Finish position: 85 / 86
  • Gender position: 58 / 58
  • Age category: VM40-44
  • Age grade: 38.83 %