Solo parkrun tourism at Burgess parkrun for me this week due to Other Dan being away somewhere or other while The Son carried on with his unofficial attempt at the “teenager not moving from bed” world record. Other Dan had run here by himself recently while I was away camping and he had something going on nearby in the afternoon (coincidentally the same day the Ealing Eagles parkrun tourism crew visited). Both Other Dan & the Eagles parkrun posse praised Burgess parkrun so I was looking forward to this one.
I didn’t put much effort into checking out the course so it was with a bit of “follow the people in front” that I found the finish area to drop my top & water bottle off at before returning back to the start line. There was a healthy number of runners while the park was full of competitors and supports attending the British BMX series race so I took the first km easy as we weaved through the park users. The course heads out and back a bit before two loops of the lake and then back to the finish.
Burgess Park itself is carved away in a highly built-up area of London and is hidden away to the extent that you would not picture such a picturesque open space in such a concrete laden environment. However, it’s clearly well used and is well loved by the local community as there were various groups spread across multiple activities through the park.
I had a nice pootle around the park for my run. Things unraveled a bit at the end though. The barcode scanners were so close to the finish funnel that the queue snaked back to the finish funnel. Finishers were stepping over the finish line and were greeted by the back of the queue. If the rate of finishers to scans tipped over then the queue would have been over the finish line so runners would have been blocked. Nothing a bit of funnel management wouldn’t have sorted but thankfully the scanners kept scanning and the finishers rate was slow enough not to cause a problem.
Then the biggest ‘head scratching’ problem. My top and water bottle had vanished from where I had carefully left them under the table in the finish area. There were other runners rummaging around trying to find their things as well. We also noticed that there were keys, wallets, and phones spread out on the grass under the table as well, almost as if someone had gone through everything and shaken personal belongings onto the ground.
I then noticed a pile of bags and clothes opposite, at the base of a tree. I spotted my top and others began to realise that some of their belongings were under the table while the rest were now in a new pile. I can only guess that someone involved with parkrun had moved everything into a nearby pile but in the process dropped small items out of pockets on the way. Not the end of the world but I was starting to worry that someone had gone through stealing bits while everyone was running.
I enjoyed my visit to Burgess and look forward to paying a return visit sometime to attack a decent time on the course.