All by myself, I went parkrunning all by myself. Other Dan is saving his legs this year so each Met League fixture clash leaves me with the choice of staying home for a nearby parkrun or casting the net further afield. This week I made the drive to the beautiful Alice Holt Forest to run at Alice Holt parkrun.

My satnav was playing its usual tricks and taking me nowhere near my intended destination. Thankfully there are plenty of signs for Go Ape, which I correctly guessed would be at Alice Holt Forest, so followed them all the way into the car park. I can’t remember the exact parking charge but it was reasonable and there was plenty of parking spaces available.

Winter weather is slowly descending so all the runners and volunteers were taking shelter from the rain wherever they could. I implanted myself under a wooden structure, where the event team had setup, and stood there for the run briefing. The start line is nearby so it wasn’t long before we were of running and the rain even began to die away.

It’s a two lap course through the forest, a mixture of Black Park parkrun and Lanhydrock parkrun, with forest trails, woodland streams, and a smattering of hills. I was running behind a father and his young daughter, who had earlier been introduced as running their 100th (father) and 50th (daughter) parkrun. The girl was seeking out every puddle and stomping through them with wild abandonment. Her legs and back were covered in mud but she was clearly having the time of her life. Good on her.

I ran gently round, taking in the scenery and cursing the hill. The run was soon over and I made a brief pit-stop into the café (conveniently next to the finish area) for a home made flapjack before driving home. I’ve marked this one down for a summer return as it’s a lovely place to run.