Two laps of the pond, and one of the cricket pitch. Simples!
Why Poole Parkrun?
Poole Parkrun is known to be fast. Certainly the fastest of our local events. There’s almost no elevation and it’s run on fairly solid paths and tarmac. So, with my Parkrun PB being far slower than I know I’m capable of running, and Poole only 8 miles down the road, I decided to pick a Saturday and target a shiny new PB. Unfortunately, when the Saturday came, I wasn’t feeling particularly well. A plan though, is a plan.
The briefing at Poole parkrun takes place outside the pavilion on the cricket pitch. From there, the start is just a thirty second walk onto the road that runs through Poole park. Poole regularly attracts over 900 runners, so if you’re wanting to run fast, you’ll need to make sure you are near the front from the off. The first part of the course is two anticlockwise laps of the boating lake, mostly on tarmac, with just a short section on fairly solid gravel. After this you turn right, passing the starting point and turning to run an anticlockwise lap of the cricket pitch. This makes for a fast finish, again on a tarmac surface.
I REALLY wanted to get the train. It’s less than a mile from the station to the start line. It was Bournemouth airshow weekend and I wan’t optimistic about traffic. So it just made sense. Unfortunately though, after some Friday night research I discovered there was a train strike. Wahoo! Those 8 miles were going to take an hour and a quarter. Funnily enough, that wasn’t really an option, so in the end I parked on a residential road near where I used to work and then had a nice 1.4 mile warm up through Baiter and Whitecliff parks to the start.
What I especially loved
- Running around the lake is fun.
- The marshals wear traffic cone hats in order to direct you, and it’s parkrun, so obviously they are also characteristically supportive and friendly.
- There’s so much to do around the park, including the little train, the duck pond and some great play parks, so you could definitely bring the whole family and make a morning of it.
- The organisation is fantastic. With almost 900 runners this week, I only waited about 20 seconds to have my barcode scanned. It’s the best finish funnel of any parkrun I’ve run!
- Free juice and water at the finish for all runners.
And what I didn’t
- As with most races, if you don’t start far enough forwards, your pace will be dictated by others.
- How long that last lap of the cricket pitch felt!
Great! As shown by the fact that despite not really trying until the final mile, I ran my PB on this course. The surface is very run-able, and there’s only 14 feet of elevation over the entire 5k. Poole also has a lot of fast runners, so you get dragged along and can use people to pace you quite easily. Just make sure you don’t start too far back in the pack.
Stats from 31st August 2019
Event number: 436
Number of runners: 895
This weeks fastest: M- 16.12 F- 19.34
All Time Stats
Lasting memory of Poole Parkrun:
Stopping to help the lady in front of me who had inadvertently pushed her pushchair into the lake! And there’s me thinking I was queen of running the tangents! You have been warned….