Saturday mornings are my time, its when I log off, forget about work, tie up my laces and head out the door to parkrun. It is truly the perfect start to my weekend and provides the boundary between work and home (even if it is only for an hour or two).
We decided earlier in the year to get as many different parkruns as we could under our belt, mix it up a bit and ensure it doesn’t get boring.
Hockley was on the wish list, especially after my trail challenge back in March, I loved the challenge and I loved the area so going back was most definitely in order. http://www.parkrun.org.uk/hockleywoods/
Parking is easy provided you are there super sharp and early, if not you have to go to the pub next door.
The new runners briefing and weekly briefing is completed near the car park and the finish line, the start line is about 400m further into the woods. A bit of a shock if you are used to the briefings and then going off immediately but personally I enjoyed the walk to the start.
The route is all trail, two laps, and really beautiful, the trees forming a canopy overhead. The ground could become quite muddy and churned up with rain and there was a few drops in the air but not enough for a mud bath today.
Marshalls were incredibly helpful and supportive, and the public also stood by to watch.
It is a busy parkrun with weekly numbers in the 200’s, all different levels, new runners, walkers, those with children and those with dogs (all acceptable as long as children remain with their adult and dogs are on a short lead).
The first lap went really quickly, mainly because I was looking around, avoiding tree roots and making sure I didn’t get lost. My friend was running with her dog and shot past me, the dog keen to stretch her legs.
Approaching the finish for the first time is always a little disconcerting, you know you have to go round again. Few seconds after passing the finish funnel you are back in the woods and looking at the bluebells and wood carvings as you make your way back round.
The finish approach felt hard the second time and my legs were not in a forgiving mood marshals and various members of the public shouted at me to keep going, so I did. A quick run into the finish funnel and I was done. I thanked the volunteers at the finish, a quick chat to the barcode scanner, all very friendly and we made our way to the cafe for a deserved tea.
I enjoyed this parkrun, its a bit of a way to go for it to be a frequent trip but I will go back again.
Next parkrun will be my 50th, I never expected I would ever say that, I guess This Girl Can after all.