Today I ran the brand new parkrun along Morecambe Prom, and brilliant it was too. Potentially a very fast parkrun as it is completely flat, much like Fleetwood parkrun. It was nice and sunny as well, although very cold. I wasn’t particularly speedy as I had decided to make a long steady run out of it by running the 8km there and back as well. You can see by the photo below that the newly refurbished prom is nice and wide, and with ten minutes to the start there were plenty of people milling about. My beautiful wife and unruly dog were also there, but had sensibly opted to drive, giving a lift to a neighbour.
The run itself starts at the southern end of the prom and heads north past the famous Midland Hotel. It was funny seeing the blank faces of the guests eating breakfast as a couple of hundred runners went past, much like a dog being shown a card trick. There’s a short out and back on the Stone Jetty before continuing along the prom, and then turning around and coming back. As with out and back courses it’s great to see runners going in the opposite direction, whether it’s the speedy ones near to the front, or cheering on the slower runners nearer the back.
In the parkrunning community there is a ‘thing’ about completing inaugural parkruns, which can be a bit of a problem for the organisers. It can take time for a new team to become smooth, and it is therefore better if the first few parkruns are a little smaller and gradually build in size. It can also impact upon people who use a park (or prom) on a Saturday morning and aren’t expecting hundreds of runners to be there. Parkrun UK don’t overly advertise new parkruns for this reason. Morecambe Prom parkrun was on the UK parkrun website a week before the first event, but sometimes a new parkrun might only go ‘live’ the day before. My wife mentioned that there had been a few people in social media who hadn’t known about it. That’s the idea, and hopefully those people who missed out on the first event will come along in the next few weeks and months.
Today there were 264 finishers, with people from all over the place, including lots of friendly faces from Lancaster. Many of those people might make Morecambe their ‘home’ parkrun if it is closer. It might also impact upon Lancaster, which wouldn’t be a bad thing as the narrow paths make it a little crowded, especially with over 400 runners. History has shown, however, that whenever a new parkrun starts up, runners new to parkrun start running, and other parkruns nearby barely reduce in size.
Morecambe Prom parkrun has the potential to be able to accommodate many more runners, and hopefully it will attract many new runners from the immediate area. Overall it was a fantastic first event, and one that both me and my wife are looking forward to running probably once a month or so.