Last weekend me and my beautiful wife had the opportunity to run at Bushy parkrun, the home of parkrun, the park where the very first parkrun was held 14 and a half years ago. I will admit that it was unlike any parkrun that I’d done before.
We were in London for a weekend staying with Helen’s eldest son who live in Colliers Wood. Tom had asked if we wanted to do a parkrun on the Saturday and had recommended Clapham, as it was fairly near. He also suggested going for a swim afterwards at one of London’s open air lidos. Tooting Bec lido was not yet open to the public so we opted for Hampton lido, which is at the other side of Bushy Park from the parkrun.
I’ve heard stories about Bushy parkrun and how busy it can get, so we left with plenty of time and even managed to find space for the car. Obligatory before parkrun photo in the car is below (it was cold).
The start is next to the Diana memorial along a wide section of park, which it needs to be as there was well over a thousand people there. including two volunteers with large speakers on their heads so that everyone could here the run director. We didn’t start near to the front and as expected I was soon boxed in and running at everyone’s else pace. The good thing about this was that it meant that I could run with Tom. With so many people it’s also good that thing that it’s only one lap, and very flat, which makes a change from Lancaster. We pushed on to the finish and Tom managed to sneak under 22 minutes for the first time. My amazing wife also managed a pb, only a few seconds outside 25 minutes. She’ll be under 25 minutes before the end of the year. Excellent running all round 🙂
The finish tunnel was huge but well organised, and the barcode scanners we quick and efficient as you would expect with that many people every week. There were 1274 finishers this week which is amazing when you consider that Lancaster gets too busy when there’s over 300!
I’m really pleased that we had the opportunity for a pilgrimage to Bushy Park, but I can honestly say that I doubt if I will run there again. It’s not easy to get to, with no Tube station nearby, the traffic is terrible, and there isn’t enough parking, so a big thank you to Tom for getting us there.
Last weekend was also the London Marathon so I expected that there would be more runners than usual, but at Bushy Park the numbers were about the same. Clapham Common parkrun on the other hand had record numbers, most likely because it’s situated near to a Tube station, making it fairly easy for tourists who don’t know London to get to.
Overall we had a great weekend in London, seeing the Britsh Museum, getting whooped by my wife at table tennis in a bar in Wimbledon, and generally doing a whole bunch of touristy stuff. Bushy parkrun was the icing on the cake.