Continuing our trip around the north west, picking off parkruns wherever we go, we headed to the relatively new Tawd Valley parkrun.
The first thing you will probably ask, as almost everyone has, is – Where’s Tawd Valley?
Tawd Valley is in Skelmersdale, the Milton Keynes of the north, the land of roundabouts. I’ve cycled, and got lost, a couple of times around Skelm, and I will be honest it’s not one of those places that I would have expected to return to. I’m glad that I did return, as Tawd Valley parkrun was one of the best parkruns that we’ve ever done.
The weather was proper grim when we set off down the M6 from Lancaster, which didn’t ease off as we rolled into a very quiet carpark near to the start. I had a quick look to make sure that we were in the right place before returning to the warmth of the car. A few minutes to nine and we were standing with a handful of others, huddling beneath the library doors, as the Run Director gave us a briefing. There was a small detour due to flooding, but as it was our first time it wasn’t something for us to worry about.
Helen, my beautiful wife, opted to run with Nelly, our silly Pointer, while I decided to try to be a little speedy. When you look at the route it looks like it crosses a few roads, but it’s all under or over passes. Also, it was only the second time that we’d done a one lapper parkrun, the only other one was Bushy Parkrun back in April (read about it here). As expected, the quicker runners were soon out of sight, but I gradually reeled in a few others, and managed to finish in a very credible 5th place, although I was second in my age group.
Helen managed even better than me, first in her age group and 19th overall. Amazingly well done considering running with Nelly isn’t the easiest. Last weeks race must have been good practice (read about it here). There were plenty of marshalls out on the course, cheering everyone on and warning about slippery grass sections, as well as directional arrows. With only one lap the route is fairly dependent on marshalls, so I hope that it has a good group to keep the run going.
Don’t be put off by the thought of visiting Skelmersdale, Tawd Valley is easily one of the best parkruns, a true hidden gem.