Last weekend me and my lovely wife went to London for the weekend. It was Helen’s birthday so we went to the Royal Albert Hall to see the Cirque Du Soleil. Brilliant it was too. As we were in London for a weekend, it seemed a shame not to do a tourist parkrun.
Therein lies a problem. We were staying near to the Royal Albert Hall, and there are no parkruns in the centre of London. There are plenty of parks large enough for a parkrun, but they are all owned and run by The Royal Parks charity, who for some reason don’t like parkruns. Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Green Park, St James’s Park and Regent’s Park could all easily accommodate a parkrun, but they don’t. Maybe it would take an edict from King Charles. I should write to him.
Anyway, the closest parkrun to where we were staying was Fulham Palace, just over three miles away. Sensibly, Helen opted not to come with me, seeing as were going to walking around the V & A museum later. I created a route on my Garmin and found the park without any trouble. Fulham Palace park is a narrow park sandwiched between the River Thames and a large allotment site. The run consists of three and a bit laps on fairly narrow paths.
I lined up in the appropriate box and we were off. As expected, I spent most of the first lap overtaking people who had started way too close to the front for the speed they were running at. Also, I had to dodge a number of runners who were not doing parkrun but had decided to run the route in the opposite direction. I’ve never come across that before.
Anyway, three and a bit laps later I crossed the finish line in a time of 22:13. I was 78th overall and 2nd in my age group. There were also 443 finishers, which for a small park is quite amazing. Another reason why it would be great if the Royal Parks allowed parkrun. After barcode scanning I ran the same route back for a total of ten miles and my longest run so far this year. It was good training as I’ve entered a half marathon in May. I had a quick shower and we headed out to forage for breakfast and to spend a very enjoyable couple of hours in the V & A.
This was my second parkrun in the big smoke, and it was fun, friendly and very well organised. A big thank you to all of the volunteers. Sorry about the lack of photos, I didn’t have a pocket large enough to take my phone with me to parkrun, and I can’t see anything online from last weekend. Instead, there is a photo from the entrance hall inside the V & A.
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