Saturday March 14th 2020 – Blickling parkrun #322

Run report by Neil ADAMS (A114873)

Like thousands of others, parkrun has become a bit of a routine for me and today was no different. For the last six years or so, more often than not Saturday morning has meant getting up at 7, fuelling with coffee & porridge before making the short trip to Blickling. After initially trying this parkrun due to local proximity I haven’t strayed very far since due to the amazing scenery, great running terrain, the Muddy Boots café and of course all of the friendly faces.

Today I was helping out by briefing the first timers whilst one of our regular Run Directors, Noel warmly welcomed everyone at the main entrance to the park, providing the customary run information, announcements and most importantly thanking the large team of wonderful volunteers. Then we began the chatty walk to the cruelly positioned start at the base of a proper Norfolk hill!

After the initial charge up the slope through the first gate, the route flattens out nicely giving everyone the chance to catch their breath and settle into their own pace. I sometimes take a glance to my left to appreciate the little noticed pyramid shaped mausoleum before entering the long straight of hard track towards the 1st mile mark. It’s then a sharp right turn, through the second gate and into the breeze, downhill past the encouraging volunteers and back up to the briefing area which marks the halfway point. Now the (really) hard work begins as mile 2 takes us to the brow of ‘the hill’ for a second time, a point where I and many others are usually gasping for a bit of respite as the course flattens into the last mile.

The downhill finish appears at just the right time and perfect for those aiming for a personal best time to find that last sprint as they enter the finishing funnel. Today I crossed the line to complete my 234th parkrun feeling the same buzz as usual and it’s always good to watch others coming into the finish, all with their own personal achievements. It is then back to the café for a coffee and catch up. Same again next week (or whenever that might be!).