Event#141- 7th March

I always think I am going to arrive late at the Upton House Parkrun because I live in Branksome Park between the Bournemouth and Poole parkrun and it takes longer to get to and is usually into a head wind. As I have not drunk for two days, and woke up early, today I knew I would be on time. Enough time to warm up in the walled garden, look at the fading red camellias and smell the box wood hedges.

I started my Parkrun journey in Poole Park 2012. As the course grew in popularity, partly as it is a fast flat course, it has become a victim of its own success with crowding at the start.

So to take the pressure off , new parkruns have since opened in Bournemouth's King’s Park and Upton House. I was at Upton House for the inaugural run on 3.6.17 (as were 323 other runners) and I knew it was going to be a success. However when I ran the second run on 10.6.17 numbers dropped to 216. Luckily numbers have steadily grown with 344 souls dragging themselves out of bed today. Today was a delight none of the cold windy rain that has plagued 2020.

What do I like/love about the Upton House Course?

  1. Firstly the bicycle ride out along the water’s edge of Holes Bay a chance to dodge dog walkers, look at the waders and swans and glance across the harbour. It saves the car park fee and is a good warm up and down.
  2. Before the start there are two toilets and never the queues of Poole.
  3. No confined spaces where runners assemble where you could catch Corona Virus!
  4. You can run on grass, gravel or mud rather than tarmac for a lot of the course, so better for your joints.
  5. There are no cars or café delivery vans to try to avoid, in fact no sight or noise of roads.
  6. You can hear the announcements.
  7. No elephant costumes overtook me!
  8. No likelihood of dogs trying to run you into boating lakes.
  9. There is a café for a post-race drink or food with 10% off for PR barcode holders.
  10. Lastly the ride home along the harbour’s edge.

    What do I not like about the Upton House Course?

  1. For me based on 20 runs it is on average 82 seconds slower than the Poole course (216 runs). But it is not comparing like with like.
  2. The other runners won’t let me win (today my place was 35th 22.56 and my fastest time this year. I was 1 minute 2 secs off my pb set in 2019. If I lost weight, trained more, drank less perhaps I’d be a few seconds quicker, perhaps…

Today’s top male was Jason Robbins, a Lytchett Manor Strider in 18.27 ,not bad for a vet 40-45! Top female Clare Wood in 22.41 who is also 40-44 category!, when she went past me lap 2, I tried to stay with her.…Top junior was Abigail Westcott in 22.57 cat 11-14 who was staring at the back of my T-shirt! Top gent over 60 was Nigel Haywood 21.01 .Top lady over 50 Julia Hurt 23.59. There were 65 PB’s today too, so congratulations to them.

Well the Temperature was 9 degrees centigrade, Wind was 20 mph (so it felt like 6 degrees centigrade) South Westerly, Humidity 89%, Precipitation 0 , Air Pressure 1018 mb and 100% clouds .

Thanks to all the marshals, deputies, sheriffs and Race Director. It could be your turn to volunteer next week. Your Parkrun needs you!

James S. Fuller