parkrun tourism: Markeaton, Derby

parkrun #266 event #67

Reason for visit – Jemima’s latest show, “Step Sonic”, and co-incidentally Markeaton’s 300th event!

Access:

I flew to Birmingham International Airport, which has great rail links to many local towns and cities.  The train to Derby took about an hour, and I got a taxi from the station to Jury’s Hotel.  This was in a great location right on the edge of Cathedral Quarter, and literally round the corner from Deda, where Jemima’s show was.

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To get to Markeaton Park I took a taxi for a fiver, but I walked back afterwards, which took about 40 minutes.

There are buses that go from the city centre to the park, but I can never manage to work out buses in foreign parts, whether they take contactless, or exact cash, or a particular card.

Course:

Markeaton Park is a lovely spot with plenty to entertain visitors.  The course is 2 big laps with only one slight hill.

The route is all on paths, but they do get a bit mucky and puddly.

There’s a compulsory duck pond, and a few bits of sculpture. Finish tokens are collected in buckets.

Crowd:

There’s usually about 500, with lots of well behaved dogs. I received token number 626, which I thought made me Stitch the alien, but the results showed me at 527.

I’m guessing there was an issue with the finish tokens, so well done to whoever sorted that out!  The volunteers were brilliant, a good clear first timers brief, a shout out to visitors and milestones, and a special”jog walk” leader, suitably attired in 118 gear.

I gave a “Dolly or Bev” greeting to someone in a With Me Now Tshirt.

Gear:

I was having zip issues with my new jacket, and also with my running belt.  My 250 shirt got a “well done”, and my trainers were fine for the surface.

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It was chilly, so I was glad of my Jog Lisburn beanie, and UK parkrun tourist cow cowl.

Time:

I’m still getting back after injury, so I was “jeffing” my way round (a mix of jog and walking).  The jog-walk group were really supportive, and encouraged each other to “just get to the next tree” or similar.  I was happy enough with my 40 minute time. And grateful for the water provided at the finish.

Facilities:

The start and finish are near the Orangery, where there is a cafe serving a delcious array of traybakes and cakes.  Dogs are welcome, in fact they even get special discount!

In the walled courtyard there are a selection of craft shops, and some clean loos.

And The Rest:

Well Jemima’s show was rather fabulous!  I never tire of overhearing members of the audience in the queue for the loo or the bar expressing their admiration for her.  There was even a special Step Sonic cocktail!

And I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Derby, its cathedral with beautiful modern stained glass windows hosting a very moving Knife Angel made from handed in knives in a bid to raise awareness and reduce the incidence of stabbings.

I even managed to get a haircut – well, I’ve never seen a place that had quite so many hairdressers, so it would’ve seemed rude not to.

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I enjoyed a fish finger sandwich in Bear, a veggie curry in the oldest pub, The Dolphin, a dish of garlicky mushrooms with stilton breadcrumbs in the Wonky Table, and a bakewell tart from Birds home bakery.

I found a delightful Saturday afternoon recital by the Derby Orchestral Society in the old Derby Museum and Art gallery.  Haven’t quite worked out who all the heads emblazoned on Speakers Corner are.  But I’ll happily come and visit again!

All My parkruns:

NI (and other) parkruns: summary list

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