Zuiderpark parkrun

event

Event #82 parkrun #304 letter Z

That elusive alphabeteer status finally achieved!

Access:

The Netherlands main Schipol airport is a massive hub, so there are frequent flights from all over the world. It is well served with a train station on site, and trains to The Hague (or Den Haag) take around 40 minutes.

Den Haag is a city very well served by public transport, and clean efficient trams and buses (and trains) run frequently. A day tram ticket costs 7 euro, you can take the number 9 tram out to the Zuiderpark stop itself (photo opportunity), or number 16 to Loevensteinlaan on the corner of the park. During my visit, there were works happening on the no.16 tram which meant it actually stopped at the Zuiderpark stop, hurrah!

The runners gather near the massive Sportcampus, a stunning circular building with a huge copper collar, glinting purple and bronze in the sunlight.

Facilities:

There are clean loos in the Sportcampus,

and coffee and parkfaff afterwards in the Parkoers cafe. Service is slow here, but there’s a tasty selection of cakes, toasties, and even beer if you fancy it (shout out to the Northern lass behind me in the queue who was having one “because she could” :-))

Crowd:

No surprise, this is a major tourist draw, though numbers are usually manageably around 60-80. Attending the 25th event with me were a hen party some of whom were running, and others who were doing tailwalker and photographer duties.

Others had made a short trip over from the south of England, whilst I also got chatting some Welsh visitors. Those cow cowls come in handy! I was making this a delayed “zixtieth” birthday celebration, and this was one of many trips which had been rescheduled a few times due to travel restrictions and quarantine requirements. So it was an absolute joy to be here on a gloriously sunny Saturday morning.

My goodbyes when leaving the cafe were “safe trip home” “all the best with the wedding” “see you in Belfast sometime” and “Happy Z Day!”

Course:

The Invictus Games were due to take place in the following month, and so an alternative 3 lap course was being used. This is the Netherlands – there are no hills! The paths are good tarmac, but do watch out for other users on bikes and roller blades.

Time:

My running times are still rubbish, so I was hoping for 15 minute laps, and was very pleased when my final time was a tad over 40 minutes. A next target to aim for!

Strangely Appropriate Song On Shuffle:

I’d forgotten to bring my waist belt to hold my phone, so I ran without music, which allowed me to hear a woodpecker in the trees. There is much avian activity here, with ducks, geese and even hens joining the song. Instead of music, in my head I counted from 1 to 100 in English, then French, German and Spanish, with a 1-20 walk break in between. Then backwards from 100 trying to find a song with that number in it. 12 Days of Christmas took some time trying to remember how many lords were a-swimming, and how many gold swans were a-milking.

Gear:

I wore my green 250 shirt (much admired), my warm black running trousers (almost too warm given the beautiful weather), and the aforementioned cow cowl. Forgot my running belt and wrist band. Saucony shoes were perfect for this terrain, and I also travelled in them to save space in my luggage. I had my aqua tourist jacket on against the chilly morning, and lent that to R afterwards while he was on paparazzi duty.

And The Rest:

A few days in Den Haag are very highly recommended, a beautiful friendly city with lots to see and a relaxed vibe. Trip To The Netherlands

All My parkruns:

NI (and other) parkruns: summary list

2 Responses

  1. […] Saturday is parkrun day. But this was no ordinary parkrun day. This was Letter Z day, getting that final letter in my alphabet, and fulfilling the “thing I want to do” that I said on The Chase. Previously Zs were only in Poland or South Africa, so Zuiderpark (literally Southpark) is a very much appreciated addition to the fold, being easily accessible from much of the UK. My usual parkrun write up is here Zuiderpark parkrun […]

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