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

parkrun tourism: faelledparken, Denmark

Event #65, and parkrun #263, country#5

Reason for visit – supporting a mate doing the Copenhagen half-marathon.

After falling at Sixmilewater at the end of July, I knew I had 2 trips already planned, with flights and accommodation booked.  So as I was sat in A&E, I set myself what I thought was a realistic target of being able to WALK at both those parkruns.  It hadn’t been my intention to be the official tailwalker for both, but that’s how it turned out. In Danish “Gående bagtrop”

I was making this visit, to a new to me country and capital city, with my husband, to support a friend doing the half-marathon.  Same friend who’d done the Paris marathon earlier, when I did Bois du Boulogne

Would it be Wonderful Wonderful Copenhagen?

Access:

For the second week in a row I headed to Sprucefield to get the great value bus to Dublin airport.  Ryanair fly to CPH, so we had the usual charges for extras, such as sitting together, and prayed that our hand lugagge would meet the size scrutiny.  We knew that Denmark is expensive, so we stocked up on booze before we boarded.  We got a taxi into Hotel Nora, in the Norrebro district, which was a pricey way to get the 6 miles into town.  But I always get frustrated at the end of a journey to a new city if I have to do the “Where’s the metro? How much is it? How do I buy a ticket? Do I have to change?  Oh no I’ve gone the wrong direction!  Is it this stop? Now where’s the hotel? Oh no I’ve gone the wrong way! ” opera.

I’d chosen Hotel Nora for its proximity to the start and end of the half marathon, which is also where faelledparken parkrun takes place.  It was a pleasant 20 minute walk from the hotel.

This way to parkrun!

We met up with fellow parkrunners en route, who had been here last year, so they kept us right.  There are public transport routes detailed on the parkrun page.

 

 

It’s Denmark, most people arrive by bike.

Crowd:

I’d been communicating via Facebook with world tourist Gert, who told me that he was hoping that the influx of marathon visitors might get to the Danish attendance record of 181!

There were LOTS of serious runners from all around the world.  The couple we met en route were from Scotland, and I got chatting to a South African wearing a 100 runs cap!

They don’t always have a tailwalker, so I was pleased to be able to encourage a couple of locals, nursing various injuries, to walk with me.

178 runners – so a new record for this event!!

 

 

Course:

It’s a flat, fast course – 3 laps, starting and ending at the same point by the see-saw.

 

Course record is 15.32.  Markers are set out in flour.

The course runs past a lovely fountain in a lake, and a dome roofed cafe.

 

Facilities:

There are clean loos in the park. Start and end are at the same place, so you can leave coats and bags there. I didn’t manage to stay for the post run coffee, but there are plenty of lovely cafes nearby.

 

 

Time:

I was walking rather briskly, and getting lots of “thank yous” from runners overtaking.  You do need good working thumbs in this role.  I did it in 55 minutes which I was impressed with!

And the rest:

Oh Copenhagen, you have stolen my heart!

Effortlessly cool and stylish, warm and family friendly, colourful and bathed in light reflecting from water, easy to get around, wide streets and cobblestones, blankets and heaters, open sandwiches and pastries, street parties and canal boats.

We witnessed the world record being broken at the half marathon.  And I’m sorely tempted to have a go next year.  (At the half, not the WR!)

All My parkruns:

NI (and other) parkruns: summary list

parkrun tourism: Sixmilewater

Now Updated! See below

Shoulda been event #64, and parkrun #262, but read on….

Reason for visit – attempting to regain regionnaire status.

 

Update – revisited in September and acheived regionnaire.  Event number 66 at 6 mile water.  Now called SixMileWalker in my book.

No parkrun last week as I’d been dancing in Scotland, and so missed the inaugural of Norn Irn’s latest, held in Sixmilewater Park, Ballyclare.  So I set off to complete my set.

Access:

Its about a 30 minute trip from Belfast, mostly motorway, with an Applegreen stop available en route.  Minnie was delighted to be back in her running harness, having missed out the past few weeks.

I’d used the sat nav co-ordinates given for parking, which took me to the War Memorial park, with nowhere obvious to park. I drove back around where I knew the run starts, and followed a “P” sign to try to find a car park, but to no avail.  In the end I parked at the Park’n’ride spaces at the bus station, and used the time-honoured method of “look for other parkrunners and follow them”.

Others parked at the Leisure Centre, where there are loos.  But no cafe.

Update: parked at the leisure centre this time, and used the clean well maintained loos.

It’s about 10 miles from the International Airport, which might tempt a few toruists, but with no public transport options you’d be relying on hire car, taxi or lift.

Crowd:

A number of parkrun toruists had the same idea as me, and there was a goodly collection of us for a photo.  Also, well done to Davy on reaching his 50th different event!

 

Numbers are still quite high (306 this week, 490 at the inaugural), but I’d expect those to drop off in the coming weeks.  It’s a dog friendly course, there were buggies, and a good few walkers.

Update: 180 at event number 10, and that seems to be the settled figure.

Course:

There#s one big lap, then 3 small ones.  Lollipop shaped, so out a stem from the start and then all the lopps, signposted, before returning to the start.  Start and finish are in the same place, so you can leave coats and stuff there, though it’s all outdoors.  It’s pretty flat and all on tarmac path.  Though it’s quite bunchy at the start, and the multiple laps does mean you’ll be overtaken quite a lot by the speedy front runners.

I’d done my first 10k of the year the previous night, and was just getting into the first lap and thinking, Wow, I’ve missed running!  when I missed my footing and went over my left foot.  My sunglasses went flying (but survived), and lots of runners stopped to make sure I was OK.  I had a grazed palm and elbow, but was finding it hard to put weight on my left foot.  After a brief sit down to catch my breath, my plan was to take it easy and walk the rest of the course.

As I ploughed on with Lap 2, it became obvious that I was going to have to abandon any plans to complete.  Rosie Ryan, who I’d met at Strabane, was voluntering, and she walked  back with me, telling me aboout her marathon experiences (at my request, as a distraction technique).  She also found the first aid kit and bandaged my ankle.

The voyage home:

I don’t know how I managed to drive home, using as few gears as possible.  I wrapped and iced and elevated my foot, but as the afternoon wore on it got more swollen and and more painful.  My first instinct was to reassure myself it would be fine, but then I reluctantly admitted that if it WAS broken, then ice and rest were not going to be enough.

So at 4pm I allowed R to drive me to A&E, where I settled in for an interesting few hours.  Saturday afternoon is obviously peak Sports Injury time, and the X-Ray machine was doing a roraing trade.  Some arrivals were accompanied by police officers, I suspect as Saturday evening wore on the picture would get messier and noisier.  As it was, I was discharged just before 8, with a fracture of my 5th metatarsel.  I have a big chunky boot to wear, and a pair of crutches to hobble on.  And it’s over to the fratcure clinic for rehab.

Future plans:

I’d hoped to do Buncrana next week, but that is clearly a re-schedule. I have flights and accommodation booked for Jersey and Copenhagen in September, so my best aim is to be able to walk gently round those.  Hey, at least they were able to save my leg!

 

Update: I tailwalked at both Jersey and Fælledparken!

And Sixmilewater will have to be graced with my presence at some future date.

Update: It was!  On a glorious September morning, where I briskly marched around to a sub-50 minute time, laughing aloud to the WithMeNow podcast.  Regionnaire Regained!

All My parkruns:

NI (and other) parkruns: summary list