Croxteth Hall parkrun review

Since I’m still in Liverpool, I decided to go further afield for my weekly parkrun – and drove on down to Croxteth Hall parkrun.

The course is a single lap, on pretty flat terrain (Nike+ reported an elevation of 20ft, which was barely noticeable). The path is a mixture of concrete and trail which, despite recent showers, wasn’t too muddy and there were plenty of volunteers lining the course so it was hard to get lost. There were a few dog walkers on the route, but apart from that the park was fairly quiet. A lot of the route was in the shade, so on sunny days it would probably stay quite cool and you wouldn’t need your factor 50 (though I won’t be held responsible for any dodgy tan lines you might end up with).

My only complaint was that the start was very cramped, with many slower runners (including children) at the front. This carried on for perhaps the first half-mile of the run. I imagine this could be sorted fairly easily by asking people who are hoping for a sub-20 finish to move to the front, sub-25 just behind them, etc.

Either way, this is a minor gripe (and common to a lot of parkruns). The park is lovely – especially the grand Croxteth Hall – the route is flat, and the volunteers were all very friendly and encouraging. The onsite parking is convenient (and less than 5 minutes away from the starting point – which is right next to Croxteth Hall), and so are the toilets. Although only young (this was only the 23rd iteration), the organisation was slick – I can easily see the run regularly passing the 200 runners mark as word spreads.2015-08-15 - Croxteth Hall run

My run was good – I always find new locations mentally easier since I concentrate on the surroundings and forget about the effort/exhaustion. Compared to last week’s parkrun, I was 22s quicker – but that’s probably due to the lack of hills rather than improved fitness. See my times here. I’m hoping to get back to the 19m-somethings, and then eventually sub-19m… MamaJ also enjoyed the route, with the horses grazing an added bonus.

Main points

  • Laps: 1
  • PB potential: High – could get slippy after a bit of rain though. That might mean you move quicker, or it might mean you break your neck…
  • Facilities: Toilets, onsite car parking, playground (meant to be for kids, but I had a little swing as I waited for MamaJ to finish)

Parkrun Reviews: Introduction!

(NB: for those who don’t know what Parkruns are, they’re weekly, free, timed 5k runs in parks – so they got the name spot on. There’s bound to be one near you, so why not give it a go? Check out http://www.parkrun.org.uk/ for more information.)

I’ve been running since 2012, and managed to get countless 10ks, a few half-marathons, and a single full marathon under my belt since then. I’d overlooked the shorter distances since I always thought that if I’d spent 10 minutes warming up, I wanted to be running for at least 30 minutes. After running the Liverpool Rock n Roll Marathon in May 2014, I was a bit sick of long distances (whilst running through the Sheffield countryside can be a life-affirming, beautiful experience, 21 miles of continuous hills in the pouring rain can be soul/sole destroying). I’d read about Parkruns but they never fit into my training schedule of ‘go hard, go long, go fast’ – a mantra which I also use in other areas of my life, not always intentionally. So, after a brief break from running, I decided to try them out.

Since turning up to my first Parkrun in July 2014, paper barcode in hand, I’ve been hooked on 5ks. They’re short enough to go all out from the get go, but long enough feel a sense of accomplishment at the end/justify a strong drink afterwards (who cares if you’re finished by 9:30? Oh, my doctor…).

I’m usually at the Princes Park parkrun if I’m in Liverpool, or the Mile End parkrun if I’m in London… but after a while, I began to fancy a bit of a change. So, I’ve set myself a challenge – I have two years of my PhD left (hopefully…) and in that time I want to run all 47 of the London parkruns. This part of my blog is to chronicle that journey, provide brief friendly reviews, share my progress, and motivate me to get out despite the weather, the hangover, or the warm embrace of my bed.

List of London Parkruns

  1. Ally Pally parkrun
  2. Barking parkrun
  3. Beckton parkrun
  4. Bedfont Lakes parkrun
  5. Bexley parkrun
  6. Brockwell parkrun, Herne Hill
  7. Bromley parkrun
  8. Burgess parkrun
  9. Bushy parkrun
  10. Crane Park parkrun
  11. Crystal Palace parkrun
  12. Dulwich parkrun
  13. Finsbury parkrun
  14. Fulham Palace parkrun
  15. Gladstone parkrun
  16. Greenwich parkrun
  17. Grovelands parkrun, Enfield
  18. Gunnersbury parkrun
  19. Gunpowder parkrun
  20. Hackney Marshes parkrun
  21. Hampstead Heath parkrun
  22. Harrow Lodge parkrun
  23. Harrow parkrun
  24. Highbury Fields parkrun
  25. Hilly Fields parkrun
  26. Kingston parkrun
  27. Lloyd parkrun, Croydon
  28. Mile End parkrun
  29. Nonsuch parkrun
  30. Northala Fields parkrun
  31. Oak Hill parkrun
  32. Old Deer Park parkrun
  33. Orpington parkrun
  34. Osterley parkrun
  35. Peckham Rye parkrun
  36. Pymmes parkrun
  37. Raphael parkrun
  38. Richmond parkrun
  39. Riddlesdown parkrun
  40. Roundshaw Downs parkrun
  41. South Oxhey parkrun
  42. Southwark parkrun
  43. Valentines parkrun
  44. Walthamstow parkrun
  45. Wanstead Flats parkrun
  46. Wimbledon Common parkrun
  47. Wormwood Scrubs parkrun