I know, I know – when I went to bed last night a parkrun was not featuring in my plans for today but I woke at 5.30 and saw that on facebook Wimpole Estate parkrun were promising that, come what may, they would put on a parkrun today – I had a quick look out the window and saw traffic moving freely along the A52 so my mind was made up!
1½ hours and 74 miles later I was standing around with 143 other personages at the start line of a very snowy parkrun course at the National Trust property that is Wimpole Estate. I believe car parking is charged at £2.00 but is free to NT members of which I am one. The first kilometre is nice and flat and along one of the estate roads which had been gritted this morning. It then heads off onto grassland (or so I was told but with 4 inches of snow on the ground we could have been running on anything!) and having risen gently from 1km onwards you are confronted with a very steep but mercifully short mountain to the 2km mark!
The course then flows gently downhill all the way to the 3km marker before rising again towards Wimpole Hall and the 4km point where it levels out to the finish. Even with sub zero temperatures and a dense blanket of snow the course is very picturesque so I can only imagine how beautiful it will look in the spring with the sunlight peeping through the trees and glinting off the lake as you glide gracefully across the blooming parkland rejoicing at the sight of new born lambs gamboling in the pasture……..
Anyway, back in the real world the distinct lack of traction (I was running in my hated trail shoes again!) and the mountain at 2km meant that I stopped the watch at 35.31 and given that I wasn’t expecting to do a parkrun at all today I’m very chuffed with that! The National Trust run an excellent if somewhat pricey (latte & slice of cake – £4.95) cafe which was exceptionally well patronised this morning and I fell into conversation with a guy called Glyn Smith who ran 24.36 at the age of 67 and who made me realize once again that I’m really not trying hard enough! To sum up then, beautiful course, nice cafe and as ever truly excellent volunteers – I know I keep saying it but this IS one I will go back to in better weather!
Sheep of the day features a couple of pictures of my own girls in the snow….