Saturday, 8 November 2014

Parkrun tour #1 Rushmoor

The Course
I'm kicking off my Parkrun tour with my local run just a couple of miles away which means I can be in bed at 8:30am and still make the 9:00am start!

The Rushmoor Parkrun takes place between the Hampshire towns of Aldershot and Farnborough in the heart of the military town.

Parking is plentiful in the Garrison sports complex a short walk across Queens Avenue which runs along side the start and back straight of the course.

The course predominantly runs round the outside of the vast open playing fields sandwiched between the aforementioned Queens Avenue and Farnborough road (dual carriageway) but does take in about 0.3 miles of the Basingstoke canal.

Although not the most glamorous of courses, its definitely one for a PB.

From the start, there is plenty of width and even if you're not at the front you can get going at your chosen pace as there are no bottle necks.

The gravel track at the start
The course heads out across the field on a gravel path but you can choose to run on the grass if preferred.

It's then along side the dual carriageway on the tarmac path for half a mile before turning onto the Basingstoke canal. Although the canal path is narrow by the time you reach it (1 mile) the field of runners (144 today) has spread out.

Depending on the recent weather depends on the state you find the canal in. With plenty of downpours of late, today the path was extremely muddy and wet. This is where you could lose time chasing your PB but with the right footwear (I suggest trail trainers) you can  still keep your pace.

On exiting the canal it's then onto the gravel path along side Queens avenue before repeating the loop to complete the 3.1 miles.

The home straight
Organisation is satisfactory and marshalled with a few friendly folk. Not the most scenic of courses but a fast flat course with huge potential for a PB.

Runners: 145
Atmosphere: 6 out of 10
Scenery: 6 out of 10
PB potential: 9 out of 10

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