Park Run is a phenomenon.
I cannot speak highly enough about it.
Saturday I was off to Cranleigh Park Run, which is a few miles south east of Guildford in Surrey (UK). This was not my first attempt at getting there. Last time I tried I ended up locked out of the house, leaving Ted the dog and my keys still inside! Cue a morning of breaking in and fixing a window instead of a joyful run.
I successfully attended this weekend, and enjoyed it so much I thought it was worthy of ‘An Insider’s Guide’.
Cranleigh’s course consists of two laps starting at the Bruce McKenzie Memorial Field. Each lap has a level but tight start. This is followed by a challenging hill, ending with a flat finish meandering across a field.
Do not be deterred by the hill. It allows you wonderful views across the Surrey Hills.
The whole course is off road so be prepared with trainers that grip.
Saturday, after a smattering of rain, the ground was a little slippery, so in winter months I expect it gets pretty muddy. If you use spikes, this is a course you can dust them down for.
Cranleigh is the friendliest Park Run I have done. I was made to feel welcome by marshals and participants alike.
Weekly numbers are small, but beautifully formed. On average there are just under 100 participants at each event, made up of the usual wide range of ages and abilities.
A few dogs chaperoned their companions round the course. A certain Beau made me chuckle. All I could hear on the first descent was ‘Slow Down Beau…..SLOW DOWN’. Beau was having a whale of a time!
Coffee and Cake
After your exertions you can partake in coffee and cake. Runners head to Cranleigh Leisure Centre for refreshments and a natter, which is only a stone’s throw away.
Cranleigh High Street is also close by so you have the pick of cafes, as well as the opportunity to pick up essential supplies before heading home.
Parking and Toilets
I am not sure if this is my age, but I have a preoccupation with parking and toilet arrangements! If you suffer the same affliction, fear not both needs are catered for.
There is ample parking at Cranleigh Leisure Centre. You can pay by the Ringo App or use cash. Have 80p ready for an hour or £1.60 for two hours.
Before going to the start visit the car park toilets, which were fabulously clean. Then it is a two minute jog across the football fields to the start, and you are ready for the off.
There is limited free car parking at the start, but you have a walk back for post run coffee. Plus you need to be built with a strong bladder as there are no toilets there!
Essentials at a glance
- Parking: Easy (Cranleigh Leisure Centre)
- Toilets: Yes (Cranleigh Leisure Centre car park)
- Course: Two laps (one challenging hill per lap).
- Terrain: All off road (could be muddy).
- Participation: Low numbers.
- Post Refreshments: Yes (Cranleigh Leisure Centre or the High Street)
- Nikki Rating: Thumbs up all round so give it a try.
What can I say? I loved Cranleigh Park Run.
I hope you are motivated to pay Cranleigh a visit, or if you are further afield find an event local to you. You will not regret it.
Enjoy and happy running.