Another Saturday, another Park Run.
Time trialling a 5K every few weeks is part of my ‘get fast for 50’ project.
Only nineteen months to go until my half century. The clock is ticking, but that is a whole other story.
Anyway, having never visited Horsham and it only being 25 minutes away, what better motivation for me to get along and take part in Park Run.
Based in Horsham Park, behind the Pavilions leisure centre, the event is easy to find.
You run three laps of the park mainly on grass, but with some areas of track and concrete. It is pretty flat, but the one undulation might rule it out as a personal best course.
I have only done events with one or two laps before, so going round a third time was slightly disconcerting. I cannot lie, that last mile felt particularly hard. Psychological I know, maybe three lap courses are something you become accustomed to.
A highlight of the course was the start. It is very wide, reminiscent of a cross country race with no burn up required to get a clear line. Fantastically too, there was no congestion around the course, instead ample room for everyone to do their own thing at all times.
The concrete path element is enough to rule out spikes, but in winter a trail shoe would be useful. The paths felt a little slippery under foot from the rain and some fallen leaves.
At this point I should say, marshalls you were heroes standing out for the duration on that cold, wet and windy August morning! Thank you.
Anyway if you attend on a dry day, grab your road shoes or racers and you could fly round.
Being in the centre of town, Horsham Park Run gets a good turnout of over 300 most weeks. If you are not keen on larger numbers do not be put off. Due to the great start and space throughout I never felt crowded or hemmed in.
Also, everyone I met was friendly making sure I found the start OK and chatting away about all things running.
Coffee and Cake
Post run refreshments can be consumed each week with like minded people in the leisure centre café adjacent to the start. Sadly I did not stop for a chat as I was wet through and shivering.
If you wanted a slightly longer walk you could also head into the town centre. There looks to be lots of refuelling options and a fab centre for a mooch round.
Parking and Toilets
A thumbs up for the parking. I used the amply sized leisure centre pay and display area. The wonderful Ringo App is in use making payment easy. Although if you are a cash kind of person have £1 ready for an hour, or £1.60 for two hours.
Alternatively, you could use the train. Horsham station is ideally placed just across the road from the park.
An added bonus is that the toilets are conveniently located in the leisure centre. The perfect antidote to my recent menopausal worries!
Essentials at a glance
- Parking: Ample pay and display spaces.
- Toilets: Near the start.
- Course: Three laps and pretty flat.
- Terrain: Mainly grass.
- Participation: Medium size, but with lots of space.
- Post run refreshments: In adjacent leisure centre cafe.
- Nikki rating: I struggled with the three lap scenario, but you should give it a go.
How do you cope with a three lap course? Better than me I hope.
My next Park Run is Reigate. The challenge of two laps with a few small humps!
Keep dreaming big.