Park Run Event at Cannon Hill Park

I am by no means a fast or skillful  ‘runner’ but I do enjoy getting out in the fresh air a couple of times per week and depending on my mood will run anything between 4k and 10k.  However I admit to being a ‘fairweather runner’ and my motivation to run has taken a real knock recently with the onset of darker evenings and colder weather.  Before I knew it, a whole month had passed without me pounding the pavements even once.

I came across Park Run at just the right time. Park Run is a free, weekly 5K running event held at parks around the world.  The events are open to all and are run entirely by volunteers.  You are required to register online in advance (and you only do this once) and are then  emailed a barcode which you are required to print and take to the event with you.

I tried out the Park Run at Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham which is every Saturday at 9am.  There were 182 runners and I was struck by the diversity of the group.  It was real mixed-bag of age and ability, there were runners from running clubs, amateurs, parents with buggies, people with pets  and youngsters.

The event began with a brief chat from one of the organisers, outlining the course and some health & safety points.  Then we were directed to the start point and soon after, we were off.  There is no signage around the course but there are marshalls (all volunteers) dotted about to keep you on the right path.  There are also marshalls and members of the public along the route clapping and cheering the runners.  It was really motivating to run in a group and although I found it tough after a month off, it felt great to be out on a crisp autumn morning with like minded people, getting some fresh air and exercise.

As I crossed the finish line I was handed a token. This was scanned along with my barcode and soon after my race time was available online.  The Cannon Hill group then meet at a coffee shop in the park, which I thought was a nice touch for those who want to socialise or who have come on their own.   The results table is available online and it details your position amongst the other runners, your time, age group comparisons, how many runs you’ve completed and personal bests.  Did I mention that all of this is FREE?!

I had a fantastic time and have caught the running bug again.  I absolutely recommend that you try a Park Run for yourself.  It doesn’t matter what level of runner you are, get involved.  You can bring your children, your dog, run with your club or come alone.  There are events all over the country just visit http://www.parkrun.com or ‘follow’ them on Twitter @parkrun to find out details of your nearest event.

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2 Responses to “Park Run Event at Cannon Hill Park”

  1. glasshalffull83 Says:

    Nice – I’ve just started writing about training for a half marathon and need to check out the park runs near me. Glad to hear you’ve caught the running bug again!

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