When we planned our holiday to the UK, it was a given that it would involve as many parkruns as we could fit in. The challenge was which ones to pick?
Our first choice was fairly easy as we had decided to run the Rock ‘n’ roll half marathon in Liverpool so it needed to be close by. We chose Birkenhead, a short train ride away from our accommodation.
Arriving at Birkenhead Park station, it was fairly easy to find the location, thanks to the helpful directions posted on their Facebook page by the Run Director. We weren’t the only tourists with a couple of guys spotting our parkrun-ness at the station and asking if we knew where we going. Er no but we’re fairly sure we can figure it out!
We walked up to the start area and joined the tourists and first timers briefing to find out information about the course – 2 laps of the park plus a little bit to the finish chute. Then the Run Director did his briefing although, with so many people, it was hard to hear, despite the megaphone. And then, we were off. Literally, just like that. The briefing ended then ‘3, 2, 1, go!’ catching us a bit by surprise with the hoardes setting off before I’d even thought to start my watch.
Despite the directions sounding a bit confusing, it turned out the course was indeed very easy to follow – basically running on the path and following the directions of the ample marshals who were out and cheering. Slightly cruelly, you have to run past those in the finish chute to start your second lap but at least it adds to the cheering!
The scenery is gorgeous – very green (particularly coming from Australia where it’s a bit of an endangered colour) and lush, perfectly backed with blue skies and sunshine. The volunteers were great, very friendly and cheering everyone on all the way around.
I’m always impressed by parkruns with high numbers and how well the logistics work – we ran into the finish funnel and moved quickly through the barcode scanners.
Coffee afterwards at the Visitor Centre was perfect – wonderful to see lots of people hanging around for coffee or breakfast and no wonder as it is a great spot.
Thanks to the team at Birkenhead parkrun – a fabulous venue for our first UK event!