Last week Sharon and I ran at Gorleston Cliffs parkrun and this week we’d arranged to try another parkrun - this one being at Finsbury Park in North London. The event started last week (this was event #2) and after an early start Sharon, Kirsty and myself jumped on the Piccadilly Line and 22 stops later we were at Finsbury Park.
The parkrun is so easy to get to - within five minutes walk from the station you’re at the start area. After a quick toilet stop (I snuck into the ladies as the gents were disgusting!), a warm up and saying hello to our friend Céline who was running her first parkrun it was time to get started.
Its a fast downhill start - so much so that I clocked a 5:36 first mile which wasn’t quite as planned, but ho hum. I was sat in fifth place at this point and watching the guys ahead of me drift slowly ahead. I’d heard about a tough uphill about 2/3rds of the way through each lap but certainly wasn’t expecting what I saw before me first time round. In a park that I’d say was gently undulating was this bloody great incline. OK, its not a ‘real’ hill but it certainly catches you by surprise (and took just over a minute to run up)!
The second lap, a bit like last weeks second lap at Gorleston Cliffs parkrun was pretty uneventful - I pushed really hard, but the effects of last nights dinner and beers at a Thai Restaurant were certainly holding me back a little!
I pushed on, and as expected (and actually just about planned for - for I ran up it two seconds quicker than on the first lap!) the hill was bloody tough. As I crossed the line (in 5th place) my time was 18:35 which I was happy with. I was aiming for around 18:30 so was on target. The course certainly isn’t easy, and I’d probably put it as being a little easier than Richmond parkrun. There are a few twists and turns, and I think a couple of extra marshals and/or signage would make it easier to navigate, especially as the number of runners is low and there are considerable gaps between some runners (the next finisher behind me was over 90 second behind me).
Sharon had a pretty reasonable run and finished in 31:22. Kirsty’s run, well…. you can read about it on her blog.
All in all a really easy run to get to, with all the facilities you need (toilets, coffee, public transport) and a challenging course. With it being the only (current) parkrun in North London I imagine it could get very popular very quickly, and I’m sure we’ll head back into ‘town’ again sometime in the new year to give it another go.