Thank You Wormwod Scrubs!

Parkrun 'tourist' Nikki Yeo enjoys her first day out in our very own country park

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Parkrun 263 - June 18

Saturday 18th June, a grey, overcast morning in London and I found myself visiting Wormwood Scrubs parkrun. It is hidden away between the prison and the hospital and as I approached with my phone in hand checking the parkrun course details and citimapper app to make sure I was in the right place I saw a runner heading the same way. I sort of pounced on her and asked her if this was the way to the parkrun.

Turns out I couldn’t have asked a better person, found out later it was Kirstie Tew , she chatted to me about the parkrun and how it is a friendly, fairly small group who run at Wormwood. She talked me through the course and explained how in winter the mud etc can add six minutes to your time.

This made me feel right at home, my home run Queen Elizabeth Country parkrun is all off road, muddy and very hilly! We walked to the area where you can leave bags, etc. At Wormwood this is a big tarpaulin on the ground, surrounded by bikes and people chatting and dogs! This is actually the finish of the parkrun and as runners collected and chatted I took a moment to take in the view across to the city.

The RD Rob walked us across to the start area, which is at the edge of the park. The welcome was made to First Timers and Tourists and the course explained. A mention was made that the future roster for volunteering was looking a bit thin and if runners wanted to have a go, just to get in touch, hopefully the roster will fill. The fact that there was a foot ball tournament going on in the park was also mentioned and a reminder not to run on the pitches but to run that it would become clear as we headed up that way that it would be easy to work out. We were then given a 3,2,1 countdown and off we went.

The course is all trail and you head up towards the football tournament, this is the first parkrun I have done out of 155 that there has been The Final Countdown by Europe blasting out, it certainly made me smile as I followed the line of runners up the little hill and across to make a left turn. This bit is lovely, birds singing, running beside huge cowslips and jumping over puddles and you could be in a meadow. The runners find their own pace and we are able to take in the surroundings. The course is marked with little white flags in the ground and as we turned left again there were a few other park users, people walking their dogs and a few runners. The skyline came into view again and there is the BT Tower and Shard in the distance and lap two.

As I crossed the finish line I chatted to a runner about the course and I explained that I was doing a bit of parkrun tourism. I really enjoyed this run, such a nice feeling to it, a great course too. As I made my way back into town with slightly more mud on my trainers than I realised that this Wormwood Scrubs parkrun is like being in a country park complete with football tournament and a really friendly group of runners.

Well done to all of the volunteers and the 48 runners today ten of which were first timers to Wormwood Scrubs with four of those being first time parkrunners, I am sure you enjoyed the experience and hopefully will be back for more! Four new pbs set this week and three unknown runners – no barcode no result so " don’t forget your barcode" as the saying goes!

Thank you Wormwood Scrubs

Nikki Yeo