Parkrun alphabet challenge - Jersey

Parkrun Alphabet Challenge: Jersey!

Earlier this year, myself and a few others from my run club decided to take part in the Parkrun alphabet challenge. This is basically a challenge to complete a Parkrun for every letter of the alphabet. I love this idea because not only do we get to try some new Parkruns, which keeps it fun and interesting, we also get to see a few new places in the process. We started by doing a few of the different local Parkruns, then I decided to branch out further and went abroad in September to tackle Gdansk Parkrun in Poland. Then, on a bit of a whim one day, we decided to book a weekend away to complete Parkrun over in Jersey, as this is one of the main Parkruns to visit for the elusive J.

What I really love about this whole thing though, is somehow, I have managed to find a group of people as mad as me that will think nothing of booking a weekend away to complete a Parkrun. In fact they really enjoy it. I love this as it makes me feel like I have finally found my people after all these years of doing stuff like this by myself or feeling like I’m weird!

Anyway, I wanted to write a bit about the trip because it was so much fun, and I hope to do more trips like this over the coming months and years.


FRIDAY: EN-ROUTE TO PARKRUN

We set off for Manchester airport on Friday morning, the flight was mid morning and we expected to arrive around lunchtime, as it was only a short flight (about an hour). I was really excited about the whole thing, as I had never been to Jersey before and I was curious to see what it was like. There were 5 of us travelling together and we were meeting 2 others at the airport, so we had a good gang of us representing our run club!

Parkrun alphabet challenge - Jersey

After a very quick flight, we arrived in Jersey and took a taxi from the airport to our hotel, which was just outside St Helier (where the Parkrun was) in a small coastal town called St Aubin. My first impressions of Jersey was that it was very quiet but pretty. The taxi driver proceeded to tell us how he didn’t like living there because it was so small that everyone knew everyone’s business! It did give off that “local” vibe to it, like if you weren’t a local, people knew and stared at you.  It was a very pretty place though, with a cute harbour, picturesque houses and windy side streets. It reminded me a little of Cornwall, and some of the fishing villages there. 

Our hotel was located on a bit of a cliff side and had amazing views of the bay. I thought it would be a lovely place to come in the summer but as we were out of season, and the weather wasn’t great, it was very quiet. 

Parkrun alphabet challenge - Jersey

We had a bit of a wander around that afternoon and ventured into St Helier, which was a few miles down the road. There wasn’t really that much to see and the weather was terrible (wind and torrential rain) so after a bit of sightseeing, we ended up in the pub for a while (hard life!) before eating out at an amazing fish restaurant and getting an early night ready for Parkrun!

Parkrun alphabet challenge - Jersey


SATURDAY: JERSEY PARKRUN DAY!

On the Saturday, we had a big breakfast at the hotel before grabbing a taxi across to St Helier for Parkrun. It was a very windy day, and several other Parkruns had been cancelled, so I think we were lucky that it was actually on after travelling all that way! Due to the rain the night before parts of the course were also flooded, but that didn’t stop us, just made it slightly more challenging. 

Jersey Parkrun takes place at Les Quennevais Sports Centre. There were two laps around the sports centre, which was on a concrete path, as well as a few trailly bits. It was mostly flat apart from a gradual hill right before the finish which was a bit of a killer! Overall, I really enjoyed it. But it was the whole experience I enjoyed, seeing a new place and meeting new people. 

Parkrun alphabet challenge - Jersey group shot

After Parkrun we went back to our hotel, showered and changed, checked out at 11am and then headed for lunch before getting our flight back in the afternoon. We were back home in time for the evening so it was a bit of a whistle stop tour and it did feel a bit surreal. I’d love to do more weekends though like this and try some different Parkruns in the process!

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N for Northwich Parkrun

Parkrun Alphabet Challenge: N = Northwich parkrun

One of my challenges this year is to start working my way through the Parkrun Alphabet challenge. For me, this is a fun way to try out some new Parkruns, whilst also seeing a bit more of the UK (and world!!)

There are quite a few different Parkruns locally to me (within say an hours drive) and so it seems sensible to tick these off the list first.

On Saturday, myself and one of my friends from my run club (who is also doing the challenge!) decided to try out Northwich Parkrun, so we could get our “N.”

I thought that going forwards, as part of this challenge I would write a short “review” of each of the Parkrun’s I complete. So, here goes… Northwich Parkrun!


Northwich Parkrun

Overall, I really enjoyed Northwich Parkrun.

Bearing in mind that I haven’t been to Parkrun in about 6 weeks (before yesterday) and so I was worried that I’d struggle. With this is mind I thought that I would just run at my own pace, and not push it. I want to enjoy running again and not be chasing a PB constantly, which is partly why I thought I’d start up this challenge.

Northwich Parkrun takes part in Carey Park and it’s about 40 mins drive from where I live so not too bad. There is a good car park with loads of spaces right by the start, which is always helpful, although it is £1 to park. There are also no toilets but you can use the ones in the Asda opposite.

The course starts on a narrow track so it takes a while to get going, as you can’t really overtake people.

Northwich parkrun 2

It was also quite muddy and slippy when we went as there had been heavy rain the day before. The course itself was good overall though as it was varied, with a mix of trail and concrete paths with views of the fields and cows. It also goes through a forest at one point (which is again quite a narrow path).

I wouldn’t say it was a PB course due to the parts where you can’t really get past people (and the terrain being mixed/slippy). There were also a couple of hilly bits so it wasn’t flat! 😀

Overall though, I enjoyed the variety and would probably do this one again. Even though we got soaked at the end walking back to the car when it tipped it down!!


Northwich Parkrun - Carey Park

Park Run Alphabet Challenge

Parkrun Alphabet Challenge: Parkrun Tourism

So… you may know from past posts that I’m pretty much addicted to Parkrun. If you haven’t heard of Parkrun, it’s a free weekly timed 5k that happens in parks all over the world at 9am on Saturday mornings.

I’ve been going to Parkrun for a couple of years on and off, although last year I went most Saturday’s if I could. It’s a fantastic way to keep fit and meet other like-minded people and there’s just a fab, supportive atmosphere. It doesn’t matter how fast you go, you can walk, jog, run or sprint – it’s open to everyone.

I used to just go to my local Parkrun, but then last year I started to get a bit bored and started getting into Parkrun tourism, which is basically running at different Parkruns across the country/world.

I have now done 48 Parkruns in 12 different locations – which to be honest, I did not forsee when I made my new years resolution to give Parkrun a try back in January 2017.  It just gets very addictive! I’ve had about 6 weeks away from Parkrun due to holidays etc and I’m itching to get back!


What is the Parkrun alphabet challenge?

My target this year was to get to 50 Parkruns, which I should hopefully complete this month.

Earlier this year I came across the Parkrun alphabet challenge, which is basically running a Parkrun starting with every letter of the alphabet.

As soon as I saw this alphabet challenge, I just thought YES I HAVE to do this!

I actually started doing some Parkrun tourism last year but I think this challenge is more of a long term/ongoing one, it may take a bit of time and planning to complete.

For every new Parkrun I do, I will write a blog and Instagram post about it and add it to this alphabet challenge post. I’d really love to do a Parkrun abroad too. Exciting? Very! 😀


Parkrun alphabet challenge: a list of the Parkruns I have done so far (blog posts to follow):

A – Andover

B– Bushy Park

C – Crewe, Chester, Congleton

DDelamere Forest

E – Erdigg (Wrexham)

F

G

H– Hereford

I

J

K

L

M– Minehead

NNorthwich Parkrun

O

P

Q

R

S– Shrewsbury

T-Telford

U

V

W– Worcester Pitchcroft

X

Y

Z


Have you ever completed a Parkrun? Would you ever complete a challenge like this? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

Louise X

Photo by Magda Ehlers