What’s in a name? A lot when it comes to parkrun!
In this edition of our Tourism Series, we take a look at the five parkruns around the world that share their name with parkrunners.
1. Name: Alice Holt parkrun
Number of parkrunners named Alice Holt: 2
Alice Holt Forest in Hampshire is named after Ælfsige, who was the Bishop of Winchester before becoming Archbishop of Canterbury in 959, and Holt, which is an Old English word for a wood or thicket.
Once predominantly an ancient oak forest, it was logged for ship building and is now mainly a conifer forest that is a Forestry Commission site within the South Downs National Park.
Alice Holt parkrun is a two-lap multi-terrain course that uses off-road tracks, cycle paths and woodland trails and does have the odd hill, as you can see!
What goes up must come down though, and since launching in 2012 this popular event has seen more than 9,300 people collect a finish token, with an average of 270 walkers, runners and volunteers each week.
2. Name: Barry Curtis parkrun
Number of parkrunners named Barry Curtis: 2
Named after Sir Barry Curtis, the longest serving mayor of Manukau City, Barry Curtis Park is an award winning open space and one of New Zealand’s largest parks. The 94 acre park has event spaces, large playgrounds for children, and a parkrun of course!
The two lap event, which launched in 2013, has a bit of everything! Starting on grass, it joins an unsealed path leading to a church and graveyard before dipping along the bush line.
The route hugs the bush before joining a promenade that passes storm water ponds and returns to the start. You do it all again, then it’s off to the Coffee Van for a drink and a chat!
3. Name: Clare Castle parkrun
Number of parkrunners named Clare Castle: 1
From Barry Curtis parkrun we hop back to the other side of the world to Clare Castle parkrun in Suffolk, which interestingly has not been completed by its parkrunning namesake, but one Barry Curtis has collected a finish token there!
The event takes place in the shadow of Clare Castle, home in the 14th century to Elizabeth de Clare, one of the wealthiest women in England. Clare Castle Country Park is famous for incorporating the (now closed) Clare railway station on the Colchester to Cambridge branch of the Great Eastern Railway, and since September 2017 has become famous for Clare Castle parkrun!
The three lap course starts close to the car park and follows the circumference of the park, mostly on surfaced paths with some sections on gravel. The finish funnel is located by the old railway station, where the cafe on platform one serves up the tea and coffee.
4. Name: Colin Glen parkrun
Number of parkrunners named Colin Glen: 4
The most popular name in our self-styled parkrun Name Club is Colin Glen, with four people by that name having completed a parkrun. None of whom have done so at Colin Glen parkrun though, in case you were wondering!
Colin Glen Forest Park is regarded as Belfast’s ‘green lung’, with the Colin Glen river flowing through the beautiful wooded glen with magnificent views of the Belfast Hills and the city itself. As well as seeing the hills in the distance you’ll also feel a few in your legs along this character building two lap course that includes a lap of Mila’s Lake.
After conquering the hills and soaking up the scenery, make your way to Mona’s Café for a well-earned refreshment!
5. Name: Peter Pan parkrun
Number of parkrunners named Peter Pan: 1
Last but not least is one of the most iconic names on the parkrun event list, reportedly named after a statue of the fictional character that once stood in the park.
Peter Pan parkrun in Hull is a three lapper that has been completed a whopping 35,000 times since it started scanning barcodes in 2013 – meaning more than 100,000 laps have been run and walked by parkrunners!
The course starts on the path between the netball/football courts and the bowling green and joins the main park path for the first of the three laps. The route follows the path towards Costello Stadium before returning to the bowling green, heading towards the centre of the park and back to the car park to complete a lap.
Then it’s just two more laps before a chat and a cuppa in the park cafe!
Kim Tully and her Siberian Husky Yoshi are regulars at Hartstown parkrun in Dublin. By her own admission, Kim was inactive and looking for ways to make new friends. Eventually she plucked up the courage to go to her local parkrun and now Saturday mornings for Kim and Yoshi are a whole family affair….
Name: John Molloy Age: 76 Occupation: Retired Accountant Local parkrun: Kilkenny Number of parkruns completed: 201 How did I get involved in parkrun? I retired in 2011. One of the things I was sure I wanted to do was to get more exercise. My son challenged me to take part in the Nore swim…