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Date of Visit
Number of runners
This was my current NENDY and has been one I’ve wanted to do for a little while.
Decent! Was a bit overcast when I arrived and thought it was going to rain on me again but it brightened up really quickly and was pretty warm by the time we’d finished.
Super easy to get to if you’re driving from out the area. Two minutes from M42 junction 5. I used Brueton park cark park which had a reasonable amount of spaces and is free for three hours if you grab a ticket. It’s a five minute walk to the start from there. Just follow the path into the park. It’s right in the middle of the park so easy enough to find.
There is also Malvern park car park which is closer but much smaller by all accounts. You could also park in Solihull itself as it’s walkable if you wanted to pop back into town afterwards.
As mentioned it’s walkable from the town centre so reachable by bus. Solihull train station is about a mile away so a bit further out but still doable as a warmup.
No toilets in the park itself. There are toilets at the Parkridge centre which is on the path in between Brueton park car park and the start line but it doesn’t open until 10. Does mean you’d be fine after the run but not beforehand.
Parkridge centre has a nice little café inside where I had a cup of tea and lovely slice of Bakewell tart! Also has outdoor seating for when the sun comes out.
There is a a coffee van near the finish funnel if you didn’t want to wait until 10 for that to open.
Briefings and Volunteers
Tons of volunteers on this one. I can’t remember the last time I saw so many of the around the finish funnel. First time briefing was to the point and the RD had a loud hailer to make sure she could be heard. She also did a good job of dealing with an incident where an overexcited child ran after his dad and collided with another runner. No one was hurt thankfully!
Start line and finish funnel
Rather a unique start line on this one. So that we didn’t all block the path we started on grass next to the start line but in mini start pens so that we didn’t end up in huge queue.
Finish line was perfectly placed on the corner in front of a section of grass and had a very impressive set up for making sure it was roped off instead of just the usual cones.
Nice big grass area too so there was plenty of room to gather.
Two laps. Compromised of one smaller lap and one larger lap.
I’d heard this was a quick one and I can absolutely see why. It is all on really good solid paths and is 95% flat. There is a little bit of an incline from where the start line is and the finish funnel is setup. It’s not huge but you do have to do it three times, one of which is right at the end which makes for a tough sprint finish. That as well as a couple of twisty sections which means while it is definitely a PB course it can’t lay claim to the fastest in the Midlands which I’d seen in a discussion about that topic recently on Facebook.
Being two laps there are sections where you faster and slower runners come back into contact with each other. Everyone generally kept on the left but faster runners on the second lap may have to do a bit of weaving in the second half of the last lap.
The park itself is amazing. Have been to Solihull plenty of times but had no idea it such a stunning area right in the middle!
Road! Really good paths so even in the worst weather you’re not really going to need any extra grip.
Short or Long? (based on our watches and checking out other Strava profiles)
Neither! I had 3.1 on my watch. Others all seemed to be about right too
Tourist event number:
4 (71.75% age grade)
No Bryony this week. She’s been ill this week and was recovering well but she had an epic 60 mile bike event planned on Sunday so decided to rest up.
How did it go?
Really well. This was my third fastest parkrun time and the whole thing felt really controlled. Had a quick first mile but splits for mile two and three were pretty similar. Helped having a group of people around as the last couple of runs I’ve had sections of running on my own. Being about to latch on to another runner is always useful.
Cake and tea afterwards were great and I got chatting to a local before and after and we swapped stories about local events we’ve both done. All in all it was a successful visit.
Return Visit Likely?
I think so. It was much easy to get here than I’d previously thought and being such a lovely park I’m sure Bryony would love to give it a go.
Pictures and that.