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Date of Visit
Number of runners
First new event in a while too
Cold! Was only about 3 degrees but thankfully it was dry and there wasn’t much in the way of wind.
If coming by car it’s really easy to find as it’s just off the A34 opposite the Alexander Stadium. You’ll end up on the A34 whichever direction you’re coming from then turn into Perry Hall Avenue at the traffic lights at the entrance to the stadium. Putting Perry Hall Park or Alexander stadium into your preferred nav app will get you there.
Via train – Perry Barr and Hamstead train stations are both about a mile away so close enough to jog/walk to as a warm up.
Via bus – A34 is one of the main roads in and out Birmingham so is well served, especially being so close the stadium. You’d get the bus to there or the One Stop Shopping centre which is where Perry Barr train station is too.
Being a town park it’s meant to walked or cycled to by locals so no worries on that front.
There’s free parking at the park itself as well as side roads nearby. There is a small number of spaces as soon as you come into the park and a bigger one that I didn’t immediately spot. Just carry on driving after you’ve turned right into the park and you’ll find it.
On the toilet front, there’s a portacabin with two toilets. That’s not loads so has the potential for queuing on busy days.
The all important post run refuel is at a cafe called Goodfilla’s. It’s on other side of the road at the traffic lights junction at the A34 so a short walk from the park. I had a very nice cheese and bean toastie along with a cup of tea and a nice chat with a couple of other people who had been at the event.
Briefings and Volunteers
One of the friendliest volunteer teams I’ve come across. They were really welcoming. Lorna who was doing the first time briefing spotted I was on my own and very clearly new so came over to say hello as did the tailwalker and talked about the recent club cross country exploits. The RD, Chan gave a really engaging and welcoming brief including a selfie of the assembled crowd for the Facebook page.
Start line and finish funnel
Not too far from each other. Start line was on the path which wasn’t massively wide but would only really be a problem if you started getting a really large number of people.
Finish funnel was well marked out and really long with loads of room for mingling afterwards.
Bit of an unusual one this. It’s three laps of the park but each one was different.
All three loops followed the main loop around the park but laps two and three had extra bits to make the distance work properly.
We went from the start, over a small bridge and onto the loop.
First one was just a single complete loop.
Second lap did that same loop but half way along it there was a long out and back section where you then returned back to the loop and carried on.
Third lap did the same kind of thing but the out and back section was earlier in the loop and much shorter.
Then complete the loop and back over to the bridge to the finish. It’s an one way of getting the distance correct!
Only problem I had was coming back over the bridge to the finish was that I wasn’t entirely sure if we were following the path back where we’d started or taking a right turn between the trees which seemed to go to where I could see the finish. I started down that way, realised my error then veered back onto main path. Meant I potentially cut a bit of the last corner.
Road. Aside from the finish funnel and a tiny grass section near the bridge the whole thing is on path around the park.
Short or Long? (based on our watches and checking out other Strava profiles)
I’m the wrong person to ask this week (see the section about the course 🤦♂️)
Tourist event number:
My parkrun record shows I’ve got a PB and my first ever sub-18 time. It’s got a bit of an asterix next to it in my head though because I cut the last corner short. It was only a little bit and I did get back onto the path as soon as I realised my error but I don’t know for sure if I’ve gained anything from it. It would have been a PB either way because I definitely didn’t gain 10 seconds but two or three seconds is possible, but where I slowed and swerved to get back on the path may have levelled it out. Who knows.
I’ll need to have another crack at that time again really soon.
2nd (77.16% age grade)
No Bryony this week.
How did it go?
I had a really great time visiting Perry Hall. It was such a good experience as a whole, not just the run. It was really nice to meet so many friendly people before and after the event. As well as the volunteers there were also some tourists from Rugby and a couple of other people came up to me afterwards to wish me well or ask how my run went after watching me chase their regular speedster around (he was 55 seconds quicker than me though. I was in front of him for a little but I was never catching him once he went past me!)
Was also good to get to a new venue for a first time in while. We’ve been volunteering at the brand new Market Bosworth parkrun where we can recently as well as revisits to Conkers and Beacon.
Return Visit Likely?
I’m keen to go back when Bryony is around as I think she’ll enjoy it too. Can imagine it being a lovely park in the summer. Was also much quicker to get to from our place than I was expecting so that’ll certainly factor into it.
Also need to make sure that time is correct…
Pictures and that.