A little bit sad I know but anytime we’re on holiday I always check to see if there is a local parkrun.
This week we are up in the grim North to celebrate my grandparents 70th wedding anniversary and 94th birthdays (within three days of each other). It’s such an incredible achievement that I actually can’t get around it. To show how well they’d done, the Queen even sent them a card!
Anyway, last time we were up we ran the Tees Barrage parkrun which snaked along the Tees and over a couple of cool bridges in the heart of Stockton-on-Tees. This time I wanted to go further afield and found Albert parkrun in Middlesbrough.
Not to be confused with Albert parkrun in Melbourne, Australia (although I imagine they’re probably similar), this would also be the “A” ticked off my parkrun alphabet challenge.
After a bit of a panic with my girlfriend’s barcode, and my brother looking worse for wear, we headed into Middlesbrough.
I always take the piss out of ‘Boro, mainly because it’s a pretty grim and decaying ex-industrial power whereas I’m from the South where it’s always sunny and we go to University and eat quinoa. I’m allowed to take the mick because my Dad’s from the area and somehow that makes it ok.
But Albert park is lovely. Not huge but a classic Georgian-era space with fountain, sculptures and lakes. The parkrunners gather at a cafe on the East of the park, with space to leave your bags and coats.
We got given an entertaining talk from Peter about the history of the park as well as the route. Then we got a very loud welcome from the RD before making our way to the start.
I always like parkruns with permanent markings. It shows that a community is behind it and it’s not just a fad.
We lined up, counted down and headed off. Or at least most people did. The previous night’s festivities claimed their first casualty – my brother!
Down to the fountain, turn right and then basically two laps of the park.
We passed the lake, Fireman’s Hill (barely a hill), the visitors centre, a statue of Brian Clough, a synogogue, a mosque and a Catholic Church. We got to passed by the leaders who were flying and finished 200 out of 242 runners but had a fun time throughout.
At the end, we chatted again to Peter and signed the visitors book. It would have been great to stay and have a coffee but this was the North in February and I was wearing shorts and t-shirt so was keen to get back inside! Thank you to all the volunteers for such a great run!!