Mention Palmerston North, and any NZ runner who has been there will say “ooh, fast!”. Anderson doesn’t get the same comments, but it is fast and flat; just that loop at the bottom, which you do at the end, might slow you a bit, because of the tight turns (and narrow paths, if you’re in traffic). More significantly, perhaps, from the top left bend round (I am not sure how far, but a few hundred metres) used to be grass. Now it is a perfect, wide, pavement all the way round, so the course has got significantly quicker, presumably that has happened since several people I’ve met actually ran it.
At the moment there is construction which makes for a detour onto the grass shortly between the start (green dot) and finish (shaded) points, and so it isn’t quite as quick as it might be.
But it is quick. I had a decent run, if a lonely one – other than Hannah racing off ahead of me, I had no one ahead, and no one all that close in behind, so I just had to motivate myself. With the sun low in the sky, green grass and trees all around it was a day to be happy just to be alive and tearing round a park as quickly as possible.
I can’t say I noticed the details during the run itself, though I’d spotted the mini railway when warming up, and the scenery (oil rig, lighthouse etc) on the mini lake while cooling down. There’s plenty to see, even if the park itself is surrounded by suburbs.
Post-run socialising is in the New World (supermarket) nearby. It wasn’t that near to where I’d parked, as I’d managed to park at the far side of the park, but it is a fairly short walk from the park carpark itself. However you get there, it has a decent variety of coffee and cake to feed the inner person.