This is a fairly new event, having started up on 10th October 2018, so this was only event number 9. It replaces one I never got to do, at Heartwood Forest, with the name alone ensuring it will be popular. For a number of people, chasing the ‘alphabet’ of parkrun (running an event that begins with every available letter, which currently excludes only x), the nearest J to England previously was in Jersey. Jersey Farm is easier to get to for a lot of people. Certainly there were some there talking about their alphabet before the start.
The run itself gives some great views, as the photo above, looking over the start line, shows. It is entirely on trails, with a few tight turns – a right, closely followed by another right, is entertaining, and there’s one other right turn, following a downhill, where it’s hard not to swing out wide with the momentum, which is alarming for anyone coming the other way. There’s a marshal there to keep order.
For all the muddy pathed underfoot and undulating route, it isn’t the slowest course, and the first mile has a little more down than up, to get you off to a good start. Parts of the course are narrow, and since it’s two laps, you may have to slow on the second to make sure everyone gets their share. It really wasn’t a huge problem while I was there, and it’s better training to slow then speed up again, anyway.
The lady who scanned my barcodes at the end was obviously a fan of the space, though having stood around in the cold waiting for us to finish, was quick to point out that it’s even lovelier in the summer.