A trip to the UK left me with time to take in a couple of parkruns. Since I was spending the weekend at the U20 & U23 championships in Bedford, I looked for one near there, and picked Great Denham. Their course page suggests getting there on foot using the “delightful” riverside path and though that appeared an under-used route this day, I took it, allowing me to leave the car East of the town, near the athletics stadium, and get to the run, West of town. I agree with the description. Bedford has a lovely park, and makes the best of the river. On a sunny day, the greenery, the multitude of different bridges over the water and the birdlife made it idyllic.
The run itself is two (not quite two, technically, as the finish is before the start) clockwise laps, about as easy to follow as can be, with just a few marshals used to make sure. It’s flat, partly on tarmac, partly hard-packed (in June) mud paths; it should be pretty fast, not that I was in condition to find out. Being the UK, this was a little more populous than I have grown used to, but not a massive event, with 158 people on the 70th event.
As always, the welcome was friendly and the briefing clear and well-delivered. I highly recommend the route through town, though the free park and ride is closer but still allows a short warm up before the run. The park itself looks new, part of a development of houses, and as such has paths for walking and running, but some of the rest is still growing, so in places is relatively wild – great for the wildlife, and I hope it can be left like that. If you want more space to explore, head towards Bedford itself.