Eramosa River Trail parkrun, Guelph, ON

Eramosa River Trail parkrun route
Eramosa River Trail parkrun. Out and back, then do it again.

Eramosa River Trail parkrun is listed on its own course page as an out-and-back, but thanks to construction that long route has not yet been used. Instead, it follows half of that route, and covers it twice. That makes for extra waving opportunities from runner to runner and walker, which might make it hard to adjust should they move to the longer course in the future.

Crowd gathered on the start line, with parkrun flag flying
The start/finish line.

Some parkruns in Canada attract very small numbers, but Guelph has not been one of them, with 93 turning up to the first event, a minimum of 37 since then, and a record in this 12th event of 109. The course might be a little cramped with hundreds, but with the numbers it has had so far it is fine, even allowing for a few other users. The run director didn’t even have to tell us all to keep right, though at some point that might be needed.

Tall trees overlook the trail as people gather and the picnic is laid out on long tables
Picnic laid out on the table.

For this event, they were taking advantage of the tail-end of summer to have a communal picnic on the grass by the trail (which itself is next to a river, as you might expect, though it is hidden in the photos by the trees). It seemed like most people stayed, and most had brought food, helping the tables to almost groan in supporting it all. Cakes, hot drinks and savouries, with chat all around.

People in different coloured running kit chat after the run
Lawrence and me, post run.

I had been taken there by my friend Lawrence, who lives in Toronto, on our way to an event still further West. It is reachable by Go Train from Toronto, though only if you go the night before. It’s about an hour and a half, probably less on a quiet Saturday morning, by car.

The course is pretty fast and flat, other than those 3 180-degree turn-arounds, with a light dusting of small stones on the course not making much difference to pace. The course page says there are no toilets on site, but a portaloo was pointed out, somewhere off up the route, and there are fast food outlets nearby (the ones we stopped at nearby require you to buy something to get the key for the toilet, but your mileage may vary).

Me, Jem, Dale and Lawrence through the event's photo frame
Me, Dale, Jem, Lawrence.

Afterwards I was happy to stand and chat with various runners, more of whom had finished ahead of me than I would have liked, but never mind. We also stopped in at the My Kitty Cafe on the high street, which will let you mix with their current group of cats for a small fee ($5 or $3 if you buy a drink or food). It’s worth a visit just to see the fantastic play rooms the cats have, let alone getting attention from the fluffy things.

We also met Dale, pictured right, and one of the marshals, who will be out to reclaim his fastest half marathon by a swimmer record. That will go along with a couple of others, including ‘golfer’, for which he carried an old-school golf bag, complete with hard plastic handle which did his back no good at all. Who said parkrun attracts oddballs?

Another great parkrun in Canada; they’re all good, but head to Guelph if you can.

Results from Eramosa River Trail parkrun, event 12.

Lawrence lies on the floor while I pin him for a count of three
Lawrence rests after the run and gets pinned for his trouble.

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