I had three events about 45 mins away, and on a whim picked Comber. It is four laps, which might normally put me off – too much repetition if you’re not in the mood – but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s very flat, so despite all the turns, this was my quickest run of the year.
The route runs round two fields, which are joined by a fairly narrow bridge – it’ll take a person in each direction, but not much more than that, so just needs everyone to be nice. Which they were on this day. The start and finish, in almost the same place (start on the path at the edge of the field, finish on the path next to it) are just by the bridge, and all are very close to the rugby club – open to use facilities and parking – and the other car park, right next to the rugby club.
The first field, in which the event starts, runs round playing fields and a showground, lined with trees. The other field is in early stages of development, I think, with trees and other greenery yet to grow much. It is also, as is often the case in Northern Ireland, filled with flags. When people complain that we don’t show enough flags in the UK, it might not be because of oppression but simply that most of our allocation is taken up by this part. The fact that NI marks its 100th anniversary this year (2021) may also contribute.
The run director was warm and welcoming – “There’s a defibrillator. If we have to use it there will be a small charge” – and seemed to know most of the people there, which made for a warm sense of community. The run, as I say, is flat, with the slightest of inclines on the back end of the field of flags, and a facing breeze as we came up it, the only impediments, other than the turns. The surface is good and, on this day, the weather warm, which meant plenty of people hung around for a chat afterwards.
Just make sure not to miss the scanning, which is not in sight when you finish, being in the rugby club car park, which is itself through a gap in the hedge – covered by a metal contraption (it might be a gate, but seemed more Heath-Robinson than that at a glance) once we’re all done.
Comber itself is a nice little town, with supermarkets and cafes around a central square just a short walk from the park, and beyond that another small park for a stroll. I suspect they lock the rugby club car park afterwards, so move your car if you’re going exploring.