Blue Runnings

Race Reviews, GPX files and more from North-East England

parkrun – Consett: Blackhill

For information on this parkrun course, see the official parkrun page below:

http://www.parkrun.org.uk/blackhill/

This route involves 3 laps around Blackhill Park – you’ll get the biggest hill out of the way at the start to really open your lungs up or completely wipe out your legs depending on how you feel about starting your run with a monster climb! There’s several hills of mixed length and gradient on this course, but a lovely long downhill for a strong finish. It’s generally thought of as one of the toughest in the area, but it’s excellent for training your legs up ready for cross-country or for a pb on a flat course!

GPS map:

Blackhill

You can download the GPX file for thise courses from my Dropbox folder here:

GPX file Blackhill

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parkrun – Prudhoe: Riverside

For information on this parkrun course, see the official parkrun page below:

http://www.parkrun.org.uk/prudhoeriverside/

This route involves 2 laps around a local feature known as the Spetchells – fortunately it goes round them rather than over them as there’s some serious climbing involved to get to the top! There’s a bit of an incline round the back of this one, but nothing serious and it’s generally considered a flat course and good for setting a parkrun pb on.

GPS map:

Prudhoe

You can download the GPX file for thise courses from my Dropbox folder here:

GPX File Prudhoe Riverside

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parkrun – Chester-Le-Street: Riverside

For information on this parkrun course, see the official parkrun page below:

http://www.parkrun.org.uk/riverside/

This route involves 2 laps of 2 large loops and one smaller one around Riverside Park – and is a blessedly flat route with a very high runner attendance (over 300 is not unusual!).

Due to its close proximity to the river (hence the name!), this parkrun has two courses – a winter and summer one. The summer one crosses the fields – making it inaccessible in the winter due to mud. The winter course is marginally longer – so if you’re looking for a pb, the summer course might be slightly better – but both are very flat and lend themselves well to people looking for a flatter Saturday morning: whatever the reason!

This course is also regularly checked for ice in the winter – and on particularly chilly mornings may be cancelled as you will go over on your bum on the corners! This doesn’t happen often though 🙂

GPS map for the summer route:

Riverside Summer

GPS map for the winter route:

Riverside Winter

You can download the GPX file for these courses from my Dropbox folder here:

GPX file summer route

GPX file winter route

 

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Blackhill Parkrun – 22-8-15

I’ve been telling myself for weeks that I should start going to Blackhill Parkrun or Great Run Local at Gibside – they’re both short 5k runs, but both are very hilly so they’re excellent endurance training for the longer distances. As usual, the elevation graph doesn’t do justice to how it feels to do. A combination of travel, other events, it’s too hot, and general bone idleness mean I haven’t done Blackhill Parkrun since April and it’s longer than that since I’ve popped my head up at Gibside! No wonder my running feels like it’s slacking off.

Saturday morning came around, I was awake in plenty of time and even got up and dressed for it in time, then had a moment of ‘I really don’t feel like running this morning’. The problem with event-type runs, is if you dawdle long enough suddenly it’s too late and you’ve missed it, what a shame. I knew I needed to do something today, and half an hour first thing would be a good way to get it ticked off early in the day. I could tell I was dawdling so hurried myself out the door without even doing my trainers up before the out-of-time excuse became valid. I got there with only a few minutes to spare!

It was overcast, and with it being a 9am start I’d decided this meant it should be cooler and had dressed in capris and t-shirt. You’d think I’d have learnt by now, I should just go for the shorts and vest by default until October I think. It was of course, very muggy. I concentrated on just keeping my pace steady and getting around all the hills without a walking break. I suspect this is how I looked for most of the route…

22-8-15d

It’s been that long since I did it, I couldn’t actually remember if it was two laps around the park or three, with a sneaking suspicion it might be three. A glance at my watch at the top of the hill from the first longer lap showed only about 1.5km so I resigned myself to three and didn’t bother looking at my watch again until the finish!

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Blackhill Parkrun – 18-04-15

Similar to my first parkrun three weeks ago, there was a very high turn-out today: 117 runners, with 24 there for the first time! Durham parkrun was not on as the sports centre there had to close urgently for maintenance, so a big group of runners from there came to visit – judging by some of the comments about how tough Blackhill was compared to Durham, which is flat by the sound of it, I’m not sure how many of them will be mega keen to come back! I think when I have managed to get Blackhill below 30 minutes, I will try Durham in the hope of getting a 5k personal best!

With the intention still being to head over to Otterburn for the 10k tomorrow, I volunteered to marshall this week. I’d mentally decided to myself I was going to try to go every weekend in April, and I’d also thought about volunteering once a month too going forward – so while I’m trying to balance things a bit more for my feet with races and training, now seemed as good a time to start as any, especially as they’d posted on facebook yesterday that they were short two marshalls and a scanner! I had the position at the top of the park at the big crossroads, and a lovely view from all directions.

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Blackhill Parkrun – 11-04-15

I am a habitually early riser, my alarm on a weekday morning goes off at 05:40, so I’m normally awake by 07:00 on a weekend (no alarm set), often assisted by the cat who seems worried that I might miss something if she doesn’t start cleaning my face about 10 mins after my alarm would normally go off. This morning as I began to surface and wonder what the time was, there was no sign of Madam Pusskins – P had left the door to the conservatory open overnight and she’s recently discovered she can get on top of the bookcases and sprawl in the sunshine, which is far more interesting than seeing why I haven’t got up yet. Checked my phone, and the time was 08:15 – the mental conversation I had with myself went something like this:

“Agh! Parkrun!”

“But you haven’t had a lazy morning in weeks.”

“Yeah, but you’re awake now.”

“Yeah, I guess…”

“Parkrun?”

“Ok, parkrun.”

So, up I got!

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ParkRun – Blackhill

With P working days this weekend, and therefore my having to get up at 06:20 to take him in (on the Saturday of a bank holiday weekend no less – criminal!), I thought I’d try the Blackhill ParkRun this morning and see what all the fuss is about! By the time I was less than halfway round I was really wishing I’d gone back to bed instead! I’ve not done a lapped route before, I have a knack for picking there-and-back again, single direction or circular routes and races – I always think if I’m out by myself in particular it will be too tempting to bail out before doing the full number of laps and just head back to the car if it’s a horrible one – and if I hadn’t been there with many other people today I would have done exactly that by halfway through the first lap! I had one walk break per lap – at the top corner of the football field, which was a bit frustrating as I know I can run 5km, but I wasn’t sure I’d make it round if I didn’t! It was sapping!

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