Last weekend Mandy and I headed to Vogrie Country park to celebrate the first official parkrun there. A small group of runners have been trying to get Vogrie parkrun started for a number of years and they have finally done it.
It's the usual format, turn up for the 9:30am start, run 5k, get your barcode scanned to record your finish time, job done. If you've not heard of parkrun check out their website
We have 3 parkruns close-ish to us, we have Cramond aka Edinburgh parkrun (5.2 miles away) which is an out and back, flat, fast course. Portobello parkrun (3.5 miles away) which is 3 laps of a undulating path around a lovely park and now Vogrie parkrun (13.5 miles away).
We arrived in plenty of time as it's about 30 minutes drive from our house.
Marshals guided us to the parking areas and instantly we knew it was going to be a busy first parkrun for them. There were people everywhere. A sea of coloured tshirts.
Mandy and I chatted with a number of fellow parkrunners who we knew would be there and then I headed out for a warm up.
I headed out along the course to see what trainers I should wear. I had brought my Inov-8 X-Talon 190s and my Hoka One One Speedgoats. After the warm up I decided the less aggressive sole on my Speedgoats would be more than enough. The studs on the Talons would have been too much.
The course was muddy but not deep mud. If that makes sense.
After a short race briefing we got the countdown and we were off. I'd decided just to take it easy as I had a hard training session on Thursday, marathon training and trying to get a good parkrun time do not go hand in hand. Not for me anyway!
The course starts on a road facing down the hill towards the forest trail. This is the only bit of road you run on so don't let that fool you into thinking it's not muddy!
A number of people wore normal road running shoes and although they were adequate I reckon you could struggle in wetter, muddier conditions. Once you have the first downhill section out of the way you start to climb anticlockwise around the course. It's not a massive climb but on the second time around your legs feel it. There were a couple of streams running across the paths which I hear some people did stop at! Just run through them, they aren't deep, not even a couple of centimetres! I'd call them moving puddles.
This is what a lot of the course looks like. There was even one section where the Crows must be nesting up in the trees. They gave us a wee cheer each time we ran past them. I'm sure that's what they were doing anyway.
I was going to give you a blow by blow account of the course but I think you should run it yourself. It's an amazing trail 5k run and I loved it. Very well organised, as with any parkrun, and I can't wait to get back and run it again.
I was pleased to finish 6th in 18:28. The course did come up short on my GPS but due to nature of the course, undulating, twisty, I'd say it probably is 5k in length. I know the organisers had walked the course with a measuring wheel so that's far more accurate than a GPS.
When I say I can't wait to get back to run the course again, I think Mandy and I are actually heading back this weekend. What came as a complete surprise was, Mandy suggested it! I think I've unleashed the trail runner in her!