Saturday was time for the MOT and service on the old car but the only time they could fit us in was 8:30am! So after a moan I remembered the parkrun in Gt Yarmouth and made a decision to give it a go.
But first a quick bit of history courtesy of Alan:
Great Yarmouth is a seaside town in the south of the county of Norfolk – it is a gateway from the Norfolk Broads to the North Sea and its wide sandy beaches have attracted visitors since the 1760s.
The area was originally just sandbanks in the mouth of the wide estuary formed by the River Yare but eventually the plentiful shoals of herring in the seas around attracted a permanent fishing community. By the time of the Norman conquest the settlement had become a thriving port and trading centre. The impressive Minster Church (the third largest parish church in England) was begun in 1101 and by the end of the 13th century the town was completely enclosed within imposing walls (Yarmouth has the second most complete Medieval town wall surviving in England today). Yarmouth’s anchorage was once considered one of the best in England and in the 18th and 19th century it was an important base and logistics centre for the Royal Navy’s North Sea fleet – Nelson was a frequent visitor. The town and port continued to prosper throughout the 19th century (Charles Dickens called it "the finest place in the universe"!) but the 20th century was less kind. The town was badly damaged in both world wars and by the 1950s the herring fishing industry had pretty much collapsed and the Navy had left. Support work for oil and gas rigs and, more recently, offshore wind power keep Yarmouth’s port relatively busy, but today Yarmouth’s economy mainly relies on tourism. Around 5 million people visit the town each year, making it Britain's third most popular seaside resort.
Right back to the Parkrun. Quick walk from the Car place to the beach. Enjoyed the First timer talk very much. Lots of good advice and an explanation of the course – apparently the course is mostly run on SAND! Who’d of thought it!?
I spotted Alan in the distance (I’d left him handing the car over) so he made it to the start too! We all took up positions by the start and a simple ‘Go’ and we were off! Advised to take it gently on the stretch towards the sea making use of the ‘ramp’ of sand built to avoid the 3ft drop, then turn right before you get wet feet and head towards the pier. Choice of running right by the sea’s edge where the sand was firm or on the shingle (which apparently would add an extra half a km to your distance) but it was the preferred route by all 64 runners/walkers today.
Up along the side of the pier before heading back towards the start and then onto the dunes before turning back towards the sea and then repeat. As the makeshift ramp came back into view (one lap) the two lead chaps and a girl finishing passed us by. The route was basically a giant rectangle which is repeated before the finish.
I did walk a fair bit of this course but it was quite tricky at times as the sand was loose with big indentations from vehicles! Found myself more than once having to step over big bits!
Managed a mini sprint towards the finish at the end. The finish time of 1:06:58 is the tailwalker’s time as there were not enough volunteers so no timekeepers available (all marshalls where needed on the course). I did get a place of 58 out of 64 which I was quite chuffed with! Strava estimated my Gt Yarmouth parkrun as: 53:56 so I’ll be using that as my ‘official time’.
Actually really enjoyed that course and would be happy to try it again (under certain circumstances).
Unfortunately I haven't been able to incorporate any photos but Alan should have a good few on facebook.
Have found this entertaining video of the course (if it is still there after publishing).
PS. Car passed it's MOT
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