As our son lives in Harrow, we are down there a couple of times a year but this was our first visit since the start of the Harrow parkrun. So, even though we were both knackered after 3 consecutive nights on the town, it had to be done! As we couldn’t drag said son out of bed we had to find our own way to the start which was about 1.5 miles away. As we were just beginning to wonder which side road led to the park, we spotted another friendly parkrunner who showed us the way to the start line which was next to a cricket pavilion that served as toilets, bag drop and after-run tea shop.
The natives seemed friendly and we got a cheer when it was announced that they had visitors from Newcastle (I don’t think they get many tourists). The park itself is fairly pleasant if unspectacular and the run takes place entirely on tarmac paths around it. It isn’t a big park, so the course consists of 3 laps around the outside with a smaller loop near the start. I’m not a fan of laps but at least it means that you know what you have to do after the first one. There was a slight gradient which, though nothing to concern the average North East runner, made a big difference to the one wheelchair parkrunner. Having overtaken her early on, we then heard the shouts of “wheelchair coming through” as she started her descent. A runner wearing headphones ahead had to be physically alerted to get out the way, confirming my belief that running in headphones is dangerous!
Gill and I were running together and started quite slowly as neither of us felt at our best. On the second lap we gradually began to overtake a few but were still behind schedule of finishing under 30 minutes, however a bit of a push near the end meant that our honour was saved with Gill finishing in 29:49 and me being given 29:50 (I have to let her finish first!).
All in all, a friendly parkrun, well-marshalled and a nice size (117 runners). I am sure that we will return on future trips to Harrow.