This weekend, Stuart M and I headed down to Cornwall to visit my family. I’ve not been home since Christmas, so I was looking forward to it. I was also looking forward to trying out a relatively new parkrun at Heartlands. It’s now the nearest parkrun to my mum’s house. (It’s the one near to Redruth on the map below).
I’ve done Penrose parkrun (Helston on map) and Lanhydrock, but haven’t done Trelissick, Eden Project or the ones to the far east of Cornwall.
Arriving at Heartlands parkrun
We arrived quite early and parked, and then hit a snag. Parking was £2, but I only had £1.70 with me (and a mobile phone). I tried to register to pay with my phone, but I had already used the parking company once before when I had a hire car and needed to enter my registration plate number (which I couldn’t do as I have no idea what the reg plate of the hire car was!) I asked Stu whether he could pay by mobile, but he had similar problems. We checked the parking details and found that it was free to park until 9:30am, so we agreed that Stu would return to the car when he had finished and could then move the car and collect the rest of us when we finished.
It was only a short walk to the start of the run. This meant that I had some time to waste on my phone. It was at this point that I found that the course was not recommended for buggies – oops! I’ve read a few write-ups about it before and had seen a photo of someone with a buggy on the event’s Facebook page, so hadn’t realised. I felt bad, but it was too late for us to go anywhere else. I had agreed to run with my mum, so I knew that we would be towards the back of the field. As I would not be racing then I would have enough time to move out of anyone else’s way.
It was really nice to be at a fairly small event. I love Southampton parkrun, but as it’s such an enormous parkrun, it doesn’t have the same community feel that some other parkruns have. An older couple had a chat with us and then a man started discussing Cornish parkruns with us as it was also his first time at Heartlands.
Our parkrun experience
It wasn’t long before we were off. There is a relatively wide tarmac path for the first 100m, but then there’s a <90 degree turn onto a wooden bridge/walkway. It’s beautiful, but I can see why the course is not recommended for buggies. The route winds through the gardens, with a number of turns around circular grass features.
There is then a slightly off-road/trail section, followed by a run across the park.
We also had to run through a children’s play area, which was a first for me during a parkrun. It was a really lovely playground. I thought that M would enjoy it, but she fell asleep during the run. Also, we had to leave pretty swiftly because of the parking situation!
It is a 3.5 lap course. I can see why it’s described as not suitable for buggies. I think it’s attractive, and would love to have time to explore the gardens and playground, however, I prefer Penrose because it’s an out and back course.