parkrun Tourism: The Old Showfield parkrun

Stuart, Kate Tamsyn, M and Pete at the Old Showfield parkrun.

Southampton parkrun was cancelled this week (because of Race for Life), so I suggested doing some parkrun tourism to Pete. I still want to do Havant, Rushmoor and Hogmoor Inclosure, however, Pete is trying to catch up on his parkrun alphabet. He suggested The Old Showfield in Frome. I’m easily led, so I agreed to it. We also invited Kate as I know she’s keen to do a few more different parkruns.

Kate and Pete arrived at my house at 7:10am. M was already in the car and we were ready to go. We intended to leave quite early. Information on various travel planners had given us a wide range of potential journey times and we didn’t want to be late.

Arriving at The Old Showfield

When we arrived in Frome we were early enough to park in the town car park which had some toilets. We then walked over the Jenson Button bridge. The Old Showfield was about half a mile away.

Canoe slalom gates viewed from the Jenson Button bridge.
As we passed over the Jenson Button bridge, we could see some canoe slalom gates.

We arrived at the start just in time to hear the run briefing.

M hasn’t been well this week and is struggling with her asthma as well as being tired from starting school. I’d dressed her in her sportswear and some new trainers, but decided that it would be best for her to go in her running buggy. She was quite happy about that and decided to take along one of our cowbells to cheer the runners on.

M in her running buggy. She is holding a cowbell.

The first two and three-quarter laps

I was still faffing when the Run Director started the event. However, this didn’t matter too much as the course was quite busy for the first 250m.

The last time that I completed a parkrun with M in her buggy was event 400 at Southampton on 07/03/20. In the last 18 months, my fitness has gone down and my weight has gone up. Also, M has grown a lot.

I had read that The Old Showfield parkrun had a hill at the start and a gentle incline at the end. In comparison to Southampton, the inclines weren’t very long or steep, so even with a buggy, they weren’t too bad.

The marshals on the course were excellent. All of them were friendly and called out encouragement to M and I. They also let us know that we were the sixth buggy. This was unsurprising. I think M may have been the largest passenger! I kept us tight to the left of the path as I had read that the route wasn’t suitable for a double buggy and I didn’t want to get in anyone’s way. We were lapped by quite a few people, but no one made me feel like we were in the way.

After a couple of laps, Stu passed us. M asked, “Who was that?” I said, “Daddy”, to which she responded, “No, it wasn’t!” I think this amused a few of the volunteers.

The last lap

After 2 3/4 laps, Stu appeared by the side of the path. He offered to take the buggy with M in it. Part of me thought I should complete the run with M, but I realised that it would give her more time to walk around if I passed her over.

It was much easier getting up the incline without the buggy. Most of the marshals and a few of the runners commented that I had obviously lost something on my last lap. It was nice to be able to pick up the pace a bit and pass a few of the other runners.

When I got towards the end of the lap, I could see Stu, Kate and M. Pete was walking back from the finish to cheer me on as well.

Volunteers at the finish.

Chatting with the volunteers

When I had crossed the line, I had to work out where the barcode scanners were. It turned out that they were 100m away by the entrance to the field. I got my tokens scanned and put the finish token in a large basket.

We had a lovely conversation with one of the female volunteers who told us that her parkrun journey had started at Bushy as she used to live nearby. We explained that we had parked in town, so we were told about White Row Farm just outside Frome as it has a cafe and a nice playground.

After that, the volunteer took some photos for us. Sadly there wasn’t a selfie frame or one of those popup signs, but there was a nice welcome flag.

Stu, Kate, M, Tamsyn and Pete at The Old Showfield parkrun. They are standing by a welcome flag.

Did you notice my shoes?

This was also my first parkrun in my lovely red Relance running shoes. They were so soft, springy and comfortable. The toe box is slightly narrower than some other brands, but they were wide enough for me. The laces were the perfect length so I didn’t worry about them untying whilst running.

A pair of red Relance trainers.

Having fun after running

The centre of the Old Showfield includes a mown maze, a children’s playground and an exercise area with equipment.

A maze mown into the grass.

M was very excited about trying out the zip wire, climbing frame and three different roundabouts. I think Kate also had fun!

Kate climbing on a scramble net climbing frame.

As well as three different roundabouts, there was also a combination roundabout seesaw, which M loved.

M sitting on a seesaw.
M on a roundabout. She is wearing sportswear.

After checking out the playground, we headed to White Row Farm for some delicious cakes and hot drinks. Whilst we were there, we received our results texts.

How did I do?

I wasn’t expecting this run to be quick as I’m unfit. It’s been at least 18 months since I last completed a parkrun with a buggy for at least 18 months. I was pleasantly surprised to finish in 35:29

Tamsyn's result from The Old Showfield parkrun: 35:29.

I was last in my age group, which didn’t surprise me. However, I was the runner who had completed the most parkruns. Stu had completed the second-highest number of parkruns. Kate had completed the 4th highest number of parkruns.

When I looked at the results, I noticed that Aaron Gallimore from Lordshill had also completed his first run at The Old Showfield parkrun today. I didn’t expect to see any other LRRs today. It was his 250th run.

Did you parkrun today? Where did you run?

I'd love to hear your thoughts...

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