parkrun Tourism: Havant parkrun

Stuart, Tamsyn, M and Kate in front of a banner saying Havant parkrun.

My parkrun tourism continued with a trip to Havant parkrun this week. I’m working on ‘cHampshire’ – completing all of the parkruns in Hampshire.

Stu and I had agreed to give fellow RD Kate a lift to Staunton Country Park. Kate is trying to do more parkrun tourism and is interested in completing her parkrun alphabet. I was slightly concerned that we wouldn’t make it there this week as there were motorway closures between Southampton and Havant. I was also worried that we might not have enough fuel. Fortunately, we had half a tank of diesel, so we’re OK for now.

We left at 7:45 so arrived in plenty of time. We were able to choose any spot we wanted in the car park and then had a short stroll to the start.

Sign saying 'Welcome to Staunton Country Park'.
Sign giving the history of Staunton's Country Park

Exploring before the start of the run

After speaking with the event team, M wanted us to explore the area near to the start. She liked the ‘horse hut’ toilets (aka the former stables). She also particularly liked the carvings done by local chainsaw artist Christopher Bain.

A young girl standing in the hollow centre of a carved tree.
A tree sculpture by Christopher Bain in Staunton Country Park.
Female face on carved into the other side of the tree,

After having a walk around, we went back to the start, where we had a chat with regional parkrun ambassador, Dave. I’ve known Dave for a long time as he used to run at Eastleigh parkrun when it first started.

The first loop of Havant parkrun

Havant parkrun consists of one small loop and then a larger loop that needs to be run twice. The small loop gave me a chance to warm up a little as my legs are very stiff. I also noticed a large wooden climbing frame/lookout that I thought M would like.

The second loop

This loop went down a fairly steep gravel slope before going alongside a lake. It was really picturesque and reminded me of Monet’s Water Lilies. On my second lap, I tried to take some photos whilst running as I knew my time wouldn’t be that quick.

Runners passing  the lake in Staunton Country Park. There is a bridge over the lake and waterlilies in the lake.

After the lake, there is a peaceful woodland section. It was clearly signposted. I didn’t notice my surroundings much on my first lap as the ground is really rutted with some large stones as well as loose gravel, so I was taking care not to trip.

Cyclists on a path in Staunton Country Park.

Towards the end of the loop, I was surprised to see some climbing walls. I’ve not seen any in a public park before.

Standing rocks with hand holds for climbing.

It was then onto a slope back towards the start. I was misled into thinking I was closer to the cafe than I was as I could smell bacon. I didn’t notice the food truck in the car park (to my left) that was making bacon rolls!

The final hill before the finish at Havant parkrun.

How did I do?

I knew that I wouldn’t be achieving a Season’s Best, so I wasn’t too disappointed by my time of 34:02.

Tamsyn's result from Havant parkrun: 34:02.

Going back for M

After I finished, I had a brief chat with Kate before walking anticlockwise to look for Stu and M. They were further back than I expected. A runner had fallen, so Stu had stopped and run back to a marshal to get help. M was so excited to see me!

Stuart and M running on a gravel path.

This was a tough route for M’s little legs, so I was really proud of her for finishing.

M's result from Havant parkrun: 57:57.

What’s next?

There are now just two parkruns left for me to complete cHampshire: Rushmoor and Hogmoor Inclosure.

M, Tamsyn, Stuart and Kate standing behind a Havant parkrun banner.

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