“The characteristic charms of this park run make up for the demanding descents which, when wet, are very slippy.”
Hidden just over a mile away from the A5 near Leighton Buzzard is Rushmere Country Park, home to many herons, fantastic sculptures and the filming location for the Sky 1 game show “Wild Things”. It also hosts a parkrun every Saturday morning at 9 am and it was for this reason that I headed over along with the Dacorum & Tring AC Roadrunners for the third leg of our 2018 parkrun tour.
If you’re searching for a speedy course then Rushmere isn’t for you! Starting on a wide treelined path next to the aptly named treetops cafe, the course is a 2 lap loop along trail paths passing lakes, over wooden bridges and through gates and into a meadow. The route undulates all the way around with gentle uphills and some extremely steep downs the reward being in the beautiful surroundings. Trails are a must if it has been raining, the grip is scant on the downhill in the mud.
The start, though busy with 200+ runners, wasn’t congested and overtaking around the route was easy enough. Dogs aren’t allowed on the course because part of it is on a bridleway and buggy runners would have struggled to get through the mud which was very deep in places. Marshalls were fantastic and there was a great atmosphere.
I thoroughly enjoyed my bit of tourism to Rushmere; the characteristic charms of this park run made up for the demanding descents which, when wet, were very slippy!
Facilities wise: ample parking charged at £3 for which you need the correct change to get out the car park; toilets at the Visitor centre 50m from the start line; play parks, sculpture trail and walks for the whole family; and very popular cafe along from the finish afterwards.
Find out more about Rushmere at parkrun.org.uk
PB – 28:12
Best Position – 71st
Times run – 1
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