If you want a rural park run with some challenging hills and beautiful countryside you won’t do much better than the QE Park run. Situated in the scenic Queen Elizabeth County Park close to Petersfield the course consists of two laps that will test you with their ascents and descents. The nature of a park run is that’s it’s just that, a run so it can be treated as a great hill session which will improve your strength for both uphill and flat racing as well as quite simply being a great place to take your exercise.
I was meeting fellow Crusader Paul Coates with a view to adding some South Downs Way miles onto our park run 5K. On arrival it was -0.5 degrees and I was glad I’d brought my Xtreme eGloves with me that are suitable for 3 degrees and below (see my Reviews write up and the 20% discount that you can use). I was pleased to see both Ros Clarke who I’ve known for some time and Andy Paton (Liss Runners) both at the start line. I say start line, to be fair it’s a start hill !!
I introduced myself to Race Organiser Kiernan who I’ve talked to on Twitter before and it was time for the race briefing. Essentially we were to run through our forested surrounding and whenever we came to a junction, turn right. The cold air hit your lungs from the very first step and caution was needed what with the frost making the mud quite rutted but it’s always a joy to see so many people who may never race an actual race enjoying the park run experience. Results wise of the 78 people Andy P was 7th, Paul 8th, I was 35th and in 54th and with a course p.b. Ros. Great work guys. A great route, thanks to Kiernan and his team, I’d recommend it.
We then convinced Ros to join us on a section of The South Downs Way run. She wasn’t sure initially saying we were too quick but that isn’t always a factor in long distance training, time on your legs can be just as important. As we ran up the hill out of QECP the early morning sun was starting to appear and it must have been at least 1 degrees !! With the competitive element of the morning out of the way and a steadier pace it was time for some banter and a catch up. However, don’t be fooled, there are numerous short sharp hills along this trail and we were all still working hard.
Google maps is a wonderful tool, here is a link to the cottage Ros wants to own and once you’ve navigated 180 degrees you can follow the street view by clicking ahead along part of the route that we took. I don’t imagine the fields, hedgerows and landscape has changed much out here for hundreds of years, it’s quite simply beautiful to run through.
My new Saucony Peregrine’s were great to run in and my Xtreme eGloves kept my hands warm, while still being able to take photos wearing them. Paul headed on further and I ran back with Ros, 11.4 miles and 1,500 feet of elevation for us plus more for Paul. A cracking mornings run with friends, looking forward to next week already !!