Usually when I find myself partaking in some parkrun tourism, it won’t be long until I have added a post here. However, there are a couple of parkruns that I did before this blog existed that I thought it was about time to write a review of, including Roundhay parkrun in Leeds.

I have quite a few of my family who live in and around Leeds so have spent quite a bit of time in the beautiful Roundhay park in the north of Leeds. Be it having ice cream next to the lake, playing in one of the various play parks with the kids or going to the Manison House for a wedding reception. However, my first ever visit was on September 1st 2018, and I was there for one reason and that was parkrun.

My brother lives little more than a stones throw from the park so when I fancied a bit of tourism, meeting him at his local seemed a good idea. In many ways this was my 1st venture into tourism as although I had done 2 different events prior, both were the closet to home at the time I did them.

Having met my brother at the top of the park, I headed to the first timers briefing and then before long is was ready to get going. In the main briefing I smugly shouted out “Cambridgeshire” as they asked if anyone had travelled far. Only for a Kiwi to pipe up – you win!

The course at Roundhay is three loops with quite a bit of climbing involved. Straight from the start you head up the slope towards the Mansion House for about 100m, before a left turn and you lose all the height again in a similar distance. It’s then back up hill again for another 100m which really makes the start feel like a rollercoaster! There is another left turn and now you start to get a bit of a constant gradient with a good 500m headed down quite a steep slope towards the cricket pitch. You can pick up some speed here although at the back of mind was the fact that I had to do this three times, and that meant I’d be climbing it elsewhere three times! Having looped around the outfield of the cricket pitch you continue your descent to the playpark near the lake where I have spent quite a bit of time with the kids.

A sharp left, and now you are heading up hill. It’s only a 500m stretch but it starts with an 8% gradient so it will sap your legs, if not on the first trip, on the 2nd or third!. The final trip isn’t quite as long as you get the peel off and cross the line. I most definitely had positive splits on the day that I ran but my time of 22:58 was respectful (even if my brother was over 2mins ahead of me!). Once finished we took advantage of one of the unique features of this parkrun, that you can see the entire course all the time, to watch a few more people running before heading home for waffles.

I’m actually surprised that I haven’t yet revisited Roundhay given it remains on my brother’s doorstep. This is in part due to a lot more tourism in Yorkshire although I have started to run out of events within a sensible time of my in-laws where we usually stay so return trips could be on the cards. However, my one trip there in 2018 was enjoyable and it is well worth a visit if you are in Leeds.

By Mike

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