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Sun, sea, sand and statues on a Saturday morning

by kirsty
Tuesday 26th April 2016

On the face of it all parkruns are the same. They start at a universal time, they are all 5k and they all have a standard race director intro and a set routine to follow at the finish (collect timing chip, get it scanned, head to the coffee shop and replenish expended calories plus about 500 more). But, despite the differences,  I’ll bet that every single parkrun you visit has its own idiosyncrasies, whether that’s 3 laps, wild ponies or a life-sized cast iron statue called Bing.

I’m not particularly well-travelled in parkrun terms but I really love the fact that once you’ve been to one you know roughly what the deal is but they’re all pretty different. There are fast, flat one lap courses, hilly three lappers, lots of concrete, no concrete, there are parkruns with a field of 500 people and others with 50, there are runs round the park and there are runs by the seaside. And it was at the seaside that I did my parkrun on Saturday.
Crosby parkrun 1

Crosby parkrun is reasonably new, reasonably small and stunningly beautiful. You run along a path parallel to the sea, you run back along the prom, then you do a final mile out and back along the beach. But this isn’t just any beach. This is the beach where Antony Gormley’s Another Place statues live. 100 life-size cast iron statues along 3km of beach, stretching almost 1km out to sea. It’s fantastic to run along and see some iconic British sculptures while you’re doing your parkrun and it takes your mind off how hard it is to run on sand.

Crosby parkrun 2

OK then, for the final mile of out and back along the beach how do you know where to turn round? Well, there’s obviously a highly supportive marshal there but Bing marks the spot for the marshal to stand. Bing (Crosby), the life-size cast-iron statue and honorary parkrun marshal.  After I’d finished I grabbed my phone and jogged back down to take some photos of Bing (renamed George for one week only for St George’s Day) and got chatting to the marshal, Alan. It turned out that Alan only started running just before he turned 60 and he’s spent the last couple of years winning his vet 60 category all over the place.

Crosby parkrun 3

So, before 10am on a Saturday I’d run a 5k in a stunning location with a friendly group of like-minded people, I’d taken in some culture, I’d met a truly inspirational runner and I’d eaten two breakfasts. And that just sums up everything that is great about parkrun for me.

Crosby parkrun 4



About The Author

Kirsty Reade

I’d describe myself as borderline obsessed with running, racing, reading about running, and watching others run so hopefully I’m fairly typical of Run247’s visitors. I tend to do longer races, particularly off-road marathons and ultras, but am pretty much a fan of any distance. I'm passionate about helping runners of all levels to improve through running communities I'm involved in, such as Underground Ultra and Free Range Runners. 


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