But the Parkrun concept is still growing. And soon I heard rumours about it coming to town! And so it was. As a venue, Penrhyn Castle had been chosen. It’s a bit out of town, but still only half an hour away on bike. Feasible! And the castle also gave the franchise a name; Bangor in Northern Ireland already had a Parkrun, so the name was taken. Ours is Penrhyn Parkrun!
I got up earliesh, and mounted my bike. I got to the outer gate of the estate. So far so good! And then the castle didn’t materialise. Oh dear! Would I be late? It should just have been straight ahead! But there was a closed gate there. With a “go away” sign. I thought of the Awyr Las race at Plas Newydd; I got there by lifting my bike over a gate and staggering over a cattle grid. Maybe this was a good strategy here too!
Seconds after scaling the gate I saw the turrets appear. I found it! Next time I might try a different route. But now I could park my bike, take off my outer trousers, put on my running jacket and get to the start. The castle had been described to me as a monstrosity, but I liked it! If you do kitsch, then do it properly!
Heading for the finish - inside the gate
We got a small intro on the route, and then we were off. It was a nicely small group! In York there would be 300-ish runners; here there were less than 100. Maybe because the run was newer, but maybe Bangor just doesn’t produce that many runners. It’s a small town, after all.
The route was nice. Through the castle grounds, past impressive trees and well-kempt lawns, and sometimes with view on the mountains and sometimes views over the sea. Nice! I was running rather pleasantly. And I saw I was actually going to run a decent time, in spite of the up-and-down which York doesn’t have. I later saw I had run in 24 minutes sharp; not bad! Maybe under 24 minutes next time! I think I want to come back here. It’s a nice way to start the weekend!