My friend Jo and I have been working our way around the little islands, checking off parkruns in the name of tourism. On Saturday, we checked off Medina IOW.
Medina IOW is an interesting one. For most of the year, it’s run in Newport. However, they have a second location in Ryde when Medina can’t be used. Jo and I lucked out and got to experience the alternative location starting at Appley Park in Ryde, hence the term Medina IOW parkrun on tour.
It was a bright and sunny day when we arrived and it was to remain that way for the duration of the weekend. As you know, I have a wonderful talent for bringing hot sunshine to runs and it didn’t fail me this time. The sun reflected off the sea as we walked along the path towards the park, before turning to climb up the hill to the top part of the park, where we saw a finishing funnel. Ah. Gulp. So there was going to be a climb at some point then.
241 runners had turned out for parkrun. There were several first timers and tourists and we were given a comprehensive briefing of the route, before it was summed up as “just follow the person ahead of you”. Soon it was time to start and we were off running around the grassy park. Unfortunately, just a couple of hundred yards in, one lady took a nasty tumble. Such is the spirit of parkrun, several runners stopped to help and an ambulance was called. Hopefully she’ll make a speedy recovery.
I had forgotten my watch so was running naked. This turned out to be fairly sensible as I was booked in to run the Needles XC 10k just a couple of hours later, so I took it quite easy. I felt great for those first 3k or so, enjoying the loop around the park before we ran down to the seafront, where we ran a flat stretch along the water. At this point, the sun was starting to feel hot and I could feel my skin prickling slightly. The view was wonderful though and running alongside the water is so calming.
We were then directed to turn through the woods, which offered some much-needed shade against the sun. Soon, we emerged again to be told by a friendly marshal there was just over a mile to go. And so began the sunny stretch along the water again. We’d been told to look out for the pier but both Jo and I managed to miss it.
Spoiler: It’s actually very obviously a pier. It’s just not as close as we thought it might be.
At this point, I decided to slow down and walk. At an estimate, I’d done a couple of miles in around 20 minutes and I was supposed to be taking this easy. I felt great, but knowing I had a tough 10k later in the day, I walked and enjoyed the sunshine, knowing that a tough climb was coming up.
And…there it was. But I’d already decided to walk up it, so walk up it I did. It was a tough climb, definitely moving the difficulty level of the overall coy urse up a notch. It flattened out in the original park where we ran a flat loop around to the finishing funnel. I did run this last little bit. Phew.
My official time was 34:25, which I am happy with as I walked most of that last mile and was trying to rest my legs. It was also great training for the upcoming Spitfire Scramble. Results were processed quickly and in terms of scenery, it was definitely right up there with the stunning Guernsey parkrun.
I can’t comment on the post-run cafe as we had to shoot off, but rest assured that there are plenty of ice-cream options around!
Tourist board, I’m coming for you.