I haven’t done many parkruns this year. I did the New Year’s Day double and then that’s been about it. But I finally got to check another venue off the list a few weeks back when I visited Peckham Rye parkrun with Jo.
Based in South East London, Peckham Rye parkrun takes place in Peckham Rye Park and is accessible from Honor Oak, Nunhead, Peckham and East Dulwich. The course is a three lapper, run on tarmac paths. I had been told it was flat, but with a few twists and turns. The car park is about a 5 minute walk from the start.
I used to live in Peckham. Peckham Rye parkrun didn’t exist back then and I wasn’t a runner either, so I have no guilt about never attending. I do however feel a bit guilty that despite living so close to Peckham Rye Park, I never visited. A beautiful park with a bowling green, a lake and ponds complete with ducks, it seems a shame that I never once bothered myself to go for a walk there. I suppose I must have spent most of my time in the pub. There are so many stunning parks in London, it’s a pity not to make use of them.
It was a grey and chilly day, but the trees were still in blossom. Everyone was friendly and welcoming as we gathered near the start and a few tourists aside from us had also turned up, including someone from South Africa. Now that’s some uber tourism!
Jo had been for a long bike ride the day before and I’ve been mentally struggling with enjoying running recently, so we decided just to run an easy pace, chat round and enjoy it. The route was gorgeous, mostly flat with a gradual downhill, before a gradual up back toward the start where we looped around twice more. The gardens were pretty, the marshals bright and cheerful, and we even saw a couple of ducks. In many ways, the route reminded me of Dulwich parkrun, but with more to see. The twisty turny elements of the course meant that you couldn’t always see what was to come and this kept it really interesting, but the marshals keep everyone on course and when in doubt, runners just need to remember to keep the black fence to the left.
The path is narrow in places, so when running Peckham, it’s important to remember to keep to the side to let runners overtake if they want to. Everyone was friendly though, with “thank you” called out.
I had a lovely run with Jo, who is always fantastic company to run with and it was the first run in a long time that I really enjoyed. We stopped to walk once or twice to stretch out legs and cheerfully ambled home in 34:40, feeling happy.
The volunteer team at Peckham Rye were awesome, with results done and dusted by 10:30. We had a lovely coffee afterwards in the rather imaginatively named French Cafe, a, err, French cafe. But the coffee was great, the pastry even better and it was great to have the chance to chat with some of the regulars.
All in all, Peckham Rye parkrun is rather lovely and if you’re in the area, I recommend checking it out! I hope to give it another run when running fit and see how I do.
16 different parkruns. Where to next?