Wythenshawe parkrunners on tour at Lyme Park
A jolly band of parkrunners assembled this morning at Lyme Park, the visitors from Wythenshawe boosting numbers to 145, the fourth highest number in the run’s 127 event history. This is one of a very small number of ‘one-lap’ parkruns, and is also possibly one of the hilliest. 120 metres ascent doesn’t sound much does it? Try it!
Run Director Sarah and others welcomed our little group and helped with the photos, whilst also looking after a few brave souls who were taking up the ‘I Am Team GB Sports Day’ challenge by embarking on a regime of exercise, starting with this event.
There’s an annotated slideshow of runners at the start and at the finish, here. Click on the first image, then click ‘slideshow’; you may need to go back to the first image. Despite the stunning views I didn’t take any pictures during the run, though if I’d had my wits about me I would have taken some of runners queueing to climb over a large ladder stile at a point where the volunteer marshal couldn’t get a gate to open. Never mind, that gives scope for personal bests on our next visit. (I reckon the terrain makes this course two minutes slower than Wythenshawe, for a 25 minute runner.)
Most of the pictures are of our team finishing the run in various ‘states’, Sue’s, for example, being the state in which she nearly loses her wig!
The route is described by parkrun (with my annotations) thus:
Breathtaking. Literally! (Yes)
Lyme Park parkrun begins towards the back of the main car park - the open gate marking the start line. The first uphill section (almost exactly 800m) is tough, narrow and loose under foot. However, your perseverance will immediately be rewarded as you pass through a second open gate into the woods, which is rich in colour, but more importantly, (nearly) flat! As you pass under the trees and along this next section, you will reach a second
open gate where you (queue to ascend and descend a tall ladder stile and) should turn 90 degrees to your left. This narrow trail runs parallel with the park wall and is gently undulating and highlighted with small crossing streams (hardly a ‘muddy passage’ though). Glance to your right and you may be treated to your first deer sighting.(Not today.) At the end of this section, turn left again, through a third open gate and run straight ahead, passing the archery field on your right and through the final open gate. Please take extra care at this short part of the run, as you pass the staff car park on your left. Bear round to the right and follow the road until you spot the first large stone, turning left as you reach it, and head towards Lyme Park’s Cage. This huge open space with spectacular panoramic views of Manchester and beyond, will almost certainly give you perspective, and take your mind away from any aches or pains. (Yes, the views were excellent today.) Pass to the right of the Cage and head downwards over a rocky path, taking care to (avoid tripping headlong into an abyss –) lift your feet on this loose (and unforgiving) terrain. As the path blends into the grass, it becomes very slippery and ends with a sharp turn to the left. Marshals will be ready to catch you at the bottom! (I think Andrew flattened one of them.) Dig (very) deep for this last section, a gradual incline awaits (, for 1.2km all the way) up to the finish line, a few hundred feet in front of the house, and in perfect situ to head off for a well earned breakfast at the Timber Yard Coffee Shop. (Yes, excellent cakes.)
Anyway, while you’ve been reading that, seven of our team have finished and Ralph is waiting anxiously for number eight.
Here he is. Having flattened a marshal, Andrew has decided to be a gentleman and give way to the ladies.
It was tough, but not only did we survive the undulations of today’s route, I think we all enjoyed the lovely scenery, the ladder stile, and the expected ‘parkrun camaraderie’. Brilliant.
Here’s the route. (Green flag to red flag, arrows at 1 km intervals.)
Claire’s husband Dan and their twins joined us for coffee and cake as we relaxed in the sunny Timber Yard.
What a great way to start a Bank Holiday weekend.
Did I mention - Here’s a slideshow – 22 images – with captions!
My bike was in the car, so after a while (getting on for 11 o’clock, actually) I left the others to continue chatting and pedalled back to Timperley by an off-road route – basically through the park to the Macclesfield Canal, along that and the Peak Forest Canal to Bredbury Green, westwards along good tracks to join the Trans Pennine Trail in Stockport, following that to Stretford before diving down the Bridgewater Canal to Timperley.
Other routes are available. This one featured this prominent landmark after a long, pleasurable descent past many locks on the busy canal.
Through this short tunnel is East Didsbury Metrolink Station. You can see perhaps why they haven’t extended the line to Stockport – the trams would have trouble getting through here!
Almost home, and a Bank Holiday barge fest was going on in Brooklands, where it was ‘party time’.
Here are two versions of my 40 km route with about 200 metres ascent, taking 2 hours 40 minutes. A nice ride – home for lunch.
Not worth a separate posting, but perhaps of passing interest:
Our local heron must have great eyesight!
Work continues on the Linotype site in Broadheath. It’ll be interesting to see how it develops.