Saturday is parkrun day, eo we loaded Grendel the Labradoodle into Mabel and headed East. We followed the signs for Prestonpans to the town of Prestonpans for the third installment of, obviously, Meadowmill parkrun. Nope, we’ve no idea where the whole parkrun giving-runs-names-other-than-the-town-theyr’e-in habit comes from. I suppose it’s just to confuse people. Ask anyone in Edinburgh how to get to Prestonpans and they’ll be able to point you in the right general direction, ask anyone in Prestonpans how to get to Meadowmill and they’ll probably look at you like you’re not from these parts.
Maybe they’re expecting Prestonpans to have more than one run, or maybe there’s another Prestonpans somewhere in Russia and they want to avoid confusion.
Cutting it fine
On the way to the event we did manage to get quite lost, to be fair. We eventually found the bowling club we were aiming for, parked and headed off in search of the start. Hell, we had 5 minutes to spare, plenty time. Well plenty time as long as the start isn’t right over the other side of the playing fields. If it is you’d have to run to make it in time for the start.
Yep, you guessed it. It was, and we did. Nothing like a wee warm up run though. On the was we’d read the course description and it’s fair to say it doesn’t really do the route justice. Things start off with a Km (more or less) round the playing fields (so on grass, obviously) before you head for the park perimeter and turn left onto a gravel path. By this point we had the usual “wow, it’s warmer than we thought” feeling as we wished we had slightly fewer layers on. The left turn takes you along a nice downward sloping out and back. Unfortunately, as is the nature of out and backs, it’s not such a nice upwards sloping “back” but you can’t really call it a hill.
Actually, it’s definitely not a hill, the next bit is a hill. There’s one of those nice / horrible (delete as applicable) short sharp slopes that don’t go on for very long but make their presence felt in your legs. The short, sharp shock is followed by more uphill at a gentler incline but still very noticeable if you try to hit it too hard.
Luckily it doesn’t drag on for too long and at the end of the gravel path you turn right along a decent downhill on tarmac before a quick dash through the woods and on to the second lap. For history buffs this is an interesting place, being the battlefield from the Battle of Prestonpans (or, if named by the people at parkrun, the battle of Meadowfield).
Do the hills get steeper ?
Ahh, the battle of Prestonpans… not the British Army’s finest hour. They probably ran faster than we did, but then we weren’t being routed by hairy arsed highlanders.
The second lap is a repeat of the first. Same run round the playing fields, same out and back and same hills which do seem to have become steeper… especially the first one. As we got to the end of the second lap there was a momentary confusion as the path you’re on goes straight on but the finish funnel is off to the left. It sounds easy enough on here but a fair few people tried to go straight on.
I may have been one of them…
Always happy to help out I took on the role of a temporary keep left sign pointing finishers in the right (or rather left) direction. It’s only week 3 and the event is still being tweaked so this probably wont be an issue by the time you read this.
It has to be said that of all the runs we’ve done Meadowmill is the one where the course description does the actual course the least justice. The section along the out and back and then over the humps and back along towards the start is quite brilliant. Challenging for sure but such a great feeling when you’ve done it.
A wee blog on Meadowmill
There are toilets in the bowling club and in the sports centre. The ones in the bowling club are nice, we didn’t try the others 🙂