Flying the purple flag, nine members of Shepperton Running Group (SRG) descended en masse to Northala Fields parkrun today. A fair few miles from Shepperton, this is where SRG’s founder Steve hails from, and he marked his 50th parkrun by returning to his roots with running club in tow.
To be honest I had not heard of Northala Fields previously. It’s an award-winning country-style park, which opened in 2008 and forms part of the Northolt and Greenford Countryside Park. There’s ample, free parking and the start/finish is right by the cafe and toilets – super handy.
A friendly volunteer team provided the new runners’ briefing followed by the director’s brief. We received what felt like a celebrity welcome with photos before and after the run – Steve’s clearly popular at Northala 🙂
The 5km route starts with a small loop circling some pretty big grassy mounds (built from Wembley rubble) then a bigger lap which took us out onto the road for a bit, back into the park and around the mounds again to the finish funnel. Had I not been flying around the course I would have liked to take in the view from the top of the mounds, explored the playground or visitor centre (the slide looked pretty cool – for my children, naturally…)
This parkrun is really well marshalled and signposted. The terrain consists of tarmac, gravel and pebbles and is mostly flat and fast, so I was hoping for a good result… and was not disappointed. Perhaps the recent half marathon training AKA ‘SRG Sundays’ has paid off. Everyone remembered their barcodes and there were several course PBs (Paul and John) and parkrun PBs (Sabrina, Lee and myself) – and Sabrina deserves extra congrats for being first lady home.Fantastic running from all, and a great start to a sunny weekend.
Steve demonstrated true running etiquette by bringing cakes along for everyone – he must have been up baking all night. I loved representing SRG at Northala and sharing Steve’s milestone run. He does some truly excellent work for us and my running has improved significantly since I joined. Looking forward to seeing you in your “50 club” T-shirt soon Steve – when your purple top is in the wash of course!
View more great photos of Northala Fields parkrun here.