Wimbledon Common Parkrun had been on my wish list for a while as it is near where my sister lives and it would enable me to tick off the ‘W’ in the Parkrun A-Z alphabet challenge.
It is also the 2nd oldest Parkrun having started in 2007 after the success of Bushy Park so it also had a nostalgic bit of Parkrun history attached to it.
How To Get There & Where To Park
I was staying down the road at a local hotel so I had short run down the A219 Parkside road and turned into Windmill Road.
Wimbledon Common is a large area but it has a large attendance so if you can find Windmill Road your see tons of Parkrun T-shirts heading in the direction of the meeting pointing of the run briefing.
There is parking at Windmill car park but it is extremely busy and organisers ask you to try to use public transport, walk/run or cycle there instead.
As we were staying at a local hotel we parked our car on ‘The Green’ overnight near The Causeway and you can pay via a RingGo app. It is quite expensive though, 90 minutes is just under £5.
After the run briefing, there is a short mass walk to the start line. The start is a little chaotic as there were nearly 400 runners that day jostling for position down a narrowish trail path but once the first 100m is completed most people have found there rhythm and place.
It is a simple 2 lap course through a mostly wooded area and only 4 or 5 left turns to make so it is really easy to follow. You run past the Kings Mere Lake and back towards the Windmill for a 2nd lap. After completing the 2nd lap you start the 3rd lap but instead of turning left as you did on the previous 2 laps, you complete the short run to the finish tunnel.
Now, I am really glad I had done a little research before attending and not turned up in my expensive Hoka One One Carbon X racing shoes because this course is really wet and muddy! I encountered countless puddles, sticky trail paths and my legs were covered (see photo further down the page).
I wore my Balega Blister Resist running socks which protected my feet, as your feet will get wet no matter how much you try to avoid the puddles and my Hoka One One Challenger ATR trail shoes gave me plenty of grip but there were people using normal running trainers so do not let this put you off.
You would benefit from any type of trail running shoe but it wasn’t so bad that I sore anybody getting stuck. It was more wet than muddy. You simply had a choice to make, either tiptoe around the sides of the puddles or go straight through the middle and embrace the course!
PLEASE NOTE: This course is not suitable for pushchairs as you are likely to get stuck, ruin your pushchair or you or your child would probably get covered from the spray of your wheels!
Results & Photos
I was racing the next day so did not push it too hard but I achieved a respectable 95th position in 25:14. I think the time reflects how challenging this course is, as I would normally be in the 23-minute range at the time of writing.
You can find Wimbledon Common Latest Results by clicking HERE
A pretty poor effort on my part as I only remembered to take photos on the way to the start line and at the end to show my wife how muddy my feet and legs were before heading back to the hotel we were staying at!
I will definitely be returning to run this again with my GoPro on.
There does tend to be a photographer on the course and you can find the Wimbledon Common Flickr album HERE
Coffee & Cake
There is a post Parkrun coffee at the Windmill cafe but I had to shoot off to meet my wife for breakfast at our hotel so I didn’t stay. There is also a plethora of independent and mainstream coffee shops in Wimbledon Village and some high-end Cafes like The Ivy.
In summary, Wimbledon Common Pakrun is one of the best Parkruns I have taken part in. I thoroughly enjoyed the friendly atmosphere and the course reminded me of a cross country. I left with a massive smile on my face because it had put me in such a good mood.
Have you taken part in Wimbledon Common Parkrun before? Let me know your thoughts below