Lowestoft parkrun, 16th September 2023

Lucy Keating sends us this report from East Anglia:

After a few more days filling in some Norfolk gaps on my quest to walk the coast of Britain (over many years), I ended up at Lowestoft in Suffolk this weekend. Naturally, I had to do the parkrun, particularly as it would mean I had run the most easterly and northerly (Thurso) parkruns on the mainland this summer. 

It was a glorious morning (unlike in the North East, I gather). I was a bit concerned to see a fire engine at the finish line as I arrived, but soon discovered this was because a team from the local brigade were special guests (and kindly provided very welcome water bottles at the finish).

It’s a scenic run along the prom, not dissimilar to the eight other seafront parkruns I’ve done, and always a thrill for this formerly landlocked Brummie! We ran past colourful beach huts, which apparently retail for £30,000 (though they’re £250,000 at nearby Southwold!) It’s mainly flat, except for a steep, narrow hill to the upper prom which you have to do twice. Unusually for parkrun, the finish is around one km from the start. 

After a week’s walking, my legs were pretty tired, but I managed to keep to a steady pace, cheered on by my husband, and I rolled in as eighth female. I was very glad I hadn’t opted for the nearby Great Yarmouth run, which is ranked as the UK’s toughest, due to its sandy terrain. Thanks as always to the friendly volunteers. 

Although East Anglia would seem to offer few hill running opportunities, I was intrigued to hear about the annual Lowestoft Scores race, a five mile race up and down the town’s historic ‘scores’ (steep narrow pathways to the sea) which includes 401 steps! Alas, I’ve just missed this year’s event, but perhaps next year….

Laurie Johnson -