parkrun tourism: Jesmond Dene

I went to the inaugural Jesmond Dene parkrun this morning – a stunning new parkrun in one of Newcastle’s most beautiful areas. I’d been looking forward to this parkrun since it was first announced earlier this year that Newcastle would be getting two new parkruns (the first being Leazes in the summer).

Jesmond Dene parkrun
I don’t usually take these touristy ‘me with the parkrun banner’ photos, but as it was a special event and I had a willing photographer (thanks Geth), I made an exception!

It’s a good thing that the Dene is so nice to look at, because the first two kilometres of the course are absolutely brutal. It’s a difficult hill, followed by a lot of precarious ups and downs, followed by some steps up to the next level, followed by the most taxing hill I’ve ever encountered on a parkrun (worse than Pendle). Thankfully, this is followed by a flat-but-exposed couple of kilometres doing laps of a park, and the final 500 metres is a glorious downhill sprint to the finish.

You’d have to be very careful running the course on a wet autumn day with lots of leaf mulch underfoot, and I think if it iced over in the winter the parkrun would have to be cancelled that week – because if someone slipped on one of those steep downhill sections, they could be pretty badly hurt! I’ll be attending again quite a few times over the next couple of months, so it’ll be interesting to see how the run copes with varying weather conditions.

It’ll also be interesting, now that we have three parkruns in central Newcastle, to see if the congestion eases significantly on the Town Moor over the next few months!

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