Highbury Fields or Finsbury Park for my first ... - Couch to 5K

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Highbury Fields or Finsbury Park for my first Parkrun?

SPrunning
SPrunningGraduate
24 Replies

Hello, I completed C25K last summer and after rather a long break have started running sporadically again. I'm planning my first parkrun on Saturday but am worried I will limp in last hours after everyone else. Which is the flatter/easier/kinder/friendlier of my two local parkruns for my first time? I can run 5k in 35-40 minutes - but I only ever run on the flat so would prefer to avoid hills!

Any tips or words of encouragement for me please?

24 Replies
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AlMorr
AlMorrGraduate

When it comes to hills on a parkrun just run a little slower than normal or you can walk, when I ran my first parkrun two weeks ago I noticed several people walking up the steeper parts of the course.

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SPrunning
SPrunningGraduate
in reply to AlMorr

Good advice, thank you. Fingers crossed!

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AlMorr
AlMorrGraduate
in reply to SPrunning

👍

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UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreAdministrator

Highbury fields: 136 feet of elevation change

Finsbury: 191 feet

Data from this site: jegmar.com/stats-hq/fastest... which also shows the profile of the run a little.

Average run times are very similar, Highbury is 20 seconds quicker

Just enjoy it... set off a little slower than usual, let all the gazelle types get away without being tempted to run with them.

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SPrunning
SPrunningGraduate
in reply to UnfitNoMore

Ooh thank you, that is very helpful.

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Oldfloss
OldflossAdministrator

I think Bluebirdrunner runs at Finsbury Park???

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Bluebirdrunner
BluebirdrunnerGraduate
in reply to Oldfloss

No, Frimley Park Floss... just up the road from me...

The London ones will have all ages, abilities, dogs, children and plenty of walkers I imagine SPrunning... don't worry about being near the tail ( you won't be last there are tailwalkers) you will receive loads of encouragement from your fellow runners as well as the Marshall/volunteers!

Hills can be walked up and run down!😉

Good luck and let us know how you get on!😊xxx

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SPrunning
SPrunningGraduate
in reply to Bluebirdrunner

Ah right. I guess that is a completely different neck of the wood... I checked out the times and I think at my pace there will only be a handful of people behind me. I will swallow my pride and let you know how I get on!

On a practical point, do you know how early before the start you need to arrive please?

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Bluebirdrunner
BluebirdrunnerGraduate
in reply to SPrunning

About half an hour I would suggest, after parking. Then you can go to the toilets a couple of times... (if your like me) , walk around a little to warm up, and be ready to listen to the First Timers/Newbie talk at about a quarter to nine...

Good luck!😊xx

I told one of the Marshalls it was my first time when I arrived, and she told me where to be for the first timers talk, and was very helpful and friendly...

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SPrunning
SPrunningGraduate
in reply to Bluebirdrunner

This is so helpful, thank you. I didn't know there was a newbies talk! Yes definitely to the nervous loo trips...

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Bluebirdrunner
BluebirdrunnerGraduate
in reply to SPrunning

Just realised you won't be driving to Highbury Fields, as no car parking there, but I would allow for that half hour at least to settle yourself. There may be an area to leave jackets, drinks etc. there is at the one I go to.. xx

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SPrunning
SPrunningGraduate
in reply to Bluebirdrunner

Yes, will get the bus there and allow half an hour to hang around feeling nervous x

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Bluebirdrunner
BluebirdrunnerGraduate
in reply to SPrunning

Honestly, it will be fun...I got chatting to other new runners, and by the time you have queued for the loos, and warmed up its time to go... I didn't wear my headphones and missed my music first time, so next time just wore one earpiece, which was fine. I used Strava to record my run on my phone too. I put my barcode in a plastic ticket holder I had to keep it safe/dry and put it in my running belt.

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Oldfloss
OldflossAdministrator
in reply to Bluebirdrunner

OOOOPPPs... it is my age you know :) x

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Debston
DebstonGraduate

Someone on here did the Finsbury Park one on Saturday, I can't remember the name of the poster. I *think* they said it was in the top 40 toughest Parkruns... I am sure you will be fine whichever one you choose! And if you do the hilliest one first then you can have fun claiming a new pb on the "easier" course next time!

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SPrunning
SPrunningGraduate
in reply to Debston

I like your thinking but think I will start with the flatter one 😀

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Coddfish
CoddfishGraduate
in reply to Debston

I wasn’t Saturday’s poster, but I have run Finsbury. There’s a long slow rise up the main carriage drive, which isn’t a problem, and a shorter, steeper rise, which many people walk. It’s actually a nice parkrun.

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Coddfish
CoddfishGraduate

I think Finsbury is easier, despite it having more elevation.

Highbury Fields is a 5 lapper, so if you are a slower runner (as I am) you are overtaken a lot and it can be quite scary when the fast ones are trying to get through. Having said that, it’s a fairly small event, 130 people or so.

Finsbury is probably twice to four times the number of participants. It’s a 2 lapper on very wide paths. There’s a long slow rise up the main carriage drive, which isn’t a problem, and a short much steeper rise towards the end of the lap, which you can walk. It’s not a tough parkrun if you walk that section on each lap.

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SPrunning
SPrunningGraduate
in reply to Coddfish

Thanks Coddfish, that's really helpful. Just when I'd decided to go for Highbury, now I'm thinking Finsbury Park may be better after all. If I'm slow (which I will be) am I still likely to be running with/near some other runners, or will I be trailing along on my own at the back at Finsbury?

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Coddfish
CoddfishGraduate
in reply to SPrunning

On a good weather week there will be 500+ people there. There are usually more than 10 people over 40 minutes, you are unlikely to have a problem. If you are concerned, have a word with the tail walkers before you start.

There’s a little cafe by the finish, lots of people go there afterwards.

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SPrunning
SPrunningGraduate

Oh yes, have looked at the previous results pages now and see there are more runners and some more slower people. Last week must have been a rainy one for die hard speed merchants! Thank you for the tips, much appreciated

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Bluebirdrunner

How did you get on at Parkrun SPrunning? I hope you had an enjoyable experience.😊xx

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SPrunning
SPrunningGraduate
in reply to Bluebirdrunner

Ugh. It was pretty tough. Sorry I didn't come and post sooner - I found it rather dispiriting and have been on holiday since then (putting it out of my mind!). If I find the strength I may post about it at greater length soon... :-)

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Bluebirdrunner
BluebirdrunnerGraduate
in reply to SPrunning

Kudos to you for having a go...

I hope you had a great holiday.

Running is not easy, we all know that, chalk it up as an experience, better runs will happen . 😊xxx

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