Yeovil Montacute Parkrun

As always, Yeovil Montacute is a Trail Running Shoe course in my opinion, due to the uneven grass/ground underfoot, which can be slippery and prone to sheep and cow droppings and rabbit holes (due to the sheep, cows and rabbits!)

Yeovil Montacute is essentially a circuitous course starting with a straight run up ‘The Avenue’ in an Easterly direction before turning right, South East, at about 500m in and running through the trees, following the path (making sure you avoid the random post and low hanging branches!) then turning left, North East, towards the 1Km mark.

At 1Km you turn North to the top of The Avenue, then turning left, West, to run the length of The Avenue, with Montacute House as the backdrop (which is stunning in good weather).

Back at the Start Line you turn left, South, to the 2Km mark and then follow the perimeter of the park East before turning North East to the 3Km mark then continuing North before looping around the North East corner of the park and heading West downhill, through the gateway and up the other side towards the 4Km mark.

And here’s where things start to become a little trickier with the camber of the hillside to contend with (you’re traversing across it) and then, once you think you’ve negotiated the ‘hard’ bit, you turn South to face ‘Killer Hill’.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the North Face of the Eiger, but, if like me you’re not the best at hill climbing, it may as well be. Add to that the 4 and-a-bit Km you just done and this poses a challenge to us mere mortals!

How ever you choose to tackle ‘Killer Hill’, sprint; run; jog; walk; stagger; crawl; once you get to the top, the sense of achievement is palpable and it’s that feeling that propels you toward the finish.

All that’s left is a short run East before turning sharp right, South West, and, with the finish line in sight, you turn left, East, for the final time before summoning up enough strength for your own version of a sprint finish!

Yeovil Montacute Parkrun Reverse

The Annual ‘Clocks Go Back Reverse Run’

A bit of fun for the return to GMT!

As always, Yeovil Montacute is a Trail Running Shoe course in my opinion, due to the uneven grass/ground underfoot, which can be slippery and prone to sheep and cow droppings and rabbit holes (due to the sheep, cows and rabbits!)

This version of the course route is only run once an year, usually to coincide with the clocks returning to GMT, although the weather can play it’s part some years!

Yeovil Montacute is essentially a circuitous course starting with a straight run up ‘The Avenue’ before turning right at about 500m in and running through the trees but when run in reverse you start by running East(ish) straight to the top of the avenue and turning right (South) to complete 1Km. Almost immediately you turn right and come back North West towards The Avenue through the trees and the turn left, West(ish), back on to The Avenue and across the Start Line.

Turning right (North/North East) immediately after takes you past 2Km with a sharp left, West, out along the top and then dropping down ‘Killer Hill’ (its much nicer in this direction!) before looping back to the right and running East along the camber. Turning right up a hill and left down the other side, through the gateway and then continuing up a gentle incline across 3Km before starting to loop South towards the 4Km point around the perimeter of the park.

As you continue West around the perimeter and then sweep North towards 5Km and the finish, you can see Montacute House on your left before the final right turn back onto the Avenue and the sprint for home.

Henstridge Airfield Parkrun

The ‘Isle of Man Manx’ Winter Course

Henstridge Airfield’s winter course is an ‘Out & Back’ with a little bit of a difference.

Essentially you are out and back in 3 different directions, loosely representing the treskelion on the Flag of the Isle of Man, on a variety of surfaces which, in my opinion, makes it a Trail Running Shoe course.

The first leg takes you along a gravel track before turning left out on to the main runway at Henstridge Airfield in a South Westerly direction for about 1Km before rounding a cone at the end of the runway and returning back from whence you came. More often-than-not the outbound leg of the runway is into the wind (which can be like running into a brick wall!) but conversely the run back down the runway is wind assisted (which helps the overall split!) It is worth mentioning that the runway is shut for the duration of Parkrun but goes ‘live’ as soon as the runway is clear.

The second leg takes you back across the gravel track and out in a South Easterly(ish) direction along an old taxi-way which is worn concrete for the most part but does have some impressive potholes and uneven ground to negotiate. A third of the way on the outbound leg completes 2Km. Once you have rounded the cone at the end of the taxi-way you retrace you steps until you reach the gravel track.

The third leg takes you out initially in an Easterly direction along a grass track, which gets you to 3Km, before turning North West, and looping around the treeline before turning left in a South Westerly direction to run to the 4Km mark then turning South behind the Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance Station (which is based at Henstridge Airfield), and then East before rounding a cone in the middle of the field and retracing your steps back to the Start/Finish line and 5Km.