This junior parkrun takes place on part of the course that is used for the full 5k Highbury Fields parkrun [blog]. We travelled there on the tube to Highbury and Islington station (also served by mainline trains) because, well, it's central London and travelling by car would have been silly. Firstly there are parking restrictions in place all around the local area and secondly it's so much easier to use public transport while in the centre of London.
We left just enough time before the junior parkrun to visit the playground which we have been to before and is pretty cool. Soon enough parkrun o'clock came around and for this venue that time is 9.30am (remember, junior parkrun start times do vary between venues - check first!).
While the briefing took place I knocked out a teeny freedom run on the course (partly as a warm up for the Westminster Mile later that morning) which is 100% tarmac and undulates ever-so-slightly. Three anti-clockwise laps are required to complete the full 2 kilometres.
As I arrived back at the start/finish area, the official junior parkrun warm up was just about to start and largely used the template, but the day's warm-up leader threw in a few extra moves for fun (runner bean - broad bean!) and I liked this. All parkruns should feel familiar and follow the same processes, but it is very refreshing to see someone break away from the mould every now and then.
The runners were despatched straight after the warm-up and as Matilda wanted me to run with her, we headed off together for her three laps. The first two seemed to be fairly tough for her, but the third saw her spring into life and once she got a sniff of the finish line, I could barely keep up.
With her barcode scanned, we headed back to the playground to continue with the playing. She made me very dizzy on a roundabout thingy that requires the occupants to pedal. Then she insisted that I have a go on the gigantic slide - it was fun, but there were lots of kids playing so I declined the offer of a second go!
Then it was time to head over to Green Park for the Westminster Mile [blog], which is a great event. Shortly after arriving at Green Park, I received Matilda's result text message [full results here] and while she hadn't threatened her personal best 2k time, she did have a nice time at Highbury Fields and that's what it's all about. It's one that we'd certainly swing by again if the opportunity presented itself.