Last week’s inaugural edition of Parkrun Profiles seem to go down pretty well. So, buoyed by the positive feedback, I continued my little parkrun tour, next stop being….
Hogmoor Inclosure (although you knew that already from the title)
Last week almost felt too organised, getting there at 8:40am, having a relaxed journey, being prepared at the start. Who does that?! So this week, putting the postcode into my Google Maps, seeing an 8:58am ETA, I felt weirdly back to normal. Passing a burger van on the way (who knew burger vans were open at 8:45am?!), I found Hogmoor Inclosure, which has ample parking, and best of all, it’s free! Power to the people! Anyway, first, let’s get facty…
First parkrun: 10/03/2018
Fastest recorded time: 16:35 (James Baker, April 2018)
Number of parkruns: 67
Average number of runners: ~200
Number of SJ members who have run it: 14
Journey time from Sandhurst: 35/40 minutes
Number of laps: 2
Surface type: Sand
Does the race director stand on a stepladder and use a megaphone in briefing: No stepladder, a mound of sand instead. No megaphone, although a silver bell is used for crowd control purposes, if necessary.
A sandy open area on the outskirts of Bordon, and a lady on a mound of sand ringing a silver bell heralded the start of my Hogmoor Inclosure experience. “Welcome to Hogmoor Inclosure, the course seems to have dried out overnight, so hopefully you should all stay fairly dry”, said the race director. Cue the only dog in the group, stood just behind me, as I immediately found out, to shake out all his/her wetness from his/her fur, all over my left leg. There went my chances of staying dry, on the left side anyway.
No megaphone for the briefing this week, but the group was reasonably small, 197 runners in total, so the mound of sand was suitable for the lady’s voice to carry, and the silver bell was by her side in case the volume crept up beyond control. Anyway, race briefing over and we were ready to go! A very slight 50m walk up a gentle slope and we were at the start. I was hoping the silver bell would make a second appearance as a start signal, but no, just a “3, 2, 1, go” from the race director. Don’t worry silver bell, I appreciated you anyway.
Straight off the bat, it’s downhill along a fairly straight path. It must have been football shirt day, as I passed two Portsmouth shirts, and then, rather strangely, two Tony Yeboah Hamburg shirts. An away day for the Hamburg branch of the Tony Yeboah appreciation society? Who knows, I’m certain that is a thing though.
Hogmoor Inclosure is a two lap course, mainly run on sand, which makes for interesting underfoot conditions, and on this particular occasion it was quite firm because of the recent rain. After the downhill path, split with cones clearly suggesting we’d be revisiting it from the other direction, it’s a sharp right up a fairly steep sandy hill. From there, a left turn gives you a sneak peek of what is to come, as through the gaps in the hedges to your right, you can see the fast runners sprinting off over the small hills and into the distance. Once you get over these small hills yourself, a left turn eventually brings you out into a nice open section, where overtaking is easily possible.
A particular highlight at Hogmoor was some very nice marshalls. At the bottom of this open area, before a left turn, one particular female marshal had a portable speaker and was having a whale of a time, on her feet, hands clapping etc, losing herself to ‘Meet Her at the Love Parade’ by ‘Da Hool’ (it’s far too long of a story as to how I know that song…).
After this open section, it’s a left turn and through some forest area before you’re back running along the first path, in the opposite direction. The marshal there looks very smug as they have a nice wooden cabin to stand up under should it start raining, but still they encourage you on any good marshal should!
At the bottom of this path, you stay to the right and run through some windy forest, on marked paths, which are really rather pleasant (although second time round it does feel a bit like the end is always one more bend away). Sure enough, you come out onto the home straight, and head out to do it all over again!
Second time around, you go straight on, through the finishing funnel, and BOOM. Hogmoor Inclosure parkrun is done. I did notice that the second time around, despite still having the music blaring, this time with ‘Oops Upside Your Head’ playing, she had resorted to sitting on a nearby log, presumably she had worn herself out too soon. The life of a marshal. I must add, another highlight of the second lap was a marshal shouting ‘PBs guaranteed for everyone!’, it was almost as if she know my strategy…
Anyway, once all was said and done, me and my Farnborough half wintry penguins were finished. A selfie, and we were properly finished.
Shall we review this experience? Let’s…
Is there such thing as a Hamburg branch of the Tony Yeboah Appreciation Society, and do they run at Hogmoor Inclosure every week? – If there isn’t, then there should be. And their attendance cannot be confirmed every week, although if it was a one-off, I’m glad I was there for it.
Can the dancing marshal sustain her energy enough to stay dancing for the whole run? – To be confirmed
Is the scenery nice? – Not bad! It’s fairly open, so plenty of trees for anyone who’s interested in flora, but not so much for those who like some water (that isn’t rainwater) along the way.
How would I sum up my Hogmoor Inclosure experience in 3 words? – Yeboah, sandy and dancy.
Would I go back to Hogmoor Inclosure? – Probably!