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Parkrun and Brooks Cascadia 8’s Review

Jan 12, 2014 | Running | 14 comments

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to try to make it to Park Run once a month in 2014. If you haven’t heard of Park Run, it’s a free weekly timed 5K race in local parks across the UK. I finally made it to my first ever Park Run yesterday, at the conveniently located Fulham Palace run in Bishops Park.

To sign up for Park Run simply register on their website and print out your barcode. Bring this along to the run to get your official time (not chip time).

It was a rather chilly but sunny morning in London, perfect for a brisk 5K with some lovely ladies (and Steph’s friend Simon), Lissy, Katie and Steph. Lots of people there were wearing Park Run t-shirts, earned after 50, 100 and 250 Park Runs! Luckily there were lots of newbies too.

Steph and Simon took off, while Katie, Lissy and I settled in to about a 9.15-30 min mile pace. I can really tell that I haven’t been running recently, it did not feel all that easy. Katie and I chatted most of the way round the 3 loop course (the laps were the one downside to the run). She’s currently training for the London Marathon, which is the week after the Paris Marathon. It was a bit of a kick up the bum for me to get moving with my training. Paris is exactly 11 weeks away!

When I was getting ready for the run, I had originally grabbed my Adidas Boosts, however the roads have been really slippery recently, and since I didn’t know whether any of the run would be on the grass/trail, I made the switch to my Cascadias.

In wet, muddy or icy conditions these are my go-to shoe. They’re amazing.

The mesh on the side of the shoes are more structured than on many of my other trainers, according to Brooks this suede geometric pattern wraps the foot for a close, supportive fit. The fully cushioned sole ensures your feet are protected from whatever is underfoot, and the interesting tread pattern provides traction over most surfaces. I find that they transition well between road/pavements and trail, meaning they are comfortable on runs that comprise of different surfaces. They are brilliant for throwing on when you’re not sure what the conditions will be.

The Cascadia 8’s are on offer for £90 at the moment, reduced from £100!

Not quite sure what’s wrong with my eye in the above picture, obviously opening both fully was too much to ask after running 5K! I finished in 27.45- no where near a PB but pleased to have finished without feeling too niggly. The course was also actually a little short. I’ll have to try to beat that time in Feb, or sooner. I highly recommend searching out your local Park Run if you’re trying to earn a 5K PB, incorporate a shorter run as training, or do as Katie did and use the Park Run as a mid point of a long run! It was really well organised, with such friendly volunteers and other runners.

Steph treated us to some banana bread in the Fulham Palace coffee shop after our run. It was delicious, and really hit the hunger spot- you can see her recipe here. I loved it so much that this morning I got up early to make my own (with about 100 times the number of chocolate chips so not exactly a healthy version!) I’ll share the recipe with you later in the week.

I hope you had a great weekend. Have you ever tried ParkRun? 


  1. Katy Malpass

    “Katie and I chatted most of the way round the 3 loop course (the one downside to the run)” – I hope you mean the loops and not the chatting to me!!! 😉 Loved the look of the Cascadias – will need to see if the purse strings will allow for some new shoes…

    • Charlie

      haha yes sorry- slightly changed the wording now! Loved chatting to you as we ran!

  2. Lucy Edwards

    I must try a Park Run, that is one of my goals for 2014 too. The banana bread looks amazing, better than my version!

  3. izzyldn

    Got my first parkrun next weekend, in Richmond Park. I’ll probably be nowhere close to a PB but at least it gets me out of bed in the morning!

    • Charlie

      if it’s your first park run then it’s a park run pb!!

  4. Mary Moore

    I need to get to more Parkruns this year… should have been one of my resolutions! Love the concept of Parkrun, well done for getting out to your first.

  5. Jo | paleTuesday

    I signed up for ParkRun in 2012 but I still haven’t done one, which is pretty bad! I do need to get round to doing one in the next couple of months because they’re such a good idea! Jo x

    • Charlie

      Round up a few friends and make a morning of it! Good luck!

  6. Tess @ FitBits

    I went back to Parkrun yesterday after a few months not making it down there – it was TOUGH! “I’ll take it easy”, I said to myself, save my legs for today’s long run. Hmmm…

    Also, that banana bread – I’m making this pronto!!

  7. Stephanie M

    So pleased you liked parkrun, looking forward to our next one!

  8. Lauren (@poweredbypb)

    I love Parkrun, I try and go to the one in Cardiff whenever I’m visiting home, it’s perfect as it’s flat and one big loop, they are getting around 600 a week now as well so it’s a great atmosphere. My closest one in London is Highbury fields, but it’s 5 laps and quite undulating, so I don’t think I’ll be doing it again, need to find a different one.

  9. Emma StripesandSnapshots

    I’ve only done one parkrun before and I’ve just found out they’re going to be doing one in my local park so I can’t wait to be doing them more regularly.

  10. Becky

    Love parkrun! The Southend on Sea one is lovely right next to the sea front and volunteers are amazing. Where did you get your hoody? It’s lovely!


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