Rutland Water parkrun

Dam the weather! Rutland Water parkrun #44

Geoff spent his annual weekend away with ‘the lads’ in Rutland during weekend of 17th September and took the opportunity to visit Rutland Water parkrun. Here’s his mini-report.

As Crowded House might say, “Take the weather with you” when running at Rutland. The course hugs the south east corner of the lake and then you run about 500 metres across the top of the dam. It’s totally exposed an on a windy day a loose-fitting top might see you doing a Mary Poppins impression. A runner who lived only a mile away told me she goes to Peterborough parkrun when the weather is really bad! On the up-side the course is almost completely flat and tarmac (apart from a tiny grass switchback at 2km).

The start is quite a walk from the car park but the volunteers muster int he car park so no danger of getting confused. The course is also a sheep obstacle course! Luckily the front runners scatter the ones who stray onto the path but watch out for the ‘sheep pies’ left behind…

Normanton Church is close to the start line

There are a couple of options for post-run coffee although I think the kiosk near the start/finish only operates in summer. There is a larger ‘proper’ café in the car park.

Overall it’s a pretty venue, but probably bleak in filthy weather. The course is fast and the volunteers are very cheerful. And of course it’s a great reason to visit England’s smallest county!

Kathy’s Note: thought I’d look up the story of Normanton church, the relic you see standing up out of the reservoir at Rutland. The story was that this was originally the village church of St Matthews Normanton until the 1700s when the Heathcote family appropriated it as a private chapel and mausoleum. It enjoyed various extensions and renovations including the unusual tower. However, the chapel became neglected after the Heathcotes moved on in 1920, and by 1970 when the reservoir was created the site was due to be deconsecrated and the land flooded. Members of the public petitioned for the church to be saved and so the upper portion was left above water level, the lower part of the building having been filled in with concrete, and the water defences built around it. Today it is a venue for civil weddings and concerts to take place.

There is a museum at the Rutland Water Visitor Centre with more history about the location and how the reservoir was created.

Rutland Water

  • Date visited: 17th September 2016
  • Car parking: lots of spaces. £1 if you show your barcode at the Fishing Tackle Shop after you’ve run.
  • Number who ran: 125
  • Course: Out-and-back, very flat, 95% tarmac
  • Shoes: road shoes
  • Café: small kiosk in the summer serving drinks and snacks. Large café in the car park.
  • Toilets: in the Visitor centre by the car park.
  • Dogs: yes
  • Buggies: check with team
  • Peculiarities and specialities: running along the top of the dam for 500metres before turning back.
  • How easy to find: follow signs for Rutland Water
  • Startline is at: w3wlogo acclaim.perfected.deep
  • Where we stayed: Ryhall near Stamford (20 mins away)
  • Which Treasure Trail?: didn’t do any but there’s a Rutland Water (South Shore) driving/cycling Trail which starts at nearby Hambleton, and also look at Oakham, a short distance away.

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