Springburn Park is in the north of Glasgow, smack bang in the middle of the catchment area I cover in my job. I pass it on a daily basis on my way from the office to home and school visits and had no idea what a gem of a park it was until I stepped past the wrought iron gates this morning for the inaugural Springburn parkrun.
Springburn is an area that was transformed in the 1960s when the overcrowded Victorian tenements were torn down and replaced with tower blocks, including the infamous Red Road Flats, the tallest dwellings in Europe. The result was dramatic social change the effects of which are still felt today as the area goes through a new period of regeneration. This article by Ian Jack is an interesting read about the recent social history of the area, and the (now withdrawn) plans to demolish some of the remaining Red Road Flats as part of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.
Anyway, back to today’s parkrun: The course was two and a half laps around the perimeter of the park, on paved paths, passing through beautiful old woodland, past gardens full of rhododendrons in flower, past playing fields and the derelict Winter Gardens. The park sits on the top of one of the highest points in Glasgow, so not surprisingly there was a hill or two, although they felt quite manageable this morning.
Organisation was spot on and there was a good turn out with 138 runners. A quick look at the results page show quite a few first time runners plus about 20 from the local running clubs, so hopefully Springburn will be well supported in the future, giving people in the north of Glasgow a chance to experience the wonderfully addictive parkrun phenomenon.
Springburn parkrun is the 4th parkrun within Glasgow City Council, bringing the number of Scottish parkruns to 13. I’ve now ticked 6 off the list.