We headed to Babbs Mill Parkrun for event 144 (square number) in the West Midlands.
About Babbs Mill parkrun
This week we headed to Babbs Mill parkrun in Kingshurst. Just 4 miles from Birmingham Airport and the NEC (National Exhibition Centre)/Resorts World Arena. It is held at the Babbs Mill Local Nature Reserve, Fordbridge Road, Kingshurst, B37 6LN.
Technically it is in North Solihull but used to be Birmingham and that’s where most locals will tell you that it is. Or there used to at least!
It is also where tragically four young boys lost their lives on the lake last Christmas. There is a memorial for them but this is not why we went, and we did not see it.
By the car park there is a memorial for Bobbie Saxon Woolley who sadly took her life at just turned 20.
Getting there and Parking
This parkrun is accessible by public transport, including from Birmingham Airport.
Parking it says to go to Tudor Grange Academy (formerly the City Technology College) Kingshurst, Cooks Lane, Kingshurst, Solihull, B37 6NU. However, my old next door neighbour runs it regularly and said it may be busy parking there due to the football.
There is a small carpark near the start, however it does have a height restriction and we still haven’t taken the roof box off. We just parked on one of the local roads.
Toilets and Facilities
There is a café in the Connections Church on Cooks Lane, opposite the park entrance. This is open between 9:30am – 11:00am. I have since heard that they sell nice waffles there.
We were also told we may be able to use the toilet there before parkrun if we asked nicely. Other than that there’s some available in the local BP (about half a mile from the start) or North Solihull Sports Centre (0.7 miles from the start).
Babbs Mill parkrun Course
Babbs Mill parkrun is a mixture of tarmac paths and grass, paths can be narrow at certain points. Although you are not going to want to wear your clean gym shoes it wasn’t really suitable for trails as there is a lot of hard paths to run on. Even the bit around the field has gravel paths.
There are some bars, barriers to go round – but these are very well highlighted so that you do not run into them.
There is also a bridge to cross twice. Strava recorded 53ft of elevational gain.
Dog friendly. Possible to run with a pushchair but may be difficult in parts.
Why we Headed to Babbs Mill parkrun
As I say Babbs Mill Parkrun is in easy reach of Birmingham Airport and the NEC, so you may want to fit in with your travel plans or if you are going to the NEC.
Parkrun Tourism Challenges Completed at Babbs Mill parkrun
Personally I wanted my Square Number 144, a Letter B – oh and because it meant I could catch up with family. This fitted in really well as it was just following my Uncle’s 70th. It also meant that my nieces did their first parkrun.
Cowell Club, Tourist, Freyne Club (16); Staying Alive (B), Square numbers and Fibonacci (144).
Our Experience of Babbs Mill parkrun
Obviously it was easy for us to find as we knew exactly where we were going. This was also of benefit when we realised that we couldn’t park in the car park due to the roof box.
As it was some of my family’s very first time I was really impressed with Colin’s delivery of the first timers briefing. He even had a picture of the course!
There was a tent visible from the start and finish where we were told we could leave our bag with our waters in. This is a really good idea especially if the weather is bad. Fortunately we got really lucky and it was a beautiful day.
There was an interesting start funnel which I have never seen before. This was clearly to ensure that no-one ran into the first post.
Everyone was really friendly. This was super useful with me Jeffing a 30:30, particularly when some parts got quite narrow! But also between 2 and 2 ½ miles my calf just went! A fellow runner checked I was okay and so did someone at the end. Possibly the RD. Not just once but several times. Advising me to go stretch at a post.
Also was great to catch up with my old next door neighbour. Think we lived next to each other for at least 14ish years.
However, I wasn’t too impressed with the fact that my 5 year old niece keep being encouraged to run! That it was suggested they try parkrun junior. To the point that they felt an inconvenience and skipped the second lap and went straight to the finish. As there were two tail walkers and they were being pushed to try and catch up with the one in front.
Babbs Mill parkrun Stats
The week we attended there were 123 participants ranging from 19:00 to 1:09:57. Of those 55 were through in under 30 minutes.
A special well done this week to first lady Jodie Owen in 25 minutes and 10 seconds! Shame she was so fast as I didn’t even realise she was there. We went to school together!
There are an average 108.7 finishers per week, with an average finish time of 31.31. The female course record was 18.28 and the male 15.41. The age graded record was 95.24%.