Report by James White - Parke parkrun visitor
This week's parkrun theme was "Family" and never could it have been more apt. My brother, sister and I along with our families (8 of us in total) met up to run at Parke. It was an emotional day for us, having held our Dad's funeral the day before and we had all agreed that a parkrun would blow away the cobwebs.
We had heard excellent things about Parke ahead of arriving. It had been described as "Beautiful", "Challenging", "Hilly", "Fun". It's safe to say that it was all of those things and more.
We arrived in the car park and met the Pelling family, who kindly showed us down to the start. They were super friendly and immediately put us all in a positive frame of mind. They did, however, scare us a little with tales of the first hill. I had decided to run with our 1 year old in the buggy and I got the sense that this was classed as a little bit crazy! Apparently I was only the 2nd buggy pusher to have ever run the course.
The first timers briefing was expertly delivered and before long we lined up at the start for the run brief. And then we were off!
It was an eventful start! We started at the back and were running along when a lady fell heavily. She was thankfully ok, and escaped with a few scrapes and bruises. We headed onwards and soon turned off of the road and joined the trail. We knew the hill was coming, and had prepared mentally for it, but when we rounded the corner and saw it we were shocked! IT WAS HUGE.
I tried running it and got about halfway up before the combo of the buggy and the wrong shoes choice (road instead of trail) meant I had to give in and walk the rest of the way. As soon as we got to the top we were off and running.
After the initial shock of the first hill I really settled in and started to enjoy it. With the path being narrow in places and the buggy being quite wide I had to be very careful with where I passed people but everyone was wonderful and kindly moved over to let me through.
The undulating stretch along the top through the woods was lovely, however I was pleased when we started heading downhill again and back towards the farm. Elsie in the buggy got very excited about the cows so we sang "Old McDonald had a farm" for a bit.
We turned the corner over the bridge whilst the speedy front-runners came streaming the other way. We were pleased to turn onto the long straight flat path where we built up some momentum ahead of the last hill. After the final loop through the woods we were back at the bridge and on the final stretch! Then disaster struck, my brake cable broke and I trod on it causing the buggy to stop dead in its tracks with Elsie flying forward and me hitting the handlebars. After scooping up the broken cable we pushed on to the finish.
Elsie and I then stood by the finish to cheer the rest of the family in. My brother, Chris, loved the course and his girlfriend, Laura, running her first parkrun enjoyed it too. My sister Carly and her son Lucas also really enjoyed the course and ran extremely well. My daughter Olivia (7) and my wife Sarah were spurred on by the amazing Mary Wylie who kept them going all the way round.
After we had all finished we got some family photos and chatted to some of the core team and the Pelling family again before heading to the café for some well earned tea and cake. We were still in the café when we received our results! Cracking work by the results processors!!
We were so glad to have visited Parke. It was everything we hoped for and more. It is a beautiful, yet challenging course though some lovely woodland. The regulars were so nice and made us feel so welcome. It was the perfect remedy for what had been a tough couple of days for us. Thank you Parke. We can't wait to visit again.
This week's stats
This week 141 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 28 were first timers and 34 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 16 different clubs took part
The event was made possible by 14 volunteers:
Robert WELLS • John RICHARDS • Alison RICHARDS • Tim SLEATH • James WHITE • Lottie WOODS • Patricia ATKINS • Shani ADAMS • Kieran DORE • Graham NEAL • Pete ADAMS • Bob SMALL • Sara PELLING • John CORNISH
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Parke parkrun Results Page.
Adam HOLLAND (SM30-34) of Notfast RC, was first over the line in 18:14 - first appearance.
Geoff DAVEY (VM40-44) of Teignbridge Trotters, was second over the line in 19:28 - has been first to finish on 16 previous occasions.
Ewan WALTON (VM35-39) of Teignbridge Trotters, was third over the line in 19:46 - has been first to finish on 2 previous occasions.
Melanie BROOKS (VW40-44) of Dawlish Coasters, was first (12th overall) over the line in 22:37 - 13th time in 56 appearances.
Joanna RANDALL (SW30-34) of Teignbridge Trotters, was second (18th overall) over the line in 23:53 - was first to finish once before.
Elizabeth TREBILCOCK (VW50-54) of Truro RC, was third (31st overall) over the line in 25:03.
The three highest age grades were recorded by:
David BALDWIN (VM55-59) – 72.16% for the time 21:51 (7th overall).
Geoff DAVEY (VM40-44) – 71.75% for the time 19:28 (second overall).
Adam HOLLAND (SM30-34) – 70.93% for the time 18:14 (first overall).
The female record is held by Vikki THOMPSON who recorded a time of 00:20:08 on 29th October 2016 (event number 135).
The male record is held by James BAKER who recorded a time of 00:16:50 on 1st August 2015 (event number 70).
The Age Grade course record is held by Xavier BLY who recorded 84.68% (22:05) on 24th October 2015 (event number 82).
Parke parkrun started on 5th April 2014. Since then 4,340 participants have completed 20,552 parkruns covering a total distance of 102,760 km, including 3,997 new Personal Bests.