#47 6 March 2021 – The really windy one.

I woke up this morning to the wind howling through the windows, would seem a bit blowy, throw in a bit of rain, no real warmth and we probably had the worst conditions yet for our parkrun.

I set off driving and for those who’ve never been here, the start line is a good ten minute drive from Stanley and the nearby airport windsocks were horizontal, which would indicate the maximum level of wind they can show (i.e. very windy).

I wondered if anyone would turn up at all, when I stopped at the start line to drop the equipment off (usually the finish line is set up by the time I return from the course check), I didn’t leave it. I didn’t think it would be there when I got back. I checked the course, weighted the cone (we have other cones, I expected it to blow away).

By this point 11 participants were sheltering behind the volunteers cars.

So in a strong gale, off we went.

Changes were made, we went minimalist. There simply was no point in having the usual finishers corral, it was too windy, volunteers waited in cars for the finishers (to be fair we often do this in bad weather) and emerged as they finished.

There isn’t much to report, 11 started and 11 finished. A welcome to new participant and first finisher John Speirs who seemed disappointed in his time, so once more Mount Pleasant provides a little more competition for the top finishers.

But it also answered a serious question for me as we move towards winter, if the weather is horrendous, would anyone turn up? I was pleased to see, the answer was yes. It’s so good to see a hard core who would want to run, whatever the conditions.

Whilst we are approaching our 50th event, we haven’t actually been through a Falklands winter, as COVID pretty much cancelled us between March and September last year.

The other questions it definitely raised was with regard to cancellation. Would it be cancelled? (obviously it wasn’t) but it also got me thinking about cancellations generally.

We can never predict the weather, it’s certainly true in the Falkland Islands. So I cannot say it never will, and there may well be the rare occasion where the safety of all would mean it has to be.

However for the most part, it would be unlikely.

Whilst the elements today might have cancelled other events, we have a number of advantages with regards to the weather and the course itself. It’s both wind and rain proof, there is nothing for the wind to blow down (such as a tree) and the raised elevation of the track would prevent it from flooding to the point of cancellation.

Of course the weather could put every single person off, but if that was the case, I think I’d run it myself, scan my own barcode and claim my first and only first place finish.

 

#45 20 February 2021 – Milestone countdowns!

I’m not quite sure why good weather gives me the urge to write a report, should anyone wish to volunteer their own thoughts on a weekly basis, then feel free.

The sun often shines in the Falkland Islands, or at the very least it doesn’t rain all that often, but a windless day is far less common and even less so in conjunction with some decent sunshine. Whilst I do appreciate a windless run, you do get used to the constant wind, keeping you cool.

The good weather, as always, showed with a great turnout of 36 participants, in a field littered with personal bests. 11 in total, including our latest new recruit Robert Fieldhouse, who also had the pleasure of being our 450th different person to participate. I got a personal best myself, improving by a few seconds on the time I posted at Mount Pleasant in easier conditions, but it’s nice to finally return my personal best to my home run. There are far too many to mention, but it was good to see the people discussing “PB conditions” in the pre-start to come good!

We are approaching a number of milestones with regards to our parkrun. #45 is not so far away from the big #50! In more normal times, maybe that wouldn’t be seen as such a milestone, it should in theory occur only a few weeks prior to the first anniversary. But in these COVID times we find ourselves in, our one year anniversary was in October on parkrun 28. Any thoughts on how to celebrate would be welcome.

More thoughtfully, we are also approaching the one year anniversary of parkrun being shut down the world over, which will occur on parkrun 49 (20 March). We can count our blessings that we’ve been allowed to restart, but our thoughts remain with all those parkrunners worldwide who await eagerly the return of their own local events.

To anyone who keeps an eye on the results, I note we’ll be hitting a few milestone goals that could happen at any time. We currently sit at 1898 parkruns completed, which means our 10,000ths parkrun km is only a few events away. As already mentioned we’re up to 450 different participants, I’m not sure when we’ll hit 500 or if I’ll even notice it, we probably average 1 new person per event at the moment, but we will keep an eye out.

As always, special thanks to the volunteers, Ros, Sally, Wendy, Zoe and Richard. We always need more volunteers and there are plenty of ways to get involved. No role is difficult and advice and help is always on hand, but it would be great to call upon a wider pool of volunteers as we move into the winter months.

Thanks until next time

Richard

 

Run Report – 12 December 2020

You can always tell how windy a a Falklands parkrun was by the personal bests. The Falkland Islands generally has strong winds, normally coming from the West, this can make for a very easy first half and a struggle home, in our East/West out and back route. Seldom do I pass the airport windsocks and see anything but a strong wind.

But on the 12 December, we had a moderate breeze and the times reflected this. Out of a field of 26 runners we recorded 11 personal bests and a first timer. 9 out of the top 10 all recorded a PB, including an excellent Brendon Lee, who set a personal milestone of 18:21, a few seconds off the course record. Two weeks previously, in much harder conditions, his time was two minutes longer. The weather makes a huge difference.

Beyond the times, the weather here tells us very little from a parkrun perspective, I've never been able to attribute the weather to attendance figures, but it is nice for the volunteers to be able to stand around in the (relative) warmth and chat without shouting.

Next week will be the last parkrun before Christmas, and people are encouraged to run in fancy dress (Santa hats, Christmassy leggings, etc.) and we'll be adding some festive touches around the course. So an excellent opportunity to bring children for the first time.

In other news, there will be no Christmas Day or New Years Day parkrun, it was felt that with both days falling on a Friday, they were only a day from the regular parkrun, which will be happening as normal!

Special thanks to the volunteers as always. A special shout out to Keith Bennett, who volunteered to hand out tokens after completing his run!

If you're interested in volunteering, please contact us, we are always looking for new volunteers.

 

 

 

Run Report – September 19th. And we’re back!

On any other run, the report might have been little more than chatter about times and participants. Today, that all seems a little irrelevant compared to the fact that there was a run at all. We are very, very happy to report that after a brief interruption courtesy of Covid, parkrun has returned to the Falklands.

Weather forecast screengrab showing gales and wind chill of -6

A typical spring day in the Falklands

This being 2020, it was never going to be a straightforward return. Displaying a Putinesque desire to demonstrate the reaches of her power, Mother Nature dealt us gale force winds and wind-chill of -6 to welcome us back. Classic Falklands springtime, then.

Amazingly, we still managed to get 30+ runners, and even more amazing the fact that one managed to finish in under 20 minutes. That may not seem much to those of you in bigger parkruns, who are used to seeing spindly gazelles clocking sub-15 finishes without breaking a sweat. But here in blustery Cape Pembroke, where the course record is just over 18 minutes, a sub-20 finish is a big deal. So well done to Tom Harvey for an impressive time. But really, well done to anyone who took part in today's weather.

Photo of Tom Hardy

Tom Harvey

Of course, commendable as it is to run and walk in this weather, it is all the more so to stand around in handing out tokens, or holding a mobile phone with a frozen claw of a hand and trying to keep your nose from dripping onto the screen. So thanks to our volunteers. We say it every week, but today, more than ever, we couldn't have done it without them. While we're shamelessly handing out the props like Gwyneth at the Oscars, special mention also to parkun HQ, who have put in a lot of effort to get parkrun up and running again.

It has been lovely to hear messages of support from other parkruns all over the world prior to restarting this morning. It's no surprise to know that parkrun means a lot to a lot of people, but it's nice to feel that many were running vicariously through us this morning, and humbling to feel part of something that big and global (and that is not a pandemic).

Stay safe, and hope to see you all running again soon.

CPL Team

 

Run report – January 25

Run report by Mel and Maurice visiting Run Directors from Sherwood Pines parkrun, Nottinghamshire, UK:
We can never resist an opportunity for some cheeky parkrun tourism and boy were we in for a treat in the Falkland. Fabulous weather greeted us, no evidence of the 45 mph winds we were expecting. Sadly no dolphins or whales were sighted, however the scenery is striking with the lighthouse getting ever closer at the half way point. Time for some pictures at the lighthouse, thanks to Jacob, and then a tootle back to the finish which was slightly uphill. Thanks to Ros and the cheerful team of volunteers. Thanks to Bernie for the lift and to the other lovely parkrunners who made us so welcome. Excellent post parkrun refuel at the Waterfront.
Hopefully we will be back but if you are every in Nottinghamshire it would be lovely to see you at Sherwood Pines, make sure you come and say hello.
Maurice and Mel
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