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.