#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.

 

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: Cape Pembroke Parkrun no 14 – January 18th 2020

Mark Goulding and Sue Pulman at Cape Pembroke Lighthouse parkrun

Mark Goulding and Sue Pulman at Cape Pembroke Lighthouse parkrun

Starting with thanks to the volunteers who set up this wonderfully remote Parkrun down here in the Falkland Islands, significantly increasing the global footprint. Thank you!!

We run and volunteer regularly in the UK, with Moors Valley as our local run (600 runners approx). It was whilst planning the things we wanted to do on holiday here, that we jokingly said to each other that we should check for a Parkrun in the Falklands, and were then very pleasantly surprised when Cape Pembroke popped up with a nice out and back to the lighthouse. Too good an opportunity to miss!

Saturday morning was bright and sunny and pretty windy. We turned up to the Cape Pembroke track quite early with no-one else around. Only meadowlarks and vultures in sight. Were we in the right place? Much to our relief, others started to turn up in running kit and about 0845, the band of people assembled at the Start Line in a huddle for a quick briefing, roll-call for new runners, visitors (no other special runs yet - they will come in time) & thank the volunteers. 3, 2, 1 go and we’re off down the stony track towards the lighthouse, with the strong westerly wind at our backs, pushing us down the trail. This is wonderful, with the sea and scenery all around and plenty of seabird action too. Calls and smiles of encouragement to and from fellow runners brighten the way. Keep the pace sensible on the way out because it’s going to be harder on the way back...

The turnaround at the cheery hi-vis orange cone in the car park soon arrived and then it was just a case of running back to the start... what could be easier?

Immediately on turning, you could feel the difference, it was like running up hill all the way back, sometimes with the full force of the wind in your face, sometimes with a tiny bit of cover from the dunes at the side of the track. Keep the legs and lungs going, even though it felt like it was taking forever to make progress on the way back. Not quite blown to a standstill, but close to it a couple of times. Being a first timer to the course, there were no familiar cues to tell you that you were getting close to the finish, until getting over the last rise and seeing the funnel about 150 metres away.

Empty the tank to push for home and finish!

I’m sure the wind got stronger as the run went on, but nonetheless, it was a fantastic experience to do a Parkrun in such an amazing place. Thank you once again to the volunteers for their dedication in setting this run up. May your Parkrun grow and flourish!

 

Mark Goulding & Sue Pulman

Ringwood, UK & Moors Valley PR regulars

 

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! We were a bit worried as to what sort of turn out we would get this week; it's the middle of Summer and New Year's Day morning can be a bit of a struggle for the keener revellers. We had nothing to worry about: 61 runners and walkers made the run today, harking back to the heady days of the first few runs when we got 60+ every week.

But it isn't about numbers; the turnout and commitment from people has exceeded our expectations every week. We go into the new year thrilled that Cape Pembroke Lighthouse parkrun is well on the way to getting established.

It has been great seeing people who are in the Falklands for a short time take the opportunity to tick off what is probably one of the rarest parkruns . Today, it was Gerard Newman (a410408) of Cheltenham parkrun (see pic). It was great to see Gerard; glad the timing worked out .

Back to normal time on Saturday (9am), and please do come and have a chat with us if you're from further afield - we'd love to hear how far you've come!

Until next parkrun,

CPL parkrun team.

Gerard Newman standing on the Cape Pembroke peninsula, wearing a Cape Wrath Challenge t-shirt and sunglasses

Gerard Newman after finishing a sunny but breezy Cape Pembroke Lighthouse parkrun

 

 

Happy 10th parkrun to us

Today we ran our 10th parkrun. It may be an small milestone, but no less significant for it. Our average attendance has been 61; granted, that may be skewed by our monster first run (170!), but we have had over 20 runners every week, all the more impressive considering the wind and the temperature on some of those days. As a volunteer, it makes it all the more worthwhile when runners turn out in numbers in spite of the weather.

That being said, our numbers were relatively low today (32); whether that's down to the christmas break or the festive excesses who's to say. Hopefully the New Year's resolution virtusosity will bring the runners out in their droves for our special January 1 event.

Hugh Marsden, a stalwart of running in the Falklands, clocked the fastest time today, and was the only runner to come in under 25 minutes (the strong warm wind didn't help). Rachel Whitfield was the fastest lady, sneaking in under 30 minutes at 29:31 and five seconds ahead of Daphne Gomez-Reid. The first junior was Max Mountford, who obviously didn't get the memo about the wind and managed to clock up a PB of 30:25 (and beat dad Chris by one second to boot).

As mentioned, we are holding a special event on January 1, 10 am. For those of you not aware, New Year's day is the one day you are allowed to participate in more than one parkrun on the same day. This is possible because, unlike normal Saturday parkruns, special events are staged at different times. Unfortunately, unless you have mastered super-super-sonic travel, and can make it from or to the Falklands in between another parkrun (the nearest is in South Africa) in time, it's something of a moot point. Still, good to know for the future.

 

 

 

 

Event Number 6, 30/11/19 – The Record Breaking One

The conditions were good but I don’t think we necessarily expected what was to come! Fifty two people lined up for Event Number 6 on the Cape Pembroke track. Strangely this was exactly the same as last week’s turnout! Ten of them had never taken part before – welcome to the family one and all! In another nod to Groundhog Day, this was also exactly the same as last week too! Obviously these ten were unable to set a Personal Best, but of the other 46, a massive 26 managed to do just that. Too many to name here but well done one and all! I’ll pick out one of the 20 who didn’t manage to set their best time. Poor David Roberts finished in a fantastic 29.32 but this was an agonising one second outside the time he set last week. Similarly Peter Underdown was 7 seconds outside his best time. Mr Consistency awards to both of you!

As we are all well aware parkrun is not a race, but…! We just have to shout about the fact that all of our Event records fell on the same morning. And what’s more none of them fell to a McKee, the Royal Family of running in the Falklands! In his third stab at CPL parkrun, Brendon Lee not only smashed his PB he also grabbed the course record from Julian Cousins the winner back in Event 1. In doing so he went sub 19 minutes which for us mere mortals beggars belief. In case you fancy targeting the record it is 18.54 now – well done Brendon! One person who might have a realistic chance of lowering that mark is the new female record holder, Victoria Needham. In her first visit here the City Of York Athletics Club member posted a staggering 19.48! This obliterated the previous female best of 23.01 set by Flora McKee last week. There’s a challenge for young Flora! What’s more Victoria also smashed the Age Graded record which had stood since Event Number 2. The mark she set was 74.75% which for the uninitiated means she is almost exactly three quarters as fast as the world record for her age group. And I bet they didn’t set that on our gravelly, pot-holed track with the famous Falklands breeze! Well done Victoria! Incidentally Brendon with 70.19% also beat the old record. Special mentions to Ben Chater with a huge PB at 21.06 and being in the Junior 11-14 age group he has time on his side to better that. CPL parkrun debutant Richard Hall was just behind Ben on the occasion of his 156th parkrun in total. Well done all, although you’re all far too quick in my opinion.

One other statistical mention for Tom McIntosh. He appears to be the only ever present participant now. Six out of six and only one non-PB. I happen to know that week was only slower because he arrived late and started ten minutes after everyone else. That is the perils of commuting from Australia for each run. Of course I’m only joking on that, but thanks for your commitment Tom and now we’re all wondering when the run is going to end. No pressure Sir!

As ever parkrun is as much about the community aspect, the activity element and the volunteers who come out each week and let everyone run. Thanks to you all! However it’s about time we singled out our uber-volunteers some of whom have hardly or never run, but have been there virtually every week. Thank you Richard, Pamela and Sally. Most of the other 14 who have volunteered at some point or another have been able to combine it with running. If you’d like to help out let us know on the email address prior to the event or just turn up about 8.45 and we’ll see if a role needs filling. Come in your running gear just in case we don’t need you that week.

Hopefully someone can take over the parkrun pen and write the occasional summary. After all the benchmark has been set pretty low with my efforts.

All the best for the future of the event!

Mark Nightingale,

A272336

 

Event Number 3 – All Hail The Falklands 70

Event 3 already! With the rugby and half term holidays well behind us, the Volunteers were eagerly anticipating how many would come and pound the Cape Pembroke road and back. The hail/sleet/snow an hour or so before our 9am start had us rapidly downgrading our estimates. Oh how we lack faith in this fantastic, determined community! Well done to the 70 runners and walkers who were well rewarded by bright sunshine and only moderate winds. Great to see people of all ages too – I spotted two fantastic performances from Harry and George who are only in Year 1 – and I bet there were more I missed! I can’t not mention the brilliant team of volunteers – Richard, Pamela, Miranda and Sally. We had others on hand too in Ros, Mark R and Charlotte, but they were able to run as we had the core roles filled. If you want to help out with a series of simple roles, just turn up at about 8.45 and speak to one of the important looking people in a hi-vis and we will use and abuse you as needed. There is no more rewarding way of starting your weekend I promise!

Anyway what of the ‘Falklands 70’ this week? I do hope you all engaged in Smug Mode for completing your 5K before others had risen from their Poppy Ball induced haze. Please keep Smug Mode engaged until next Saturday when you can do it all again. There are a wealth of stats to keep you amused all week, as Sally Ellis will testify. In summary while there were no overall records to boast, we had 20 new Personal Bests. Well done one and all! Eighteen of you were making your Cape Pembroke debut which means we’ve now had 191 different people participate in the first 3 events. How good is that from our population of 3,500? Plus there are a few more to add to that as they are listed as Unknown Runners because they forgot their barcodes. As they say in parkrun world #DFYB (Don’t Forget Your Barcode). Oh and one more stat for you, we’ve now collectively run or walked over 1,500 KM’s. Big pat on the back to The Falklands!

Our favourite 3 year old Hamish Mckee (the Leap Year baby who will be 4 in Feb!) claimed first spot, ahead of Mark Rutherford completing his first ‘official’ run at CPL. Third place Ben Chater who set the pace for a while was running his first ever parkrun. For the women it was Ros Cheek who led the way ahead of her niece (and Course Record Holder from Event 1) Flora McKee. A fantastic PB from Juliet Jaffray to be third Lady home. Finally a huge well done to those completing their 3rd parkrun here (i.e. a 100% attendance record) who got a PB – Cecil Alexander, Stacy Bragger, Gary Webb, Tom McIntosh, Karen Hare, June Jaffray, Roma Stewart and Teena Ormond. Apologies if I missed any one of course.

I’ll sign off once again, still revelling in the mild euphoria of how The Falklands has embraced parkrun so far. I’ll be delighted to pass the parkrun quill over to someone else to pen their thoughts next time. Just let one of us know and we’ll leave it clear for you. Otherwise I’ll subject you to my musings once again. See you next week!

Mark Nightingale

 

Event Number 1 – And we’re off Down South!

Wow! Simply, wow! You did it Falkland Islands! You embraced parkrun 100%! Volunteering and running/walking in numbers beyond our wildest estimate! And to think it’s half term, a low-key rugby match had not long finished and the weather was mediocre. And yet 170 of you dragged yourselves out of bed (or The Rose after the rugby) and over to Cape Pembroke to line up for the most southerly parkrun on the planet.

Under leaden skies, the parkrun weather fairies did at least do their bit in keeping it dry. The all-important wind was ‘only’ 15-20mph or so and from the north, therefore hitting us sideways rather than full on. With the good wishes of Falkland Islands Overseas Games Association Chairman, Mike Summers, and Deputy Governor, Alex Mitham, ringing in our ears; 153 first timers were off. That means 153 people had never taken part in a parkrun before – i.e. around 90% - vindication for certain of the decision to bring parkrun to the South Atlantic. Talking of percentages the 170 runners and walkers mean that more than 5% of the civilian population of the islands took part! Admittedly that doesn’t do justice to the large contingent of military personnel who hit the ‘highway’ from Mount Pleasant to join in. Thank you one and all!

Of course we all know it isn’t a race, but as you’re given a position token we can still highlight some excellent performances. The course record goes to Julian Cousins in a time of 19:15. Pretty good you might think. When we tell you he won the Stone Run Half Marathon just 6 days ago, the performance moves to another level. The next three places were also filled by Stone Run finishers. Special mention to 3 year old* Hamish McKee in third place with another fabulous performance. Talking of McKees, it was Hamish’s sister, Flora McKee who was the first lady home in 23:19; a course record she is sure to beat very soon. The real winners of course is everyone who took part. We do hope you engaged smug mode as you made your way back home having achieved so much before many people had even got up. Smug mode can remain engaged over the weekend, and re-engaged next week when you turn up to achieve once again. Remember the first milestone tshirt is available upon completion of 50 runs/walks! Or 10 for a junior. How good would it be to see a sea of 50 shirts pounding the Cape Pembroke road in a year or so’s time. Come on Falklands, we can do it!

See you next week, same time same place. Remember the volunteer roster is available on the website, please get involved with a number of very simple roles to help parkrun take place each Saturday. You get to wear a hi-vis bib and can work towards your own tshirt at 25 volunteer. By the way one of the volunteer roles is Run Report Writer, and I’ll be delighted to pass the pen over to someone who can no doubt do a better job.

*In case you’re wondering, he’s a leap year baby and will be 4 (or 16) on the 29th of Feb.

Until next week,

Mark Nightingale

A272336

Older Posts in Category ⇒
⇐ Newer Posts in Category