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.





New Year’s parkrun

Hi everyone,

We had a great response to our online poll and we are happy to confirm that we will be holding a New Year's day parkrun on 1 January (duh...) at 10am to give you a little more time to dust off the cobwebs of 2019.

We are not holding one on Christmas day, but we will continue as normal on December 21 and December, same time (9am), same place (Cape Pembroke Lighthouse road). We are hoping to bring a little seasonal cheer into the proceedings on December 21, so feel free to come along with your best Christmas jumpers, hats, or other assorted paraphernalia (as long as it is safe to run in!).

Hope to see you all there.


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,