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