This was my first visit to Centre Vale, and what a great experience it was. I'd come 'oop norf' with friends Emma Davies and Carly Kirkby to mark a double 50th parkrun celebration for local runner Harley Beecroft (and her barkrun companion Bob) and tourist Emma. We chose Centre Vale for the event to gain their red tshirts as we wanted to see if us Southern softies were able to manage the three hill repeat course. The answer, just! We'd inadvertently chosen a fantastic date to do so, as Centre Vale's 28th outing was also parkrun's 15th birthday and we all know what that means... Cake! More on that later. Perhaps this was the reason for the great turn out of 151 attendees, the largest in 17 weeks. It was also the occasion of a take-over by the fantastically friendly Todmorden Harriers who were out in cheerful force keeping us on track on the 2 loop followed by three (hilly loop) track.
It was a perfect autumn morning, the rain held off and the mist lifted by 9.30am to show the beautiful Vale. The mixed paths course was largely dry and the combination of paths, loops and trails in the view of the beautiful hillsides made for a perfect parkrun venue. Onto the cakes and bakes, never have I seen so much cake to be shared so generously between so few, we must have averaged around 3 items per person (or was that just me?). Great to see the vegan/ gluten free cakerunners were catered for too. And, I can't resist including a side note here for the maker of the most delicious carrot cake ever.
The combination of the Todmorden Harriers takeover and the birthday celebrations may explain the large number of first-ever-timers, 16 in total - welcome to the parkrun family! I just hope your cakpectations weren't set too high for the coming weeks. A special hello too to Rod and Maria who we met in the car park and have promised to return next week. The Todmorden Harriers brought 3 pacers with them and it was great to see options given to a mix of pace abilities - 25, 30 and 35 mins. They were probably responsible for the phenomenal 45 new PBs this week! Congratulations all. It was also great to see 27 under 18s taking part too.