It was an impromptu parkrun for me this morning whilst visiting friends in St Austell. Having had shoulder surgery 9 days ago, I could not face the agony that is Lanhydrock parkrun (I have been there twice before and the memory is still fresh), so resigned myself to missing out. My friend then informed me that The Eden Project now hosted a parkrun practically on the doorstep and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to add another parkrun to my tourist list.
A throng of 464 parkrunners met next to the Banana car park at a temperature already fit for a summer’s day. I admit the thought of a hilly run in the heat was not a welcome one but my local parkrun with a fairly wicked hill usually stands me in good stead. Sure enough, it was quite a tough course with a relentless 3-lap switchback of ups and downs through the crater and past the Eden Project biomes The huge tractor tyre at the top of a slope was a good marker for counting off the laps and there was plenty to look at as distraction. Before I knew it, I was at the end and joining the others at the Eden Kitchen for a post-run coffee.
Judging by the number of first-timers on the results today, there were a lot of us visiting Cornwall for the weekend. In fact, the first finisher is from just slightly north of me, in a fantastic time of 16.23. The winner of best club name goes to The Derek Zoolander Centre for Kids Who Can’t Run Good (apparently so named ‘because there’s more to life than being really, really ridiculously good at running’)! Patently, Josh Mitchell joined the wrong club with his 20th place and a sub-20! Congratulations to Scott Foster and Isaac Tarafder who earned their 10 t-shirts today, to Millie Howe, Nick Howe and Mark Stockman who completed their 50th parkruns and to Shirley Wood for 100 runs. Interestingly, while Shirley and Mark are fairly typical, having done most runs at their local parkrun with a few at different places, both Millie and Nick have barely got out of single figures at any one parkrun and cannot be pinned down geographically by their parkrun event history. Are they travelling salesmen or simply obsessive parkrun tourists? Lastly, biggest kudos goes to Tamsyn May Smith who has completed 288 parkruns in an impressive 37 locations, including one at my own local, Leamington parkrun. I wonder how she thinks our hill compares to Lanhydrock?
I would urge anyone in the area to drop in for a very different kind of parkrun and perhaps make the most of the opportunity for free entry to the Eden Project (at the time of parkrun) for runners and spectators. I also urge everyone to volunteer at least 4 times a year at parkrun, to help out. It is a great way to meet other people and contribute at the same time, and it is great fun. There are a number of jobs that can be done as well as running, for those who cannot bear to miss their parkrun fix.
Run Report courtesy of Rebecca Rowe