Calm before the Storm ‘Ciara’
Such a contrast of weather last the weekend, although Saturday was perfect conditions for a parkrun. It was mild, clear, the sea was calm and we also had some of that elusive sunshine with lots of happy, smiley, people turning up from far and wide for another fun filled start to a Saturday morning. We feel very blessed here at Exmouth parkrun with our renowned fast and flat course suitable for all abilities and very accessible for everyone.
The usual early morning set-up crew and our ED and RD Chris had everything in order, course checked, ready and waiting to greet all the volunteers and parkrun participants in plenty of time for First Timer/Visitor brief and then onto the main brief, providing important and useful information to all those taking part. Some still need to be reminded to shush so that everyone can hear the announcements being made before anyone can start.
Today there were many milestone achievers, Andrew Beake and Richard Johnson both making their 50th parkrun appearance while Sam Ingram (new PB), Robert Gibson (with his special balloon) and James Durston all making their 100th parkrun at Exmouth today. Very well done to you all. There also were many visitors, some running Exmouth parkrun for the very first time, from Exeter, Seaton, Cheltenham, Plymouth, Taunton, Killerton, Tewkesbury, Tamar Lakes, Poole, Aylesbury, Sutton, Winchester, Royal Tonbridge Wells, Coventry, Braunstone, Hamilton Lake, Burnham & Highbridge, St Albans, Brueton, Heartwood Forest, Kingsbury, Houghton Hall, Arrow Valley, Newport and Clapham Common. Apologies if I’ve missed anyone! A warm welcome to you all. There were several Pacers on the course today helping those who wanted to try for a new pb sub25, 30, 35 and 40 minute finish. I’m sure some of you made it!
Over to the start, we were off, the first right-hand turn at The Octagon is a little tight, being careful not to run out on the road, the Marshals will shout at you making sure we remain safe, and off we go along a fairly narrow and busy section down to the Harbour View café and slipway on the outward bound towards Orcombe Point passing the beach side of the Lifeboat Station. The views out across the bay are absolutely magnificent and on a clear day you can see along the coast to Berry Head at Brixham and take in the freshness of the sea air. Many dog-walkers were out on the beach with an outgoing tide enjoying their morning exercise along with Wind Surfers and also rowing boats from the Exmouth Rowing Club. There were also a group of lady early morning swimmers by the Lifeboat Station who had already been in for a cool dip giving us encouragement as we passed by.
As we made our way down past the Lifeboat Station towards the Orcombe Point turn Flagpoles, many of the speedy parkrunners were already making their way back up the course. At this point we must all be aware to keep to the right on both sides and avoid a head-on incident. We also need to remember there are many other users out on our course including walkers and cyclists all going in different directions enjoying their morning out up and down the sea-front promenade.
After the flagpole turn point at Orcombe, (rather a sharp turn today!), we head begin the return leg back up past the Lifeboat Station, this time moving around the outside of the building, taking care move back onto pedestrian footway on our way towards the new sea-front development getting a different perspective and view of the coastline, passing the Harbour View café/slipway and the HM Coastguard observation tower, along past the Octagon and up to the Cavendish turn around an orange cone where the jellybaby Marshal stands by the shelter (a favourite for all the much younger participants). From here there’s a short distance back passing the Octagon into the final finishing straight and into the finish funnel greeted by the Timekeepers and Funnel Managers keeping you all in order (ensuring no funnel ducking business!) as we move along the funnel to collect our well earned position Finish Token. Note: Don’t forget not to take Finish Tokens home (property of parkrun) and if you don’t want a time or you’ve forgotten your personal barcode (such a pain, but who’s fault is that!), the finish token can be placed in an orange cone when you exit finish funnel clearly signed.
The next step (after you catch your breath) is to take your finish token and personal barcode across the road to the Ocean where the Barcode Scanners are waiting to greet you. Remember you will be crossing the pedestrian footpath where other parkrunners will still be moving up along the course and also the road is usually quite busy, so please be careful, especially with small children and babies in buggies. After you’ve all been scanned, there’s time for a little relaxation and if you wanted plenty of opportunity for a chat over refreshment or even a good breakfast after all the exercise.
Exmouth parkrun are a very friendly bunch and there’s always an opportunity to chat with some of the core-team and volunteers and remember, if you are interested in volunteering at future events, the volunteer matrix will be there available for you to add your name. Please also email to confirm your A.number barcode as quite often there are people with the same name and the original parkrun registration may not be at home parkrun Exmouth. We also have many visitors who like to volunteer certain roles so always helpful to know your barcode number before we can add you to the official online volunteer roster.
Today there were 476 parkrunners who crossed our finish line, 57 who ran Exmouth parkrun for the first time including 26 first time parkrunners. 45 different running clubs were represented. We had some really speedy runners out on course today, 98 achieving new personal best times with special mention going to Hannah Taunton (GB para-athlete) and regular visitor from Taunton (we think Hannah likes us a lot!), who returned a very impressive new 5K personal best time and also a new course record in 17:07 absolutely smashing her own previous course record set back in March 2019. The First Finisher today was an ‘Unknown’ athlete (someone either running just for fun or had forgotten their personal barcode, or maybe both!). The first Junior Male 15-17 category was Oliver Capps in 17:37 and First Junior Female 11-14 category was Isla Bryson 19:51 with a new PB. Well done to you all, we hope you enjoyed your parkrun with us today.
Of course all this would simply not be possible without our amazing 31 super hi-vis heroes who make it all happen. A big Thankyou to them all, they were: May ARGYLE, Sarah BALDWIN, Rich BARNETT, Chris BATEMAN, Edward BERRIDGE, Jason BERRIDGE, Lisa BERRIDGE, Darren BRADLEY, Craig BUTLER, Phil DAVEY, Sue DAVEY, Richard DE LA RUE, Jill DUPAIN, Nigel DUPAIN, Linda HOE, Lorna JONES, Ruth KENNEDY, Nick MILLINGTON, Poppy MOORE, Sophie MOORE, Richard MORRIS, Sarah PICKERING, Lisa PIKE, Colin PRATT, Timothy PRATT, Nick RICHART, Nathan SHEEHY, Wendy SILK, Karen STEWART, Rosemary TATE, Emily WEBB.
Two points of order to be mentioned, with an increase number of participants has seen an extra busy amount of traffic moving up and down the sea-front near the start/finish area looking for somewhere to park and arrive for briefing and the start on time. Please allow extra time to park, there is plenty of room roadside parking up and down the promenade pay and display and also the main pay and display car park just a bit further along from the Ocean behind the new sea-front site development area. Please look out for other parkrunners arriving on foot, especially those with small children pushing buggies and why not consider car-sharing where possible. Not only helps with the environmental impact and costs less to park. Secondly, Personal A.number Barcodes, we will not enter any results for participants who forget to bring their barcode for any reason so please don’t ask or email in. Every participant (children included) must have their individual printed barcode and present it to the barcode scanner with their finish token. We operate a strict parkrun code of practice ‘No printed personal barcode – No timed result’ policy. We cannot accept barcode images saved on mobile phones or other devices. It is your responsibility alone to ensure you remember to bring your barcode, not parkrun or any of our volunteers who have already given up their own personal time and chance to run so that you all can. Simples!