Penryn Campus parkrun
Event number 27
14th May 2022
Thanks to Alison Bremner for writing such an evocative and interesting race report. If you want to try your hand at writing the run report, let us know!
What’s the best part of waking up early on a Saturday morning? It has to be the promise of a good parkrun.
When we left Penzance for the 45 minute drive to our venue this morning, the weather was far less promising. Sunglasses, hat, rain jacket, change of clothes, barcode and postcode for Penryn Campus.
Whilst a university campus can be vast and the clear directions on the website indicated it was still possible to get lost, we were impressed to find parkrun signs at every turn from the moment we turned into the university. Car parking was free and plentiful and at the top of a hill, which was probably ominous, but was right next to the sports centre which offered use of their toilets from 8.30 and free showers if you are going on to spend the day in Falmouth.
When we had negotiated the parkrun signs to the front of Tremough house we were welcomed by a sea of pink. This could have been partly due to the incredible display of rhododendrons but in the main was due to the large group of welcoming volunteers. Headed up by Charlotte, the RD for today, two parkrun volunteer dogs (Coco and Treacle) made up the group of 14 who were happily welcoming the walkers, joggers and runners, 15 of which were first timers. There was a lot of chatting and enjoying the incredible backdrop of Tremough house which has its early history going back to 1309, remaining family owned until 1600s when it was bought by a wealthy merchant who had the vision of turning it into the beautiful estate we see today. In 1999 it was bought by the Combined Universities in Cornwall group, being developed into the Penryn campus, very nicely incorporated into the modern and colourful buildings visible through the gardens and trees. Either way it which makes for an impressive backdrop to a relaxed but thorough run briefing; note to self, a hill is mentioned along with 3 laps.
The first parkrun here took place on 16th October 2021. With a team ready to start just before Covid caused a break in parkrun, it is a testament to this wonderful, committed group of volunteers and participants, that they were ready to launch so soon after the restart last June. Kate, the Event Director, was not able to join us this morning, but did come along at the end to retrieve her loyal parkrun supporter, Treacle. So glad I got to meet you.
With all Cornish parkruns there is a tendency to attract tourists and today was no exception so welcome to our visitors from Brighton, Woodley, Plymouth, Witney, Denton Pastures, Wiltshire, Tamar Trails, Watford and more locally Penrose and Eden Project. But the biggest cheer went to Margaret Hatch from Perth, Australia. There was also a runner from Sydney who now lives in the UK, but a day for Australia, which possibly influenced the weather as the rain never appeared and the day just got sunnier and warmer. There were no milestones of note, though local runner, Kathryn Osborn, did her 98th run today so a credible milestone to look forward to there.
The biggest welcome must go to Jack Morris, first timer, first parkrun. We really hope you enjoyed it and come back for more. There were a couple who were enjoying the walk with our tail walker but they chose not to complete the 5k this week which is perfectly ok and it is a beautiful walk. We were very happy to see you.
With a 3,2,1, start we ran past the front of the house and over the ‘edge’ on a steep down hill path. The realisation that this is the out and back section 3 times, is blitzed by the beauty of the gardens and the rhododendrons, trees and views. Volunteer, Anna, turned us around at the bottom and sent us back up again, and again and then, just for good measure and for the certainty of a complete 5k, again for the third and final time. The description of the course doesn’t allow for just how lovely this parkrun is. It may not be the fastest around but definitely fabulous.
The first 3 to reach the time keepers all achieved personal best times, which just proves it can be done. Nick Martin in 20:31, followed by Niamh Smith in 21:54 and Ian Curnow in 22:27. There were 11 pbs in all which is awesome in a group of 43. Niamh did an amazing job but it is worth noting that the female course record is held by Emma Gould, who is a fell runner!
Age grade positions went to Nick Martin with 78:15%, then Niamh with 67:58% and 3rd, Colin Taylor with 67:49%.
It would be lovely to tie in event 27 with something magical in the numbers but the closest anyone came to that was Mark Hammond with a finishing time of 27.01.
So with a massive thank you to simply the best volunteer team ever (you really encompass everything parkrun is about) I will wish you all a very happy week and you know where you’re at next Sat.