Seaton’s greetings!

Christmas Day parkrun #163

Seaton’s greetings parkrunners! And I would say glad tidings, but it’s more a case of glad tide outings as it was certainly very much in earlier in the week, bringing half the beach with it and depositing it on the promenade. Massive thanks to East Devon District Council and some of the stalwart core team for parting the pebbles and ensuring our Christmas Day run could go ahead.
So, in a pre-Christmas bout of November nativity naivety, I volunteered to write today’s run report. This festive edition of parkrun news does not feature any Scrooge characters, but it does feature a Christmas Carol (Carol Austin: a stalwart member of the Seaton core team, who, along with all the other core members plus additional volunteers, have ensured that a parkrun is for life and not just for Christmas!). We hope YULE love this festive themed report; if you don’t, then frankly you have no FRANKIN-CENSE of humour. Humbug to you! (Or Werthers, as per your preference.)
The weather was kind to us with glorious sunny conditions and not a single chance of RAIN,DEAR.
Just before 9am, a cornucopia of Christmassy-clad committed candidates crowded Seaton’s sea front for the usual ELF and safety briefing. The briefing, as ever, highlighted that in the ADVENT of a runner having a problem on the course, the hi-viz hero marshalls are there to help. A big thank you to them, especially this morning as they have sacrificed lie-ins and Bucks Fizz breakfasts (or is that just in my boozy family?!) Either way, we are grateful that they had the PRESENTS of mind to postpone the unwrapping of their PRESENTS and grace us with their PRESENTS.
A whopping total of 341 runners MISTLE-toed the line and at 9am they were away (in a manger…); dashing (but not dancing, prancing and vixening) down the promenade, PUDDING one foot in front of the other in attempt to earn their turkey. It was a sight to behold and the atmosphere was terrific.
Today we welcome tourists from all over the UK and also abroad, with Singapore being the furthest travelled. If you came by the DONKEY Sanctuary, we hope you were guided safely by the star in the East to our pebble-pitted pocket of East Devon. We hope you found room at the Premier INN. If you arrived via sleigh, sled or other modus transportus, you are in luck as there is free parking for such vehicles on the sea front at this time of year. For environmental reasons, we encourage sleigh sharing.
There was an impressive number of first timers: 48 in total. Welcome to the parkrun family and congratulations on officially earning your turkey and pud! We hope you enjoyed your experience and it left you wanting MYRRH (ok, that one was a stretch)!
There was a splendid array of festive attire on display: tinsel aplenty, Christmas trees, and even a chap riding a snowman…. whatever floats your festive boat!
The first runners home were not to be TRIFFLED with, making MINCEMEAT of the 5k distance and running some very impressive times. The action at the sharp end was, as ever, fierce but FIR (Nordic or otherwise…) Congratulations to first timer, Archie Walton, on a terrific time of 15:54. He was followed by Wayne Loveridge of Chard RC, a regular Seaton runner who today ran a PB of 16:46. Also taking advantage of the still, balmy conditions to run a PB was the 3rd placed runner, Simon Davis of Exeter Harriers. In the ladies’ race, yours truly (Ellie Dominey of Axe Valley Runners) ran a post-pregnancy parkrun PB of 19:39 to finish as first lady, closely followed by Ellen Keast in a PB of 20:03 (sub-20 awaits!), and Emma Kiernan of Taunton AC in 20:12.
The PB JINGLE BELL was rung a few times too, with a whopping 70 people recording notable improvements on their Seaton course bests. The wind-free conditions and slightly altered course which eliminated the final stretch of pebbles likely contributed to these impressive performances.
There were also several milestone runs achieved, including many Axe Valley Runners. 50th runs were recorded by James Pullinger (SWRR), Andrew West (AVR), Marie-Claire Hudson, Bec Davey (AVR) AND Carolyn Nation (AVR). 100 parkruns notched up by Mark Day (AVR), Tim Sibley (AVR) and Mark Ross. And junior parkrunners Jess Leat and Jack Wraight achieved their 10 milestones. Well done to you all.
If you cannot wait a week for your next parkrun fix, you are in luck, as you don’t have to! We are back on the esplanade again this Saturday, 9am, offering you another opportunity for some Christmas parkrun fun.
In the meantime, happy HOLLY-days to you all; peace on Earth (and on pebbles!), goodwill to all parkrunners. That’s a WRAP on our festive edition. Time to go unwrap pressies, eat, drink and be merry. See you soon!
Ellie Dominey