118 runners completed the course today, including 6 newbie parkrunners, and 38 who were tackling the impressive Tamar Trails course for the first time, bolstered I’m sure by the rush to the West Country for the school holidays. My own family were tourists too, visiting for the Tamar Trails course for the first time (although we’ve been meaning to visit for ages - we normally do the North Devon/Cornwall runs when we’re back home, but trying to branch out a bit). Unfortunately (especially as I’d volunteered to write this week’s run report), not all of us managed to break our duck today, and in the event, only my partner and the more energetic (crazier?) of our dogs actually made it round the course… my 3 year old son was pretty spectacularly unwell on the drive down from Bude this morning, and by the time we’d cleaned (most of) the sick out of the car and made it to the start, I realised that (a) the 3 year old wasn’t in great shape for a 5km walk, and (b) the course looked slightly less running buggy-friendly than we’d hoped (we’d also brought the baby along), so I gracefully withdrew and took the baby and the 3 year old to spend some money at the café in the rain, while we waited for Dad and the dog to finish instead.
So my run report today is really a second hand relaying of someone else’s run instead. But on that basis, what can I tell you? Well, his first impression when I asked how he’d found it…? “You wouldn’t like it”. Really, I asked? “Well, the ground was pretty soft and the hill at the end was very steep, so not pushing a buggy with barely-recovered achilles tendinitis, at least”. Fair point, I guess. When pressed for further details, he admitted that this was the first parkrun course ever where he’s actually chosen to walk a bit of it (not counting the time he ran with our lovely but rather lazy beagle, who was more used to my more relaxed pace and insisted on a couple of walk breaks!). But only right at the end, he said, on the hill; and in fairness, the hill was a bit of a shock, so the walk was more through necessity than choice (someone clearly didn’t read the course description beforehand). To be honest, I was quite impressed that the course bested him, given this is a very competitive man who cycles up mountains for fun and can run sub-20 on the hilly Crystal Place course while pushing the 3 year old in the running buggy. But he enjoyed the course and the mixed terrain/surroundings, was pleasantly surprised to leave the woodland and see the disused tin mine nestled in an almost lunar landscape (again, it pays to read the course description in advance) before returning to the woods, and loved the views down into the valley where the path drops away (again, he said, you wouldn’t have liked it – I’m not great with heights). He doesn’t seem at all disappointed that we’re going to have to visit again in order for me to tick this one off my list (and on reflection, perhaps we’d be sensible to leave the kids at the grandparents next time and just take the dogs instead, they’re a little more reliable!).
Anyway, enough of us, and more about the rest of you:
Finishing first this week were Jackson Creegan in 17:27 and Christine Costiff in 22:33 (Christine also achieved the best age graded score at today’s run with a whopping 83.67%). Our first finishing juniors today were Connor Duffin (11-14) in 21:56 and Ruby Diffey (10) in 25:12. Great running from you all – well done! Congratulations also go to Edward Morgan, Ruby Diffey, Eashan Everett, who earned their 25 run milestone t-shirts today, along with Nicole Heryet, who ran her 50th parkrun this morning. Don’t forget to get your orders in for your t-shirts by the end of the month if you want to just pay for postage and avoid paying the higher £15 charge in September (more details here if you missed it: https://blog.parkrun.com/uk/2021/03/17/changes-to-milestone-t-shirts/).
Finally, if you have friends who are thinking of taking up running, or just trying to do a bit more exercise to lose those extra lockdown pounds, please do encourage them to join the parkrun community. There’s always someone here to support and encourage, and parkruns everywhere are some of the friendliest, most inclusive events I’ve attended. On that note, a huge thank you to the wonderful volunteer team, who all do a fabulous job giving up their Saturday mornings for the rest of us (when I’m sure they’d all really rather be running themselves). And please do consider volunteering occasionally – it’s great fun and helps ensure that the event can continue to run smoothly.