by Jordi Hooper (tourist from Somerset)
It was a pleasure to tourist at the extremely friendly Torbay Velopark today, made even better by the fact it was its 150th event. My boyfriend and I have been parkrunning at our local for the past month or so, and simply couldn't pass up the opportunity of trying out another track when visiting family in my hometown of Brixham this weekend.
Sadly, the sun yet again didn't make an appearance to join in the 150th run celebrations, but still an amazing 210 of you laced up your shoes, braved the rain and walked, jogged or ran the 3 lap course.
We arrived in time for the 8.45 first timer briefing, and spent the remainder of our time huddled under a conveniently placed bus shelter, hiding from the rain. There we met some lovely fellow runners - some fellow tourists such as ourselves, and even a lady who was bravely doing her first ever parkrun. Excellent effort in this weather, hope you enjoyed! They made up some of the 25 amazing first timers today. I also can't write this without mentioning the gentleman who was embarking on a run to Paris tomorrow - best of luck!
There was a buzz in the air as we all congregated around the start line, eager to start and get warm! The fantastic run director began the general race briefing, and even let us into the fact it was his birthday, to much applause. Hope you had a much drier rest of the day, your time is much appreciated - as is the time of the amazing 19 volunteers who gave up their morning to make this event possible. Thank you!
At 9 o'clock on the dot, with a familiar chorus of sports watches beeping, we began. It became immediately obvious that this course was fast - flat as can be, and bar the very puddly out and back section, smooth and even. The wide track of the velopark meant there was plenty of room for the volume of runners - this truly is a dream of a course, proven by the fantastic 21 who set new personal bests today.
First across the line was Matt EDMONSON with an impressive time of 18.19, swiftly followed by Darren FRANCIS and Matthew ADAMS who took 2nd and 3rd finishers respectively. First woman today was Naomi FLANAGAN, with an amazing time of 19.30. Amazing running all!
Despite the wet weather, everyone went home smiling, invigorated and ready for the next challenge - let's hope for a drier morning next week! If you haven't tried parkrun yet, why not come along to the velopark and join the 7,812 runners to have crossed the finish line of course. They are a very friendly bunch and it will leave you smiling all weekend!