Torbay Velopark parkrun 15/02/20 Run Report by Richard Aquilina

Event #165 – 15th February 2020

I arrived at Torbay Velopark parkrun with my friends Mel, a tourist from Eastville parkrun and Martyn, a tourist from Ashton Court parkrun. We weren’t planning on being here. When we set off from Bristol at 6:45am our satnav was programmed to take us to Exmouth parkrun. I was writing their Run Report. It was during our windy drive heading south on the M5 that Storm Dennis hit the South West and notification came through that Exmouth had fallen foul of Dennis.

I’m a continual tourist since my home event closed almost four years ago. This means I always have a plan B. Today in stepped Torbay Velopark for our new event fix. I’d seen mention of Torbay Velopark’s proud record of never cancelling so I knew we’d get an event in but as Mel checked their Facebook page she saw that a lack of volunteers could put today’s event in jeopardy. As we arrived in the car park at the nearby leisure centre we could see the Hi-Vis heroes ready to welcome us – the event was on. One of the marshals greeted us with a large smile and took our photograph. The rain was only a drizzle at this stage.

As 8:50am, Graydon gave us first timers our briefing. He’s run over 160 parkruns half of which havebeen at Torbay Velopark so he knew what he was talking about when told us to expect some water (and mud!) after we’d run our three laps on the tarmac.

With only minutes until our 9am start, Simon, our friendly Run Director lifted his megaphone to give us our final briefing. Unsurprisingly weather conditions meant we were on the B course – I’ll have to return in the summer for the A course and the field in earshot of the Zoo animals!
Promptly at 9am we were off.

The rain was falling harder and the noise of Dennis gave the run an eerie feeling as you could hear nothing except the hurricane. One moment you’d have a headwind, the next a tailwind. In no time my kit and trainers were soaking. By my second lap the rain was torrential.

The event was only possible because of the volunteers who cheered us as we made our way around the three laps and muddy out and back finish!

Special thanks to our tail walkers today, Rio Gill and Louise Benson. It was Rio's second parkrun...he got a PB. First time tail walking but this was his 13th time volunteering. The other 18 volunteers were:

Andy Thompson • Connor France • Danny Dean • Dave Wilkes • Eileen Severn • Gary Brenton• Graydon Widdicombe • Hannah Davies • Harley Gill • Ian Hayward • Jo Coish • Luis Hegarty •Nathan Mei • Richard Aquilina • Sharon Nelson • Simon Gilboy • Susan Lyle • Tom Wright

We had 235 people running, jogging and walking the course. 32 were first timers (six brand new to parkrun – well done on starting your parkrun journey running in a hurricane!) and 23 recorded personal best (PB) times. Representatives of 28 different clubs took part. Particular congratulations must go to Megan Davis who was the first female finisher with a PB of 18:44. She's run this course three times now, has done 62 parkruns in total and her all time PB is 18:19. Her age grade today was
79%!

12 of you didn't have a barcode. Perhaps you forgot it or it was blown away? Or perhaps you have yet to register? #DFYB

Today’s participants quickly left the finish to get scanned and I would imagine home to dry out! Our lovely tail walkers crossed the line with less than 55 minutes gone. The kit was quickly packed away and you’d never had known parkrun had been there.
As tourists the core team made us feel very welcome.

Well done Torbay Velopark parkrun for coming to our rescue when other events were forced to cancel. I’ll be back but next time I’d like some sun when running on the English Riviera!

Richard Aquilina
Little Stoke parkrun

Torbay Velopark parkrun
Event number 165
15th February 2020

From left to right:
Richard,  Mel & Martyn

Torbay 15-02-20

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