Woolacombe Dunes parkrun Event #52

Written by: Darren Barratt
Home parkrun: Rutland Water

As a first time visitor to “the toughest parkrun”, I’ll confess that I was a bit worried about what I’d let myself and my family in for. Hills, and multi-terrain pretty much make this the polar opposite of my regular parkrun, Rutland Water.  But since we were visiting Barnstaple for my mums’ 70th birthday, I really couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Just had to OK it that we’d be nipping out early on Saturday!

Having left plenty of “getting lost time” in my calculations, we turned up a bit early, at 08:15, so had a good chance to look around. Thankfully, the weather was playing nice, and the view down onto the beach was great, until we realised that we’d have to run all the way down there! By this time some of the early volunteers had started arriving, so we went over to introduce ourselves. We got a really warm welcome from the RD and all the other volunteers.

Getting closer to start time, there was an excellent first timers brief, with a great description of the course, and fair warning about the cows on course, and the chances of running into other trail users on horseback.

After the run brief, we were off, a gentle downhill to lull us into a false sense of security, then left onto the DOWN hill, a long way down! The brief warning was accurate, as we were soon carefully passing horse riders coming back up the hill. Once at the bottom, I got my first look down the length of the beach. Wow. First parkrun I’ve done where you see a huge section like that stretched out ahead of you. It looked like the village was getting further away instead of closer as you ran!

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Dune of doom was everything that I’d been told of. Every 2 steps forward meant 1 back! Once I found the knack of putting my feet down in existing footprints, it helped a lot. I’ll have to come back in the summer when the sand is dry.


Looks like the break in the rain suited lots of people too, with 28 new personal bests, AND a new course record being set by Jack Blackburn! Well done to all of you.

Thanks to all your lovely volunteers. It’s a challenging course, but hopefully we’ll be back in the summer to try it again.

Darren Barratt
Visiting parkrunner.

This week 79 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 15 were first timers and 28 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 13 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 16 volunteers:

David GARCIA • Jonathan FAIRHURST • Jane RATTUE • Malcolm KIRK • Teresa KIRK • Sady BARTLE • Rebecca WORTH • Nicola OLIVER • Elaine HEDGER • David RATTUE • Linda PAGE • Julia WATKISS • Finley JAMES • Nicky STILLO • Noah ZEALE • Jessica STILLO

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Woolacombe Dunes parkrun Results Page.

The female record is held by Mara YAMAUCHI who recorded a time of 21:07 on 22nd December 2018 (event number 2).
The male record is held by Jack BLACKBURN who recorded a time of 18:31 on 7th December 2019 (event number 52).
The Age Grade course record is held by Emmie WHITE who recorded 79.57% (24:33) on 31st August 2019 (event number 38).

Woolacombe Dunes parkrun started on 15th December 2018. Since then 3,617 participants have completed 6,625 parkruns covering a total distance of 33,125 km, including 850 new Personal Bests. A total of 194 individuals have volunteered 802 times.

 

 

New Year’s Day parkrun

We will not be holding a Christmas Day parkrun this year, but we are pleased to confirm we will be having a New Year's Day parkrun. Our event will start at 9am as usual, giving you the option afterwards to:

  1. carefully make your way to Barnstaple to do a New Year's Day double, their event starts at 10:30am; or
  2. make your way down to Woolacombe Beach for the New Year's Day Dip at 11am (no wetsuits allowed): or
  3. make your way to The Porthole, Meraki Coffee Co. or one of the many other establishments in Woolacombe for breakfast.

If you think you might be having a 'good' night on New Year's Eve and running might be a struggle, why not volunteer instead, it's a great hangover cure! ;-)

We hope to see lots of you on New Year's Day!

 

Woolacombe Dunes parkrun Event #51 – No rain!

After quite a few weeks of wet weather it was great to have a dry parkrun.

There were no milestones this week, but as we approach our first anniversary, we do have a number of our core team who are approaching 50 volunteer occasions. We also have a few of the team who have already made it, and last week we forgot to congratulate Rebecca Worth for making it to 50, she kept it quiet but we've found out, well done Rebecca! If you've not tried volunteering, you should give it a go. No one has to do it, but you're missing out on a treat if you don't. We currently have 4 Duke of Edinburgh participants volunteering with us, originally signed up to spend 3 months with us, but 3 of them have decided to stay with us for 6 months instead. That must say something about parkrun morning! :-)

Now on to our Run Report

Written by: Hayley Daubney
Home parkrun: Porthcawl
First Park run: September 2018

I was persuaded by my husband to do my first Parkrun in Porthcawl last September, following this I joined my local running club and have since then clocked up over 1100kms!
Like Woolacombe the Porthcawl Parkrun follows the coast, however, this is where the similarities end! We have a couple of minor hills to contend with but nothing in comparison to the “Dune of Doom”. My husband grew up in Woolacombe and we regularly visit the area, however, this is only the second time we have made it to this Parkrun (the last time being the first run of the New Year). The weather this week was grey, a bit chilly with a slight northerly wind, but at least was dry. The sea was calm with only tiny waves rolling into the shore. The tide was dropping and we were assured the sand was firm. Despite these conditions, I definitely had no expectation of improving my Parkrun PB!

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Normally I’m forced to tie my coat to the railings during the Parkrun so was impressed to see a set of bespoke Parkrun coat pegs for runner’s personal belongings. A great touch!
There were 73 runners this week of all ages and all abilities. The run was just as tough as I remember it but absolutely stunning. Definitely one to experience if you can.
I thoroughly enjoyed the run and did manage to knock almost 7 minutes off my course PB. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. A huge thank you to the marshals and event organisers Hoping to make the New Years Day Run!!

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This week 73 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 13 were first timers and 17 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 15 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 14 volunteers:

Rob JOULES • Mandy ROBBINS • Grant MCGILL • Paul COOPER • Jane RATTUE • Sady BARTLE • Hayley DAUBNEY • David RATTUE • Clare KING-SMITH • Gracie HUGHES • Julia WATKISS • Nicky STILLO • Noah ZEALE • Jessica STILLO

 

Woolacombe Dunes parkrun Event #50 – Postcard from Woolacombe Dunes

It was good to see so many of you this morming, despite the terrible weather forecast, with 72 of you running, jogging and walking at Woolacombe Dunes this week. 20 of you were running our parkrun for the first time, of which 2 of you were running your first ever parkrun, we hope you enjoyed it and will be back again soon. There were no parkrun milestones this week, remember you can claim milestone t-shirts when you complete 50, 100, 250 and 500 runs, or 25 volunteer occasions, or 10 runs if you're a junior!

Now for this weeks run report.

Report writer: Mike Pope
Home parkrun: Aylesbury
First parkrun: 2014

postcard from woolacombe

Dear All Parkrunners

Bit of trek from our home Parkrun in Aylesbury this morning

The weather here today at Woolcombe Dunes is set fair, the parkrun weather fairies have done their best to make sure we all had a dry start to our day here. The rain and wind came later on the course.

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A lovely welcome from every one we met this morning and thanks to all the volunteers for wrapping up for the November sunshine to come out to help and cheer everyone along the way.

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There were quite few tourists this morning and an informative run brief by David set us up for the course ahead which is deemed to the hardest course in the UK! Including the famous "Dune of Doom". So no apprehension then for the 1st timers who came along, but well done, hope you keep coming back. They also have a few Devon Red cows along the course (So not only Tring parkrun then).

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A wonderful up and down course through the dunes with a breath-taking mile of the course along the beach, so if you are ever down here in this part of the country it should be on your list.

Once again, a big thank you to Paul and his team of parkrun Hero Volunteers for making it quite a memorable experience. Getting a PB here will be hard, but in my opinion just completing the course is a PB

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Until next time parkrunners

Mike and Lorna Pope

This week 72 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 20 were first timers and 13 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 12 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 20 volunteers:

Mark JOHNSON • Paul COOPER • Mike POPE • Jane RATTUE • Teresa KIRK • Joey JORDAN • Sheila CAMPBELL • Thomas CAMPBELL • Rebecca WORTH • Elaine BOND • David RATTUE • Linda PAGE • Caroline KEMP • Clare KING-SMITH • Gracie HUGHES • Julia WATKISS • Finley JAMES • Nicky STILLO • Noah ZEALE • Jessica STILLO

 

Woolacombe Dunes parkrun Event #49 – from City to Coast

After 3 weeks of wet, wild and windy weather, it was great to wake up to some sunshine this week. Maybe it the was the improved weather that helped our numbers climb a little higher today over the numbers we've had on recent weeks. 75 parkrunners took part today, with 27 of you running Woolacombe Dunes for the first time, 7 of which were running their first ever parkrun, including this weeks run report writer! We hope you all enjoyed your Woolacombe Dunes experience and will be back again.

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There were no milestones this week, but as we approach our first anniversary, we do have a number of our core team who are approaching 50 volunteer occasions, awesome! If you've not tried volunteering, you should give it a go. No one has to do it, but you're missing out on a treat if you don't. It's great to be part of a friendly team and to cheer on the parkrunners, it gives you a warm glow for the rest of the day. Of course, the volunteer experience isn't complete without heading for cake/ breakfast and tea/coffee afterwards.If you're interested, send us an email to find out more or let us know when you can volunteer.

Now on to our Run Report

Report Writer: Hugh Chichester
Home parkrun: Wormwood Scrubs parkrun
First parkrun: 2019 (today!)

Seeing the broody skies embracing the gusty North Devon coastline came as a welcome reprieve for a weary Londoner in need of some fresh coastal air. The demanding Woolacombe Dunes certainly left no bronchiole unfilled - forcing the sea breeze deep into my lungs.

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I'm told this is the toughest run in the country, so was surprised to see a teenager run away with the win. The chasing pack, of which I was very briefly a member of, fell quickly into his wake. I think Woolacombe have a serious young runner on their hands there.

There were also some very impressive showings from other age groups, including a spritely silver fox who beat his adult younger son, and wife who pipped her husband to the line. It was lovely to be warmly welcomed to a parkrun that is full of so many families and friends.

No report could be complete without mention of the volunteers. A huge thank you to them for sacrificing their mornings and providing such enthusiastic support to all the runners.

Thanks Hugh.

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So don't forget, get in touch if you would like to volunteer any time soon. Here are some of the comments we've received which make it all the more worthwhile:

”The volunteer s are incredible and I thank all of them for turning out on such a blustery, wet day!”

“Brilliant, brutal, and amazing Parkrun.cAnd the best thing - the team putting it on, the volunteers were amazing. Friendly, chatty and even recommend a great coffee and breakfast place for afterwards. A big thank you to all for a great morning.”

“Stunning setting and a friendly welcoming team.“

“The location is the best and you meet so many lovely people.”

This week 75 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 27 were first timers and 4 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 14 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 16 volunteers:

Andrew MANSFIELD • Ed JACKSON • Paul COOPER • Jane RATTUE • Rebecca WORTH • David RATTUE • Linda PAGE • Clementine GARRETT • Nicola GARRETT • Clare KING-SMITH • Gracie HUGHES • Julia WATKISS • Finley JAMES • Nicky STILLO • Noah ZEALE • Jessica STILLO

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Woolacombe Dunes parkrun Results Page.

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