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!
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.
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.