We were in Plymouth for the weekend to take part in Hope24, a charity 24 hour running relay where I’d be running about 30 miles in 24 hours. So whats the best way to prepare for such an event? Rest?
No, it was parkrunday and the law dictates that on parkrunday we must go to parkrun!
Myself, Jodie and a bunch of other people from the event, many of them fellow Yeovil Town RRC club members, descended on Plymvalley parkrun, a National Trust parkrun in the Plymvalley woods.
I led the troops, following my SatNav to get there, but when we arrived where it said we were meant to be, there was nothing there! it was just a narrow country road! I became a bit concerned that I had led our merry club convoy on a wild goose chase. We pulled over so we could strategise as I felt a bit lost.
Thankfully a car with a driver donned in hi-vis (A sure fire way to spot a runner) drove past, so we followed them. Turns out the carpark was literally 50 yards around the corner! Very glad we didn’t do a U turn!
Before long we were gathered around for the first timers briefing. There were a LARGE proportion of first timers (Maybe 30?) probably about 50/50 split of parkrun newbies and parkrun tourists. This was a large proportion of the 124 runners. So quite a small event. I like the small events though, there is always a good community feel to them.
We took in the run brief and listened to a description of the course… It was complicated. Basically its a figure of 8 with the start/finish being at the middle, but after completing the 8 you do a shorter version of the first loop. The first (South) loop was all on meadow/field.
The terrain was rough, potted, puddley and quite uneasy underfoot. It was however very flat. The second (northern) loop took you out along a canal in the woods which was very pretty and on stony path. It was flat until the turn at the end where you climb a short steep hill before it levelled off along some road (Not sure how they got that through the risk assessment, unless the road is closed on Saturday mornings?) and you run level back parallel along the canal, with the canal below you. Then you dropped down back toward the start finish before a smaller loop of the fields.
Thankfully, the route was well signed and marshalled so you can just run from stake to stake and follow the guy in front of you!
As we had Hope24, I took it very easy and was able to take in some of the very picturesque surroundings. It was undeniably a very beautiful parkrun, as all the NT ones I have visited are. Though there was no amazing National Trust cafe, there was a coffee wagon on site. I had no need for the toilet so I’m not sure if there was one or not, though I think not!
Jodie and I cruised round in a little over 30 minutes in bright sunny weather. The above photo was taken by a friend, not a volunteer – I would never think to be so rude to a volunteer! I think everyone from our club who attended enjoyed it.
Scanning was a breeze under a bridge, though my token didn’t scan (One of the sticky replacements which are notorious for not scanning too well) so I was manually recorded.
Unfortunately we had to get back to the Hope24 site so we weren’t able to have the usual post run coffee and cake, that will have to wait until next time.
This was run 45 for me and my 19th different event, which means I am only 1 away from the “Most Events” page on the parkrun.org.uk website! Where shall I go next?!
Thanks to all the volunteers at Plymvalley for another brilliant parkrunday.