parkrunning in Cornwall at Eden Project parkrun
April 26, 2019
I was at home in Cornwall for Easter weekend, so there was another opportunity for parkrun tourism. I’d love to be able to complete all of the parkruns in Cornwall, but Mount Edgcumbe and Tamar Lakes are quite a long way from my family home in West Cornwall. I decided that Eden Project parkrun would be a great event to do as taking part gives you free entry to Eden Project for the rest of the day, which is a huge saving as a full price adult ticket is £28.50.
An early start
We got up early as we had to leave home at about 7:30am. We’d got in late the night before as we’d been to see my aunt and family who live relatively close to Eden Project parkrun. Poor M didn’t want to get out of bed, so we left her in her babygro and took clothes to change her into.
As expected, the roads were quiet, so we arrived at the Eden Project with enough time to park, get M changed and use the loos.
The run briefing takes place in the shelter by the coach park where the toilets are located. We were told that it was possible to put jackets and other items of clothing in some large bags that the tail walkers carry down to the finish.
Participants, volunteers and ‘supporters’ are allowed free entry into Eden Project. I’d told my mum this and originally assumed that she was going to be a supporter with Stu and I running. However, on Saturday morning, my mum got dressed in her running kit and said that she was going to join us. I was surprised as it has been quite a few months since my mum’s last parkrun. She has had problems with her hip and was advised not to participate, but she says that it has now recovered. She also agreed to take M.
Before taking part in the run, I read a description which said that it was a 2km run down into the former quarry followed by 3 loops at the bottom. Although that description is technically correct, I misinterpreted it to mean that the last 3km was flat.
The weather was sunny, so the views were stunning. Most of our week in Cornwall, the weather had been terrible with torrential rain and strong winds, so this was a pleasant change.
What’s the course like?
The first hundred metres of so of the run was up a slight incline before we turned onto the main downhill path. It was beautifully smooth and I appreciated the lovely views. We had been told that we would see an enormous tyre on the course and that we would have to pass it 3 times. By the time I got to it, I was already feeling hot and tired. before Killerton parkrun, we were Run Directors for two weeks and I’ve had a lot on at work, so I’ve not been doing much running.
When I was on my second loop of the course, I saw my mum pushing M. I was feeling hot and tried, so I was worried about how my mum would be feeling. I took the buggy from her and carried on. Shortly afterwards, Stuart ran past on his way to the finish. I shouted after him to come back and look for my mum when he had completed his run.
As the Eden Project is in a former quarry, it is sheltered from the wind… and if you’ve ever spent any time in Cornwall, you’ll know that that makes a significant difference to the temperature. I was hoping for a cool breeze and dreaming of a cold drink on my final lap. I was so grateful that a section of it was in the shade.
Eventually, the tropical biomes and finish funnel were in sight. I put on a bit of a sprint and was relieved to have finished in 32:28.
After I’d had my token scanned, I walked back down the course to see if I could see my mum. I waited for a while, but she wasn’t in sight, so I walked back to the finish. There was no sign of my mum, so I worried that there might be a problem.
Celebrations all round!
After a while, my mum appeared in view. I had been expecting her to drop out after two laps. When Stu caught up with her she insisted that she was going to finish. I felt so proud of her. I was also pleased for Stu who finished in the frustrating time of exactly 20 minutes. For someone who does next to no training, he’s doing well to maintain his fitness!
I’m a stats lover, so I always love to see where I come in the results. I think Saturday must have been a first for me as I was the runner with the highest number of runs (and the only person who had a green 250 t-shirt) at Eden Project parkrun!
Exploring the biomes
After we’d finished the run, we stopped at the cafe for a drink and a snack. I bought us each a can of water… and then realised that they had reusable cups and water available. However, I wasn’t too bothered as at least we were making some sort of financial contribution to the Eden Project. (I reminded myself of that when we bought more drinks and ice-creams later in the day).
We changed our clothes for non-running gear that we’d loaded into the buggy and then headed off into the biomes to explore.
We had a wonderful time walking around. I first visited the Eden Project the year it opened and have visited many times since then. It’s amazing to see how much has changed. Without parkrun, I probably wouldn’t have visited again this year, so I’m really grateful that we had this opportunity.
Gift from my mum
I thought I’d include one more thing in this blog post. Nowadays, most races that give finishers t-shirts have learnt that technical t-shirts are more useful than cotton shirts. However, I had many t-shirts that held special memories for me. My brilliant mum stitched them into this quilt and gave it to me when I was at home. I’ll admit that I don’t love the colours, but I’ll treasure if because of the memories that it evokes 🙂
Have you done any parkrun tourism recently? What do you do with your old race t-shirts?