parkruns in Cornwall – done!

Selfie of Tamsyn and Stuart at Tamar Lakes.

One of my goals for this year was to complete all of the parkruns in Cornwall. Land’s End started fairly recently and I managed to do that last week so that just left me with Tamar Lakes.

You can read about my adventures at the other parkruns in Cornwall:

Heartlands parkrun

Christmas gives parkrunners and extra run, so before heading off to Tamar Lakes, I had the opportunity to fit in a local parkrun. We’d intended to run at Penrose on Christmas Day as it’s a buggy-friendly course. However, my mum agreed to look after M, so Stu and I opted for Penrose. It’s an easier drive as it’s just 10 minutes down the A30.

When we got there, we were pleased to find that the loos were open. We expected to see fellow club member Donna as her family live locally, but did not expect to see Di and Mike Mattingly who usually run in Southampton. It was a lovely surprise.

Stu was feeling on form, as can be seen in the photo below. He had a ‘leisurely jog’ round and finished in 9th place.

Stuart at Heartlands parkrun.

A late night on Christmas Eve meant I knew that a season’s best wasn’t a possibility. I just wanted to finish in under 30 minutes.

Runners at Heartlands parkrun. Tamsyn is in the photo.

My legs felt really tired and I started to wonder whether I’d even finish the run at points.

Tamsyn at Heartlands parkrun.

On my second lap, one of the first finishers lapped me. He called out ‘on your right’, but I was so tired that I stepped right. If he’s reading this, my apologies!

How did I do?

I was really happy to finish in under 30 minutes and thought it might even be my best time at Heartlands this year.

When I got my result, I was delighted to find it was an event PB! I finished 83/154 participants and was 27/70 women. I finished 5/13 in my age category.

Tamsyn's result from Heartlands parkrun on Christmas Day 2019: 28:47.

Although this was only an event PB, it’s really motivated me to train hard in 2020 and aim for some more PBs!

Tamar Lakes parkrun

We got up at 6:30 to travel to Tamar Lakes as it’s over 70 miles from my mum’s house. It’s rare that I venture this far just for parkrun tourism, but I desperately wanted to finish my set of Cornish parkruns.

View of North Lake at Tamar Lakes.

We arrived fifteen minutes before the start of the run. Parking was already limited, but we were directed into a space.

The walkway across the dam at Tamar lakes.

We could see the dam and there were some runners warming up on the path across it.

The dam at Tamar Lakes.
Some trees with the dam at Tamar Lakes behind them.

After a brief queue for the toilet, we headed down to the start. The Run Director kept the brief short and sweet, but it was full of humour. Then we were off.

What’s the course like?

The first section of path across the dam was concrete, but then it was onto compacted gravel alongside some farmland.

The course is described as having undulating sections, which seems a fair description. There are no real hills, but there are some short inclines, which keep you on your toes.

We were warned about a slippery bridge halfway along the course. It’s wood covered in chicken wire and I didn’t find it posed any problems.

After rounding the top of the lake, there was a muddy section. Until that point, there had been runners either side of me. The ones in front of me pulled ahead and the ones behind me seemed to lose ground, so I ended up on my own for a while.

The second half

After we left the muddy section behind, I was hit by the headwind. It seems to have been a theme in my recent parkruns. Again, I was overcome by tiredness and started to slow. I could hear a runner closing on me and did my best to rally.

In the last 100m, I was passed by a gentleman who was over 70. He clearly knew the finish better than me and had enough energy left for a final sprint!

The finish funnel at Tamar Lakes parkrun.
Runners near the finish at Tamar Lakes parkrun.

After the run, some parkrunners were running a pop-up cafe with hot drinks and cake on offer for a donation. Stu and I bought a tea and a coffee and two slices of delicious lemon drizzle cake.

Queuing for coffee and cake at the pop up cafe.
The finish funnel at Tamar lakes parkrun.

Before leaving, we posed for a few photos by the signs as evidence that we’d made it to the run. It’s a lovely location and would be a fantastic place to walk in summer… but it is a very long way from Hayle or Southampton!

Selfie of Tamsyn and Stuart at Tamar Lakes.
Tamar Lakes information sign.

How did I do?

Stuart managed another top ten finish, coming 3rd overall. My time was 29:51, so I managed another sub 30 run.

Tamsyn's result from Tamar Lakes parkrun on 28/12/19: 29:51.

I just about squeezed into the top half finishing 72/145. I almost made it into the top 1/3 of women finishing 25/70. In my age category, I came 4/12. The fastest time for a woman in my age category at Tamar Lakes was set by Mara Yamauchi. The 4th fastest time was set by World Champion cyclist Wendy Houvenaghel.

My #YearInSport from Strava

My year in sport strava totals - 98 hours, 1226km, 10107m elevation.

Did you finish your running year with a parkrun? How was it?

I'd love to hear your thoughts...

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