Tag Archives: Lanhydrock parkrun

2014 race awards

18 Dec
For this post, I’ve linked up with Montana at Pretty Lil Mudder  and a few other fab fitness bloggers – be sure to check out their posts. Here are my 2014 race awards… drum roll, please…
Most Scenic Course
For me this award has to go to Lanhydrock parkrun It’s in a beautiful location, but as the course profile shows, it’s not an easy route:
Lanhydrock parkrun course profile
The event takes place on a National Trust property, which is a stunning old country house. This photo of the gatehouse shows just how magnficent it is.
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Most Challenging Course
This was a difficult award to decide on. The profile of Lanhydrock parkrun made it a runner up, but overall, I decided to present it to Adidas Thunder Run. This event is a 24 hour relay on a 10k cross country course. It has lots of different sections: uphill, downhill, short grass, compact ground, mud. The weather conditions were also quite warm.  I ended up running 50k as part of a 7-person relay team.
Best Expo
This was a tough choice as the only races that tend to have expos in the UK are marathons, and I only ran one this year (Brighton). In the end, I decided to award it to the Triathlon Show with Primera Tri Expo as runner up.
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Best Post-Race Food/Beverages
Braishfield 5 mile beer race – beer, cake and water – what more can I say?
Best Swag
This was another tough category to judge. The goodie bag at Brighton Marathon was good, but the prize has to go to Good Fri Tri, where finishers were not only given a medal, some dried fruit, a drink and their choice of free gift (mug and coaster; bike bottle or buff), but also a lovely Cadbury’s Easter egg 🙂
Good Fri Tri finishers

Stuart and I before collecting our Easter eggs

Most Unique Medal
I loved the ribbon on my Brighton Marathon medal, but probably the one that I liked most was from Eastleigh triathlon:
medal
TryTri have custom medals for every race 🙂
Favorite Race Shirt (tech tee or reg)
I’ve not received many tshirts from races this year. I quite liked the Wiggle Spring Sportive tshirt, but the one that I’ve worn the most is the  Gu Energy Classic tshirt from Bustinskin. It’s a wicking cotton tshirt that was produced in both men’s and women’s sizes 🙂
GU tshirt
Favorite Overall Race
I really enjoyed taking part in Weymouth Half. An advantage of taking part in triathlons is that the order of the disciplines is the same as my confidence levels. I started the day feeling nervous, but my confidence soared when I was on the bike and although my run didn’t go quite as I’d hoped, the crowds were brilliant. The whole event was amazing and I would recommend it to anyone.
Tamsyn running in Weymouth

It was such a relief to see the finish arch © Katherine Anteney

Best Course Support (aid stations, volunteers, people cheering you on, etc)
I loved the crowd support at Weymouth Half… but there wasn’t a huge amount of support out on the bike course. I’m awarding this one to Brighton Marathon as I desperately needed the crowd support during this race and it didn’t let me down!
14 miles © Emily Smith

14 miles © Emily Smith

Race You Are Most Proud of Yourself for Completing
This has to be Weymouth Half – as someone who couldn’t swim 18 months before the race, it has taken a lot of hard work and determination to get to a stage where I could take part in this race. I also had various health battles this year, so I was proud to make the start line and even prouder to finish!
Lap 3 © Marathon-photos

Lap 3 © Marathon-photos

I’d recommend checking out which races my fellow Girls Gone Sporty Ambassadors have presented their awards to:
Which events that you took part in this year would you give prizes to?

What goes down…

8 Feb

Stuart and I decided that as we were in Cornwall today and a parkrun has finally started, we ought to go and try it out. It’s at Lanhydrock, a lovely National Trust property that is about 40 miles away from where my mum lives and not very far at all from Eden Project.

We had to get up early and the weather here has been horrendous, so I wasn’t really looking forward to the run, but at 7:30am, there wasn’t much traffic on the road, so it was an easy drive. We arrived just after 8am, so there weren’t many people around. Initially, I had thought that I might be able to do a few kms before the run and a few kms after the run and magically it would turn into 13 miles of marathon training (or I would manage to do about 10km and could do the other 10-12km later on today), but we realised on arrival that we wanted to find the toilets!

It was quite a long walk from the car park to Lanhydrock House and it was quite chilly. We passed the Run Director on the way down and said hello.

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Lanhydrock is a beautiful house, although somewhat compact in comparison with some of the grander National Trust properties. I was proud to see the Cornish flag flying:

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We then headed back up towards the start where a few people had started to gather. We’ve been to fairly small parkruns before and enjoy the local atmosphere, but as this was only the 4th event, there hasn’t really been enough time for the community atmosphere to form. Lanhydrock parkrun isn’t associated with any particular running club (no club has had more than 16 runners there so far) and a lot of the runners were unaffiliated.

On our back to the start, we passed the finish funnel, and I started to wonder about what the route would be like. Would we have to run back up the hill to the finish? …and would we then have to walk even further up the hill to the start where I was going to leave my bag with money for refreshments?

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Stuart and I decided to do a little warm up jog as it was still quite cold and breezy and there wasn’t a lot of shelter. We ran a few hundred metres down a path and then back. The Run Director then started her briefing, but it was difficult to hear as some people were enjoying a raucous conversation just behind us. We were warned that the only signs on the course were 3-2-1 Run England marker posts and I assumed that it was a one lap course. There was also mention of a fallen tree and a part of the course where we would get our feet wet… and then it started to rain a little…

We headed off down the path towards the manor house and then turned left through a gateway, where we encountered a cobbled path. It turned uphill and I couldn’t see how far up we had to run, so I decided not to push too hard. Stu had decided to run with me. We hadn’t gone far when the path started sloping downwards again. Although the rain had stopped, it was very slippery with a lot of mud and loose stones, as well as there being quite a few turns. I enjoy running downhill, but as the title of this post alludes, I kept reminding myself that in a circular run route, what goes down, must come back up!

After about 1.5km we came across a fallen tree that we skirted around. It wasn’t very large, but I assumed that it was what we had been warned about. We continued on and saw the first runner go past, at great speed. Then at 2km, we reached an enormous tree that had been felled by the horrendous weather. It makes me so sad to see something like that as I wonder how many trees that are saplings now will live to such a great age. At this point, I was feeling rather warm, so I removed my gloves and jacket whilst running.

At about 2.5km, Stu and I arrived at the ‘water feature’. I was expecting a rather large puddle, but was totally unprepared for having to run in a river for about 500m. It was quite cold, but my feet were feeling warm, thanks to my lovely Salomon Speedcross shoes.

We came out of the water and onto the path where we had seen the first placed runner earlier. I knew that as we were nearly 3km into the run then it was going to be a couple of kilometres of uphill running. Ahead, I could see some people were walking and I did wonder whether it would be faster, but I didn’t want to let myself down, so I pushed on. We passed a cheery marshal by another fallen tree and then crossed a field. At times, there are sheep and cows on the course, but we were fortunate enough not to encounter any today. Finally, Stu pointed out that we were on the path where we had done a warm up earlier – yes – we were going to have a downhill finish.

The final 200m was downhill all the way. Stu ran ahead to pick up my shoebag and then we charged down the hill to the finish. I finished in 32:45, which is one of my slowest runs ever, but I really enjoyed it. I was 37th out of 56 runners and was 12th out of 22 female runners. I was also first in my age category (out of two!) The first finisher managed to complete it in 17:52, which is a new course record.

After we finished running, Stu and I stopped to cheer on some of the other runners, as well as chatting to some of the volunteers, before heading back down to the house for some refreshments.

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Part of me was tempted to look around the house, as it’s about 20 years since I was last here, but I also wanted to warm up and have a drink.

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I had thought about offering to help with the kit, but looking back, I could see the team had it covered…

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As I walked into the courtyard, the sun came out, which helped to show off the beautifully manicured garden. Then the parkrun volunteer team arrived. I am so jealous of the little truck to carry their kit about – it would be fab if we could have one in Southampton!

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I think that if I had seen the course profile before we did the run, then I may not have been brave enough to get out of bed. It definitely felt as challenging as any of the cross country races that I’ve done, even if it was shorter than most of them.

Lanhydrock parkrun course profile

In short, I would describe it as 2.5km of steep, twisty, turny, slippery, rocky downhill trails, followed by 500m of running IN a river and then 1.98m of uphill slog, with the last 2oom being a lovely downhill run. It is the toughest parkrun that I have ever done, even when compared with Alice Holt!