Worthing parkrun

The one with the cake club on tour! Today I’m in the company of some wonderful friends from Havant, the cake club, who have also decided to make the 40 mile trip down the A27 to the sunny seaside town of Worthing. Worthing parkrun is relatively new, this being event #6, so we’ve left it an “appropriate” amount of time since it started before making the journey. 

Worthing is quite comparable to Southsea parkrun, being an out and back along the promenade, it’s fast, flat and very often windswept! It’s all Tarmac apart from the finish funnel which is on to grass, so definitely road shoes for this run. The course record is a blistering 15:36(M) and 17:27(F) both set on event #4 on the 2nd July, a fast day in Worthing that day. This is definitely a PB course if you’re hunting one.

The start line is between the pier and the stunning misty stones, parking is straight forward enough, plenty of on street parking nearby (zoned 2 hour limit) as well as local car parks. The finish adjacent Splashpoint Leisure Centre a short distance away from the start. The route takes us out past the Pavilion, to the turn around point, then back past the start to the finish at Splashpoint. If you love running by the sea then this is a course for you, providing lovely views across the channel.

As 9am approaches there is a good mixture of people milling around at the finish area, an eclectic mix of neon garbed runners and volunteers of all ages, shapes and sizes. There are “couch to 5k” graduates, new runners, club runners, parkrun newbies and those that have been there, run that, got the tshirt. The inclusiveness of parkrun is fantastic, you can go to a parkrun pretty much anywhere and have the same sense of welcome and belonging. 

The first timers are called over for their briefing, joined by a few of tourists who were ushered away to the main brief whilst the first timers had the basics explained to them. The course doesn’t need much explaining, even I would find it hard to get lost, so tourists needn’t attend. The main brief was given by this weeks run director, Stefanie RANSLEY, by way of megaphone to the 267 runners gathered before her. The volunteers are thanked, the first timers and tourists welcomed (including that rowdy lot from Havant), there are no milestones today. As an added bonus Worthing parkrun have kindly laid on 3 pacers, 22/25/30 minute Pacers and they are duley introduced and applauded.  Then finally it’s on to the health and safety stuffs before the short walk to the start line.

We rock up to the start as a run collective, 9am arrives and with little pomp and ceremony 3-2-1 we’re off. It really is a hot and sunny this morning with very little breeze to speak of, is the British Summer finally here? In no time the pack thins out as people get up to pace. There are some fast runners out the front with 10 running sub 20, which is to be applauded on a day like today. The run out to the turnaround point was pleasant enough with the sun and a gentle breeze, then wham! turnaround (thank you marshal) and it’s almost like stepping off a plane on your hols, instant heat and very still, no breeze. Definitely a PB course this as its pancake flat, but too hot for this parkrunner on the return to push any harder for that elusive time.

The finish is a well regimented affair, with a nice congratulations from the marshals as we cross the finish line, and a nice focus on ensuring that there are no funnel duckers, inadvertently or otherwise. There are two barcode scanners out and the somewhat sweaty runners are processed through quickly and efficiently. Post run on a day like today there quite a few people taking advantage of the Splash Point to cool down a bit, a refreshing and welcome end to a hot and sticky run. 

Now cooled down from our exertions it can mean only one thing, time for a bit of cake! Is parkrun parkrun without a bit of cake at the finish? Luckily the Havant cake club brought plenty and offered it out to anyone still there at the end. Marvellous. I also managed to obtain a Cornetto, post parkrun Cornetto is a thing, honest!

A big thank you to everyone at Worthing parkrun, the Run Director, the volunteers, the Pacers and other runners who made us feel very welcome on this glorious morning! What a great way to spend parkrunday!

Oh yeah, almost forgot…

Worthing parkrun results for event #6. Your time was 00:23:51.

Congratulations on completing your 38th parkrun and your 1st at Worthing parkrun today. You finished in 78th place and were the 67th male out of a field of 267 parkrunners and you came 11th in your age category VM40-44. Well done on your first run. We have set this as your PB.

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