The last two weeks of 2019, were certainly not quite ones for Looe Pioneers. With many athletes taking part in their longest run of the year, and having festive fun along the way.
A record number of pioneers attended the festive Park Run at Eden Project, where athletes, donning seasonal fancy dress, run a 5K route, around the Eden. An impressive 47 Pioneers, and juniors took part in the race, which was the highest turnout for the pioneers at Eden Park Run for the year. Park runs are excellent events, which happen all over country. They are free to enter and are 5K in length starting at 9am. As they are open to everyone, you can try for a PB, or take it at a slower pace and enjoy the hour before the site opens. Both the Deacon brother's put in an amazing effort, with Mark Deacon coming in 4th overall, and his brother, Andy coming in top 20. Jo Robinson finished first for the females. Gary Williams come in the top 20 out of nearly 300 competing athletes that day.
Christmas Eve saw the Looe Pioneers compete in a practice run of the Looe 10 miler, which is due to take place in late February. The route, takes the athletes from Millpool car park, running up West Road, across the muddy and in places slippery Downs. Then the athletes run towards Portlooe, and on to country lanes passed Hendersick National Trust site and on to Talland. Here they loop around Talland, taking them up to West Waylands Touring Park, back to Talland. Then the athletes run back passed the Hendersick National Trust site, then back home to Looe, via The Downs, then onwards and gratefully after a hilly run, downwards to the finish at the Millpool car park. For half a dozen of the Pioneers this was their first 10 mile race, including Jay Wagstaff, Mags Pope and Becky Allman. For Kathy Saunders, Darren Hardwick and Donna Gundry who were all part of the this years couch to 5 K training programme, this was a great achievement to have completed the route, having only started running in January 2019. Maddie Southall a junior pioneer, also completed the 10 mile route, she was the only junior to compete this year in the Christmas eve event.
On Christmas Day when most people were opening their presents, Nina Bond and Christian Boyce, who are both race directors for Park Run with the additional support from Mark Deacon, organised a very special Park Run. Putting all three of them on Santa's nice list for year. Taking place at the usual 9 am start time, a record number of people to take part in the 5K run, at Plym Valley. A staggering 400 athletes joined the athletic trio on Christmas Day morning for the Park Run, with Kylie Bond, Nina's sister joining in the 5K run.
To end the year on a high, dozens of Looe Pioneers meet again at the Millpool car park to have another practice at the 10 miler route on New Years Eve. Following the same route as the Christmas Eve run. Athletes were greeted with the same muddy, and hilly conditions.