Last week saw, after weeks of preparation, Looe Pioneers operating again as a running club, for most people this is the first time in 6 months that they have had an opportunity to meet up with fellow athletes and run. Having gone through many changes due to COVID-19 regulations, the club has needed to invest in a track and trace system, and is limited to 12 runners per evening session. However it was great to see the return of the running club, not only does the running club help with fitness, and provide a socially distance support network, the club provides a much needed support for mental health, during such trying times. The session started in the car park, where athletes used the white car park space lines, to ensure that a safe 2M distance was adhered to.
This was the start of an excellent week for the Looe Pioneers, with many of the runners taking part in the Cornwall Air Ambulance 10K virtual run. Last year, this took place at Newquay airport and provided athletes with an opportunity to run under the recently grounded Thomas Cook planes, however with the pandemic, this year the run could take place in any location, at any time during the weekend, and this time athletes could split the distance, or even cycle to complete the 10K. For the Looe Pioneers many took up the challenge. Emma Collins and Sandra Northcott completed their 10K during Saturday. Whereas Donna Gundry, Nina Bond and Lynne Overd ran during Sunday morning. With all the runners ensuring that they adhered to at least 2M running distance. Jay Wagstaff completed her 10K along the scenic Coastal Path and then ran another 5K for the Race for Life. Julie Gregory also completed her 10K run, as part of her action packed weekend, as on Sunday she took part in the Breakwater Swim in Plymouth.
William Gundry, aged 8, learnt how to ride his bike during lockdown as part of his daily outdoor exercise allowance. He took to his bike and completed his 10K over the weekend, riding just over 5K in the picturesque Seaton, then completing his distance Saturday afternoon around Looe. He also managed to raise £50 for Cornwall Air Ambulance.
With the Sunday morning runners also being able to cheer on Anne Libby, who completed her Race for Life run, running and raising money for Cancer Research UK. Along the run she was supported by fellow Pioneers, whilst social distancing. Clive Finnimore who ran with Anne, then completed the Watopia Run Festival, a virtual half marathon on his treadmill, in an impressive 1:58:52.
Rob Kernaghan and Sandra Hayes completed the Man up Man Down, a 20K Coastal Path trail run along the rugged north Cornwall coast, from Portreath to Perranporth, taking in some very steep terrain. This run was created in partnership with Man Down Cornwall, a charity supporting mental health in men for the county. Rob Kernaghan completed the route in 2:38:48, with Sandra completing it in 3:18:54.