This weekend saw my first parkrun/football combo of the 2019/20 season, and what better way to start than with a sunny weekend and a visit to the Devon coast? Teignmouth Promenade appealed for two reasons: one, the lovely seaside location, and two, it starts with a T. Yes, I could have gone to Tooting or Tilgate but where’s the fun in that?
Teignmouth is a gorgeous little seaside town with a red sandy beach nestled between two cliffs on the south coast. It is apparently best known for being the home of Muse. Since 2018, it has also been the home of Teignmouth Promenade parkrun.
The parkrun is exactly what you’d expect from a seafront parkrun. It starts by the pier, then proceeds in a north easterly direction just about as far as one can go along the seafront towards the cliff. The promenade is quite narrow, and it’s a bit of a slow start, but this was mitigated by the parkrun team doing their best to line everyone up in order of expected finish time. There’s a couple of ramps, but otherwise the route is completely flat, and although half of it is on paved paths rather than seamless concrete it is in good repair with no obvious trip hazards.
There’s one bottleneck where you go through a slalom gate, and a very narrow bit where you run between a wall and a railing, but I don’t think these slowed me down significantly. I imagine the latter might be more of a problem if you were in the business of lapping people. This was not a problem I had.
The course proceeds to the little lighthouse, turns round and delivers you back where you started. Then there’s another full lap, followed by half a lap, finishing in the same place that it started (a little shelter thing with benches, which is also where you leave your bags).
Barcode scanning takes place at a cafe the other side of the green, and there are also reasonably hygienic public toilets on said green. The team were lovely as always, and the run director gave Leyton Orient a name check in the run briefing. This seemed to cause more bewilderment than anything amongst fellow parkrunners. Obviously, it fine to travel 350km to do a parkrun but why on earth would anyone go that far to watch League 2 football?! I met some tourists from Portsmouth and there was apparently one other vegan runner there but he was incognito so I didn’t get to discuss avocados with him. The run director gave me a “go vegan runner!” as I passed which was nice. I do not take such things for granted after the fell race incident.
It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day and as I ran I could hear waves crashing on the beach and see the sun glinting off the sea. It was a gorgeous day for a morning run, but maybe a little warm for me to be bothering the PB bell, though I finished in a respectable 35:54.
If you happen to find yourself in Teignmouth, you should definitely take a swim in the sea, which was calm and clean and not ridiculously cold. I was a little bit freaked out by the enormous jellyfish that washed up while I was drying off but I am told it is “only” a barrel jellyfish and not harmful to humans. You do not get box jellyfish in Devon or indeed anywhere outside Australia and the Pacific. When you have done that, there are lots of vegan friendly eateries to choose from. I tried to eat in Nourish, which is all-vegan, but there was nowhere to sit, so I went to Perrylicious, which is omnivorous, but healthy/vegan/eco friendly and had a delicious vegan breakfast with avocado ice cream. Most of the numerous ice cream outlets dotted around the town and beach offer a couple of vegan varieties and I was very pleased to have my first mint choc chip cone in over a year.