Bexley parkrun is cancelled on 2021-05-22 – COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Keith’s Non-run story

Two Sunday's ago the Government suggested that the over seventies should isolate and stay at home. I heard this whilst listening to Radio 5. My immediate reaction was indignation, to think that the Government labelled me as a helpless old codger. So I did something I've never done before.

As a rather kneejerk reaction I sent an angry text to Radio 5 stating that myself and others in my age group are healthy, fit, not obese, we don't smoke and we run marathons. "DO THEY MEAN US" I pushed the send button before I realised I hadn't given my name but a few hours later my phone rang. The screen said No caller id. I soon found out. "Hello sir, BBC Radio 5 here, would you like to be on the Morning Show with Nicky Campbell tomorrow, we like to talk to you and would it be possible to also talk to one of your children if you have any."

After slight hesitation I said yes and after consulting my son who also agreed to be on air it was arranged, after a few formalities, (they had to ask my name etc) for the BBC to call both of us after 8am the next morning. At 8.15 a Radio 5 technician phoned and asked me to switch onto Facetime and wait for Nicky Campbell to speak to me. They could see me but I couldn't see them so I conducted the interview looking at myself on my phone. The problem was I came down with a heavy cold and cough during the night and just managed to hold it together whilst on air. The point of it all was the fact that at 72 years old I was still in a fit condition and training for the London Marathon and other races. Nicky and I exchanged our marathon pb's and I was disappointed to hear he is 11 minutes quicker than me but as he pointed out he was 42 at the time whereas I was 58 when I did 3.30.53. He chatted with my son Chris and to be honest I've forgotten the details of what was said but basically it was about oldies being fit and healthy although I must point out I don't regard myself as being an "oldie" by a long long shot.

The chat ended with Nicky saying thanks Keith we'll speak again. What did he mean by that? Is he going to call me after this year's London Marathon to see how I got on. Watch this space. Anyway it looks like I've had my 15 minutes of fame even though that was squeezed into a 2 or 3 minute slot on radio.

The irony of this situation is the fact that after telling the nation that although I'm over seventy and that my gym has recently calculated my biological age as 42 I have actually become a non-runner due to this cold and cough which has persisted for nearly a fortnight. I've not had the symptoms of Covid-19 but haven't ventured from the house as a precaution.

That's been my post-parkrun-closedown experience but I hope the rest of you are maintaining your fitness and managing the occasional run but keeping to Government advice.


The first Bexley ‘no-run report’


Today I stood alone at 9am.
No microphone in my hand and no milestone runs to announce.
Our stopwatches never started.
Our scanners never scanned.
But we are still parkrun.


Our course did not tremble under pounding feet,
The funnel remained rolled up,
No sorting of tokens needed today.
But we are still parkrun.


You will get no Saturday parkrun email.
No PB’s to cheer for this week.
A freeze in your milestone chase.
But we are still parkrun.

The actions we take today and the decisions made are going to result in us returning to the parkrun that we love, and hopefully sooner than every fears!

So I want to keep you up with as much normality as possible at this time, and I'd urge you to share with us your stories of how you're keeping fit, spending your Saturday mornings or just a quick feel good story.

I still put on my milestone tshirt and went for a run but it wasn’t the same as being with you all. Here are some of your Saturday adventures without the p-word…

pier run
My inaugral Erith Pier parkrun - including 1 full lap of Londons longest piers at 360m (each way)!

Tessa and her brother running loops to the shop for supplies (at a safe distance)!

in addition to this, we had Liz Ramsey out and about, Chris & Jude Leighton - and a number of Danson Runners also spreading Orange throughout the borough. ALL keeping a safe distance from others of course!

Do make the most of this time and make the most of social media to share love and laughs with others who may need it. Far better to see smiles than constant panic and worry, leave that for the News to spread!


Bexley parkrun cancellation notice

Well I'm sorry to say, but it's official now guys. UK parkrun events are all cancelled now until the end of the month. Emails will have gone out to you all, but in summary:

“All parkrun events in the United Kingdom have been suspended with immediate effect due to the ongoing COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation. At this stage we have cancelled events up to the end of March. Please follow our communications channels for ongoing updates. parkrun’s global position is published and will be updated here.”

It's an utter blow to everyone involved in parkrun but these decisions are not made lightly. I hope you can all keep up with your friends via other avenues, and perhaps even keep up your running where convenient.

Take care - and see you soon!

Paul and the team


No handshakes, elbow bumps only please… And not a mask in sight!

Well done to the 382 of you crossing the finish line and thanks for visiting us this morning! We had 20 first timers with tourists coming up from Southend to name one place making up our numbers. Rushing to cross the finish line and sanitise their hands we had 60 of you recording new Personal Bests too.

The event was made possible with Andy taking charge and the following volunteers:

Joe CLEVERLY • Sylvia JENNINGS • Jessica GOTHBERG • Louise DRAYTON • Melissa STEER • Louise SMITH • Keeley WICKS • Tan TRUONG • Karen NOULTON • Alex SLATTER • Paul SLATTER • Pat SIMS • Denise WILLIS • Lisa BAXTER • Isla CARLIN • Stephanie TURNER • Karen CHUTER

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Bexley parkrun Results Page.

Some notable runs for the following people:

Helen Griffiths and John Greig completing their 50th parkrun.
Emily Miller on her 100th parkrun.
Keeley Wicks on her 150th parkrun.
Pete Basham on his 300th Bexley parkrun!

Please remember that as much as we try to congratulate you on your milestones – in case we miss something please do drop us an email or give us a nudge on the day before our run brief.

Thank you to everyone for the silence in listening to the pre-run brief today. Andy gave out some clear instructions and this was reflected in the movement in the finish funnel working really well today – so thank you all for that.

"Hand out, plam up for your finish token please!"

"Hand out, plam up for your finish token please!"

Our scanners all used their phones today as the parkrun volunteer app becomes more popular – with the exception of people trying to scan library cards, gym passes and tesco clubcards – this is a much easier and less stressful way for our volunteers to do their roles. You can also use this app as a time keeper. Why not download it and have a look, and see how easy it is, you can drop us an email to volunteer. Our future roster can be found HERE.

On a serious note, please keep up to date with parkrun news on the Covid-19 virus HERE and of course across social media on our official streams – facebook, Instagram and our News page.

With the current status of events, gathering and government information being updated seemingly daily, please do keep yourself in the know.

But as times like this, when we're not scrambling around for extra loo roll, hand sanitiser or stock-piling pasta, tinned foods or alcohol (you know who you are!) - remember these choice words from Roger Bannister:

We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves…The more restricted our society and work become, the more necessary it will be to find some outlet for this craving for freedom. No one can say, ‘You must not run faster than this, or jump higher than that.’ The human spirit is indomitable.

Have a good, safe week - happy parkrunning!

Bexley parkrun started on 4th February 2012. Since then 12,272 participants have completed 120,002 parkruns covering a total distance of 600,010 km, including 19,011 new Personal Bests. A total of 900 individuals have volunteered 6,205 times.

The male record is held by Berihu HADERA who recorded a time of 15:39 on 1st September 2012 (event number 30).
The female record is held by Chloe SHARP who recorded a time of 18:23 on 17th October 2015 (event number 192).
The Age Grade course record is held by Holly PAGE who recorded 86.31% (18:52) on 29th June 2013 (event number 73).


International Womens Day parkrun

Thank you to Karen Cole for this week's report. Karen and David visited from Havant parkrun before going on to walk another 11 miles of the Thames Path Walkway afterwards! Karen described Bexley as a lovely course and hopes to visit again when the flowers are in bloom.

On turning up at the start line, we found a cheery band of volunteers, who were massing and being briefed as to their duties which lifted our spirits as they do each parkrun morning. The parkrun fairies were kind to us today and managed to keep the rain clouds away too even if it were a tad chilly running in front of the house.

The runner’s briefing warmly welcomed and introduced all runners to the course layout. What a lovely meandering course you have too exploring Danson Park.This type of course provides lots of opportunities for the faster runners to receive and indeed give encouragement as they whipped past us slower mortals on their second lap. PB opportunities were more likely today as the course had dried considerably, but it was all about staying vertical and running in a straight line through the small trail section as there was plenty of that extra special parkrun mud to negotiate still. The new runners briefing also had the additional supportive chat about how parkrun operates afterwards.

There were a fair few tourists at Bexley today which allowed the perfect opportunity to catch up on where we had been recently and where we were soon off to. Today, tourists from Brockwell, Havant and as far away as Bermuda to name but a few were using Bexley parkrun as their tourist venue, Danson Runners were well supported today as usual in their vibrant, fluorescent orange tops.

Andy, our RD for the day, gave a big thank you to the volunteers who gave up their time to ensure that we were able to run this morning. There were certainly a cheery band of Marshalls out around the course, all supporting by giving encouragement and clapping. Don’t forget if you are unable to run, have a race coming up or are just generally a good egg, then volunteering is a great way to give back to the parkrun community. Head over to the Bexley parkrun webpage for details of the next few weeks roster and sign up for a position that suits you- you get to wear a hi- vis jacket! -what more incentive do you want?

There were a few first timers who are always warmly welcomed and are on the start of their parkrun journey and working towards their first milestones. The trick is when working towards your milestones is #DFYB - Don’t Forget Your Barcode! ???? of you were listed as unknown runners this morning. That’s one run less to count towards those coveted milestone tees. Were you celebrating a special milestone this week? Just like Debra Allchin who was celebrating her 100th and Nicky Butterworth who was completing her 250! That’s the great thing about parkrun isn’t it, that each person has their own individual journey to talk about. Especially pertinent though to also remember to hand in your finish token, parkrun needs them for next week as they unfortunately are not a souvenir, medal or indeed your own version of Bingo!

There were a fair few people going back to the on site Danson Stables pub for the apres parkrun, with refreshing drink options with a chance to purchase hot and cold food options to go with them, which allowed perfect opportunity to catch up on how all of our runs had gone and what we thought of the course.

Thank you again Bexley parkrun for perfectly starting our weekend off. Look forward to seeing you all again soon.

This week 499 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 45 were first timers and 55 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 33 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 23 volunteers:

Joe CLEVERLY • Elizabeth FEREBEE • Andy HOLMAN • Sue HULLS-SMITH • Karen COLE • Karen HOGAN • Fiona MORRIS • Michelle KIRBY • Keeley WICKS • Lisa MASON • Graham LEE • Abi HEILBRON • Helen GRIFFITHS • Ben SAMPSON • Jenni GILBERT • Mandy PORTMAN • Stephanie TURNER • Robyn LUSTED • Alison TAYLOR • Andrew RUNACRE • Karen CHUTER • Finley OWEN • Erin GORMAN

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Bexley parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Berihu HADERA who recorded a time of 15:39 on 1st September 2012 (event number 30).
The female record is held by Chloe SHARP who recorded a time of 18:23 on 17th October 2015 (event number 192).
The Age Grade course record is held by Holly PAGE who recorded 86.31% (18:52) on 29th June 2013 (event number 73).

Bexley parkrun started on 4th February 2012. Since then 12,252 participants have completed 119,620 parkruns covering a total distance of 598,100 km, including 18,951 new Personal Bests. A total of 900 individuals have volunteered 6,186 times.

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