Run Report Declan Sheridan
Thanks to Catherine Fletcher, one of our ED’s, for asking me to have a go at writing a run report . so here it is
The 4th Blackpool Virtual parkrun report Saturday 11th April 2020
There’s a couple of well-known sayings, “there’s a first time for everything” and “practice makes perfect”. So, having set out to write my first run report on Easter Sunday I decided overnight to scrap the first attempt. Having gone for a long run this morning looking for inspiration, here’s my second attempt.
We all know about the current health Emergency and why we can’t use our beloved Stanley Park or run Blackpool parkrun. So, I won’t dwell on it. We all know that we will return when it’s safe to do so.
My inspiration came from remembering a Facebook post from Claire Dunn (a Blackpool pr regular and parent to our ace scanner) last week, talking about how she was missing the parkrun family and how parkrun had given her an opportunity to meet people who she wouldn’t have normally encountered. This really struck a chord with me, firstly I’m a relatively new runner and have only lived on the Fylde for a short time.
A couple of weeks ago, I got an invite from Chris Bluck to join a Facebook group “Friends who like Blackpool parkrun (unofficial)”. Initially I thought, here we go another dull Facebook group. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought what a great idea!
parkrun is not just about a weekly timed 5k run but its about community and wellbeing. It’s easy in these days of lock down to feel isolated and to lose motivation, park yourself in front of the telly and over eat. Some of us are lucky in that we have a husband , wife , partner or family but there will be people who run on a Saturday morning who live on their own or who have mental health issues who our Saturday morning is a lifeline. Keeping our community and parkrun family together is more important than ever.
Through the Facebook group, we’ve created virtual parkruns to keep us active on a Saturday. Members are encouraged to share their other lockdown runs, both the Facebook page and our new Strava group. We’ve attempted emoji quizzes (set by the devious minds at parkrun HQ) and we have created 2 Spotify playlists to give members the opportunity to share their favourite tunes and to inspire others with their runs. We now have over 40 hours of music to run to, covering a wide ranging and diverse musical spectrum, from Pop to Techno to Punk to Metal to Jamaican Dance Hall and Grime
On Easter Saturday, we had 50 virtual parkrunners out on the streets of the Fylde coast for our first themed run. Following a Facebook poll, we chose a Race finishers shirt run. Having searched through our cupboards and wardrobes, we saw shirts from a range of events from local races to major marathons.
Our first runner was out at 00:47hrs! Andrew Woodward, (a member of the set-up crew) using a virtual run as a cure for insomnia. The beauty of virtual runs is that you don’t have to make the 9am start. Our tail walker, Chris Williams was out at 20:40 hrs. Given the warm temperatures on Saturday, Andrew and Chris probably were out at the best times. Once again thank you to Kate James for processing the virtual results and awarding the weekly virtual awards or the closest we have to run bling. I have no idea how I won the Brightest smile award, but bling is bling.
It’s traditional in the run report to thank our volunteers who make our events possible. So, if you were a virtual volunteer please take a bow.
But the biggest vote of thanks has to go to our group members who work for NHS or who are Key Workers. You guys are amazing and complete Heroes.
To misquote David Bowie, you are Heroes not just for one but every day! Thank you
Stay safe and healthy