Conkers non-run run report – February 20, 2021
When Roger asked me to write the non-run run report for Saturday 20th February, I quickly checked the calendar and realised that I’d have the dubious honour of writing the non-run run report for the 50th non-parkrun organised so magnificently by Dennis Dickinson. It seems like such a long time ago that we were all lining up together for parkrun 478 on Saturday 14th March 2020, an event which attracted a field of 556 parkrunners. Little did we know then that the days of mass participation events would be on hold for so long, whilst I’m sure Dennis didn’t expect that he’d be perfecting his spreadsheet skills for so many weeks rather than taking part in our regular Conkers parkruns on Saturday mornings.
Looking forward to the car parks at Conkers being full again as we gather at the end for the run brief.
I first found about the Conkers Collective non-parkrun runs after volunteering to write non-parkrun report number 5 on Saturday 18th April 2020. It’s fair to say that I was missing my Saturday parkrun fix by this point, so the idea of being able take part in an event on a Saturday whilst parkrun was suspended was something that definitely appealed. I joined the Conkers Collective Facebook group, completed my first run the following Saturday and have been doing so ever since…..clocking up my 46th non-parkrun parkrun with an early run around the original Conkers course on Saturday morning.
The tree on the left was our first start line, then it was moved to the end of the wall on the right, when we return it will be at the furthest point you can see.
I’ve been massively grateful for all the efforts that Dennis has put into organising the non-parkrun parkruns. He’s regularly commented that it’s just a small thing that he’s doing, but I think that what he has done has been MASSIVE! It’s definitely kept me motivated, providing me with a reason to put the running shoes on and head out on a Saturday morning, and I know from seeing various comments over the weeks and months that it’s helped huge numbers of people keep going and enjoy some sense of normality through what’s been a really challenging time. As of last week, non-parkrun parkruns have had 225 different participants with 3,881 results registered….and the number of people taking part has consistently been over 100 during 2021. This all means that Dennis has amassed nearly 4,000 rows of data, something which will have taken a huge amount of time and commitment……all whilst demonstrating an ability to work with huge amounts of data which even NHS Track & Trace spreadsheet gurus would be envious of! (Okay, cheap joke….but you get the point – his efforts have been phenomenal!)
Talking of phenomenal, a quick look at last weeks results shows that 4 people have completed every single non-parkrun parkrun so far: Dennis Dickinson (naturally!), Mark Harriott, Kevin Sanders and Dawn Storer. Assuming that they all reached the big 50 yesterday, this means that they’ll have jointly clocked up an impressive 1,000km…..which coincidentally is the same distance as running from Conkers to Land’s End and back!
Hopefully we’ll soon be able to meet for parkrun 479. When safe to do so, it will be great to line up and take on the new Conkers course…..even if Roger does seem to have sneaked in a cheekier hill on the return. In the meantime, keep your barcode safe and here’s a few pictures of a somewhat quieter Conkers taken yesterday morning….it’s one of my favourite places to run, but it’s definitely not the same without all the Saturday morning parkrunners. Bring on #479!
Erm!! Are we going to run or just stand here taking my photo!!