Conkers parkrun non-run run report for event #01 - March 21, 2020
It’s Wednesday 18th March 2020, sitting on my lunch break at work and I see the inevitable, an announcement from parkrun… “We have taken the decision to close all parkrun events across the UK with immediate effect.” That for me like I’m sure it would have for many of you hit me hard, I knew it was the right thing to do under current circumstances but that doesn’t mean we can’t be upset, disheartened, even angry. For us parkrun is more than just a 5km run jog or walk, it is our Saturday morning routine, our constant, our community, our family, our friends, our physical and mental health. This got me thinking; we need to look after our parkrun family, but how…? I dropped Roger a message with an idea, how about we have a non-run run report every Saturday, like a normal conkers parkrun run report written for us by us. Roger loved the idea! He even said if he were closer he’d give me a hug! I of course advised him that that would not be wise #socialdistancing.
So Friday evening I sat down to write the first conkers parkrun non-run run report…. Hmmmm, writers block. How exactly does one write a run report when we’re not actually running parkrun? I went to the fridge and got myself a lovely can of cold beer (all I have in it with the panic buyers *rolls eyes*) a can of Hyde and Wilde session pale ale in case you’re wondering, bought because it has a zebra on the front… ‘tssSSS krrr POP!’ ‘SLLuurrP!’ sweet, zesty and hoppy. Purchased from Sainsburys local (other supermarkets are available).
Bored of reading yet? Nope? I’ll go on.
Hmmmm… let me take you back to Saturday 18th June 2016, why you ask? that was the Saturday I embarked on my first parkrun. *Back in time sound effects and wavy lines*
…My alarm went off at 8am, ouch! have I ever been up this early on a Saturday?! Eugh first parkrun, I can do this! Quick coffee and toilet stop, rule number 1 of running, always poop before you run! I think it’s safe to say its rule 2 and 3 too. I was picked up at around half 8 and off we went, the nerves kicked in, feeling like I wasn’t a good enough runner, I thought I’d finish last, I soon came to realise no one finishes last at parkrun. After listening to the run briefing I started to feel a bit more relaxed. I followed everyone down to the start line, looking around I could see lots of friendly smiling people chitter chattering away, I remember thinking “what a lovely atmosphere”. I waited with anticipation for the run to start… about 9:06 #sorrynotsorry…. someone shouted 3, 2, and 1 GOOO!!!!! Dogs barked frantically and everyone started moving forward, I was swept away with the crowd, off we went under the bridge and then….that hill! Who put THAT there?! I slogged up it and was greeted by the first marshal, “good morning, well done!” I ran down the path with the rest of the parkrunners, carefully dodging mud and tree roots, I listened to the marshals who told me to keep right and thanked them as I plodded past, this feels great! Oh…spoke too soon, I came across what we have come to know as cheeky hill… CHEEKY HILL?! That is one ENORMOUS cheeky hill! By the way nearly 4 years later I can tell you that THAT hill does not get any easier! Very very slowly I got to the top! My first parkrun was a slightly different route to the route we have now, turn right straight after cheeky hill past the bus stop, then onto the canal. Off I went… does anyone else think the canal water looks so inviting on a hot summers day? I don’t think anyone has ever decided to cool off in it though, maybe just leave that to the doggy parkrunners. Canal done, thank you marshal, winding, curvy path, turn right then… wait, didn’t I run down this path?! That must mean that I’m on the home stretch… the home stretch that is slightly uphill and goes on and on and on and on and… Oh! thank you marshal! “you’re nearly there! Well done!” I carried on pushing, exhausted out of puff and then just when I thought I couldn’t go on anymore I was cheered on by parkrunners who had completed their parkrun, my legs turned faster and then I saw it, the finishers funnel. I had made it! beep of the stop watch, token collected… moment needed to catch my breath then I headed off to the scanners, token and barcode scanned #dfyb (I didn’t forget it!). WOW! I’ve completed my first parkrun and it felt amazing!
Fast forward… since that day I have completed 115 parkruns, 107 of which are at my home parkrun at conkers. On the 25th December 2019 I achieved my parkrun PB of 26:33, my average time 30:43. I have volunteered a total of 6 times, which I loved and hope to do more of in the future. I have run a parkrun distance of 575km and have loved every minute! Thank you Conkers parkrun.
Now I’ve waffled on about me (hope you’re still reading) let us take a moment for all of those parkrunners who are on 49, 99, 249, 499 and all those volunteers on 24….our hearts go out to you during these difficult times…#badtimes Don’t worry our first parkrun back after all this madness ends will be bigger and better than ever before! Oooohhh fancy dress?!
Its 9am Saturday 21st march 2020… the first time in 15 years there is no parkrun anywhere in the world. But we will get through this together… what can we do? I feel it is extremely important we all still exercise, it’s vital for our physical and mental health. So 9am Saturday mornings (it can be before or after) I think we should all exercise together virtually, do something that you enjoy to make you feel good and happy, you can even do this if you’re in self-isolation. It can be anything, just get moving. Upload your activity to social media and hashtag it with #conkersparkrunactivity that way the rest of the community can find your activities and we can support each other, future non-run run report writers and use these activities to help them write their reports if they wish. Also if you’re on Strava did you know there’s a conkers parkrun group?
Here are some ideas of what you could do…
- Bike ride
- Dance around your living room (just dance on YouTube is fun if you have children)
- Les Mills workout (free at the moment)
- Workout DVD
- Kayla_itsines on Instagram has lots of great workout ideas
- Cosmic kids yoga on YouTube
I hope I didn’t bore you too much with this non-run run report. Stay safe everyone, virtual high five!!