A bit of history and fingers crossed for a restart

Conkers parkrun non-run run report  -  September 12, 2020    


Here we are on the 12th September 2020, unfortunately, I have nothing to report this week as the cruel Covid-19 virus has stopped parkruns for the past 26 weeks. It is hoped, however, that subject to the great British Public behaving themselves and obeying social distancing and other lockdown rules we may have the virus sufficiently under control to resume running our beloved Conkers Saturday event towards the end of October.


Of course, it will not be quite the same, as the Team have had to rejig the route to create more room at the start, this has necessitated a fairly big change whereby we now turn right at Canal Turn and return to the bottom of Cheeky hill via a path previously unused by us.


As I had nothing else to report at this moment, I thought I would look back at the happenings on some of the runs around this date over the previous 9 years.

Back in 2011, Conkers held its 22nd run. Sixty-three runners, joggers and walkers graced the finishers list, and they were shepherded round by a stalwart group of seven volunteers; yes, I did say seven!


First man home on this occasion was Cory Ian Parker in a time of 17:26 and First Lady was Louise Insley in 20:05.


Roll forward a year to event 74 and we find that the field has pretty well doubled to 122 with twelve volunteers in attendance. First home was Jamie Fletcher in 16:49 and first lady was Laura Johnson in 20:52.


2013 brought event 128 and yet another large increase in numbers to 193 and 20 volunteers with John Tilley taking the honours in 18:05 and Rebecca Hobbs being first Lady in 20:57.


Jump forward 6 years to 2019 and event 450. Numbers had soared to an impressive 641 with 35 volunteers, Callum Abberley being first through the funnel in 15:56 and Paige Stevenson first lady in 20:43.


Finally, our “last” proper parkrun before Covid stepped in was event 478 with a slightly lower participation of 556 but with a massive 55 volunteers in attendance to witness Jamie Fletcher break the beam in 17:13 with Christina Hawtin being the leading Lady in 21:19.


As you will see from the above figures, the attendance has grown immensely over the 9 years and the fact that we have such successful event with an amazing atmosphere is down to the sterling efforts of the Core Teams over the years and the amazing selfless attitude of our volunteers who ensure our safety every week whatever the weather.


To get the event back up and running is going to mean a lot of organisation with new challenges to overcome in order to ensure continued safety, meet the requirements of the recently published parkrun framework and minimising the risk of further spread of Covid. The logistical challenges they face are immense with trying to segregate participants successfully at the start and safe guarding the volunteers,


In the mean time Keep Running, keep obeying the social distancing rules and keep your fingers crossed that all goes well for the coming weeks.