3,2,1, Go…….

Conkers parkrun non-run run report - September 19, 2020

3, 2, 1, Go……. This well-loved phrase has completely disappeared from our Saturday morning vocabulary during Lockdown and although I know, we are all missing these words and the parkrun that they herald the start of, we’ve been noticing that lot of new words have found their way into our language to replace them.

Staying with parkrun, thanks to our amazing core team and many willing volunteers our nonparkrun run brief, nonparkrun run report, nonparkrun run results and Tuesdays always calming nonparkrun volunteers briefing have now become much loved parts of our weekly calendar.

We have also noticed the term ‘parkrun’ slipping into our language more. Being forced to take staycations during the summer we walked the National Forest Way, a 75-mile long-distance footpath running from Beacon Hill and Bradgate Park in Charnwood Forest in the southeast through marvellous Moira in the middle to end in the Forest of Needwood at the Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas in the west. It took us 5½ days and each day as we donned our boots we worked out how many parkruns we had to complete that day. We found using parkrun as a unit of measure broke the miles ahead down into predictable and manageable chunks.

Another new unit of measure was recently introduced to us by our illustrious Co-Event Director Roger when he revealed the proposed new post Covid route. I’m sure we were not alone in feeling relieved that such care is being taken to bring Conkers in line with the new framework by lengthening and spacing out the start and that  RCS’s (Rogers casual steps!!) were used to ensure safe social distancing.

Ah social distancing one of the many new phrases that have become oh so familiar in our daily vocabulary. Many of these words and phrases are completely new to our language, “contact tracing” (the action or process of identifying individuals who have been in the proximity of a person diagnosed with an infectious disease) and “covidiot” (someone ignoring public health advice).

While other words have taken on new meanings. “bubbles” used to be blown by children or seen surging through fizzy drinks and champagne, now they are “social groups of family members, friends or school children” and “zooming” used to be moving very fast but now it is more commonly used to describe “the act of communicating with, a person or group of people, over the internet, typically by video-chatting”.

Other established terms such as “self-isolating”, “pandemic”, “quarantine”, “lockdown” and “key workers” have hugely increased in use too.

The use of the word Corona itself has caused many issues in our family as our daughter Rebekah’s middle name is, yes Corona. She was not named, 20 years ago, after the beer or an as yet unknown world -wide pandemic but after the golden ring encircling the sun during a solar eclipse. It’s a name she has always liked and she uses it in her email address and as her designing name at university. Both these have been question recently and when she had to go to A & E suffering with mild concussion, the hospital staff were keen to have her full name on her wristband until they heard what her middle name was and then surprisingly they decided to omit it.

Looking to the future, we are sure there will be new terms, names and acronyms either used by parkrunners in general or specific to Conkers.  To start this process off we would like to suggest RIH (Roger’s invisible hill) that he failed to mention in his description of the new route. Anyone else got any ideas?

So we’ve all had to adapt to a new normal and as we have shown the language we use has also adapted and evolved too just as it has done throughout history due to new circumstances, invasions and fashions. So instead of the phrase “3, 2, 1, Go!” we can all currently “stay safe” and call out the latest mantra “Hands, face, space” until we can all meet again as a parkrun (collective noun) at Conkers parkrun (noun) to parkrun (verb) a whole parkrun (unit of measurement).

The Kirkwood family. x