I should have been RD last Saturday. Since we started Conyngham Hall parkrun back in May last year, I have been looking forward to running the course in the Spring, and particularly getting back to the A course and running through the hedge at the bottom of muddy bank when the blossom is out.
Well that blossom is now out, the course is dry so we'd be back on the A course and beautiful though it was to run through it in social running isolation earlier this week, it made me sad that everyone and our visitors would not be experiencing it together.
Saturday dawned a gorgeous Spring morning and I could just picture the scene as we all arrived at the farm ruins. Blue sky, chit chat as we meet our friends and welcome people who are new. The feel of togetherness as we all walk to the start (back at the bottom of the slope since this is the A course). The thrill of the 'off' and the marvelling at the speedsters. Fewer trail shoes in evidence since not needed. The camaraderie of all as we support each other to complete the 5k, the pride at seeing those who have struggled and yet succeeded and cheering them across the finish line. Getting our barcodes scanned and thanking the volunteers.
The companionship of chatting afterwards, of collating all the kit. Of a troupe of us carrying it to the car of whoever is RD next week, then heading off to The Black Mulberry for some very welcome post parkrun park faff and results processing. The pleasure of an arriving coffee and the finger licking goodness of a gooey egg leaking out of a sandwich.
Putting order back in the world by sorting the tokens, watching the promenade outside the window along Waterside and feeling pride that this is our town, our parkrun, our community.
But it wasn't to be. The lost parkrun weeks continue, and while we all know that is has to be the case, and we don't want it any other way since we want to beat this virus, I do hope that it's not too long before we are gathering at the farm, exchanging news in person and hearing the hub-bub and laughter set among the backdrop of the running river and the singing birds.
Stay safe everyone, keep that distance, and savour the fact we can still get out and exercise in this beautiful place we call home.