As I lay awake at 5:30am on Saturday 7 August my initial thought as the rain battered my windows, was, this is not good, this is really not good - this was my long awaited for 250th parkun. My thoughts then went to, oh goodness, poor, poor Maddie the Run Director she had to set the course and organise everything in this monsoon – THANK YOU, THANK YOU Maddie.
On the 14 March 2020 I ran my 248th parkrun at Sandhurst; little did any of us know it was going to be the last parkrun for a very long time.
During those very hideous months, and indeed years (well it felt like that) I, like so many others, struggled to even comprehend how to be motivated. For me, running solo on a Saturday was a painful reminder of what had been taken away, and no one could do anything about it. Virtual Runs, again, for many, were motivational, for me they didn’t work, I think they actually compounded my feeling of ‘loneliness’. Not seeing friends, not being able to moan about ‘how it never got easier running 5K,’ not having an after run coffee and planning the next week’s adventure made me realise (and without being dramatic) how parkrun is a very intrinsic part of me. I have missed it so very much.
Coming back on the return date, 24 July, was the best feeling ever, my 249th parkrun. Walking across Stoke Park, seeing the orange cones, seeing the volunteers, seeing the finish funnel made me want to leap in the air (I didn’t as wasn’t too sure if the toilets were open) and I knew 5km lay ahead. But, finishing that morning was just an emotional joy, seeing familiar faces, the chatter, the sweat, the pain but most importantly the laughter, hearing the laughter, my goodness, you cannot put a price on that sound.
So here we are, today, Saturday 7 August 2021, my long awaited 250th parkrun. Running in the rain with friends, having complete admiration for ALL the volunteers whose job was so tough today, thank you all. Being wetter and muddier than I can actually remember and yet you know what, there was so much laughter, my heart wanted to burst.
If you achieved a PB today (Naomi Parke for one) just how?. If you ran your first parkrun you rock, if you slid, walked or skidded round, you did it, 5km ticked off before 10:00am!
Guildford Core Team, Volunteers, my long suffering friends, fellow runners and walkers – thank you for making my 250th parkrun one to remember….and yes enough of the rain now.
Love Nicky (Hack)
For all results and the stats please click here.