Well, this is a bit awkward this week. This was supposed to be the final fling, the concluding chapter, the last hurrah, the end of the Virtual Run Reports. But, as we all now know. It’s not. I had it all prepared too. The last words were written, the Red Arrows were booked, the dancing elephants prepared and the Virtual Cake had 63 Virtual Candles ready to be lit.
But, like a lot of things these days, it’s all had to be postponed. The cake is a write-off I’m afraid (well, I did throw it at the Virtual Wall in frustration) and the elephants now have another commitment, but I’ll see if I can salvage the Run Report. It was going to be an emotional, award-winning affair full of pathos, heart-tugging moments and reminisces that reduced you to a blubbering mess. Not anymore though.
Tell you what, I’ll just rip a few bits out and stick the relevant info in for this week. Seems a shame to waste it. No one will notice I’m sure.
This week, on our final Virtual parkrun (which actually wasn’t), we reach Week 63. In what was believed to be some of the most gloriously emotional scenes seen in Derby since 1876 when Derby County last won a game of football, thousands of cheering people lined the parks, streets and even a beach, to salute the brave heroes of the last (but four, possibly...or is it three? I’ve lost count) ever Virtual parkrun.
There were (insert number here, probably lots and lots) of runners, walkers and joggers this week. (Insert name here... probably Chris, maybe Colin...could be Lyndon if he pulls his finger out) was the quickest this week, as the curtain was brought down (and then swiftly pulled up again) on the last Virtual Run.
8 Virtual Volunteers helped us all out this week and were all given medals for their services to the Markeaton Virtual parkrun, as well as a sports car, speedboat and life-long supply of cake to say thank you for their commitment. (Note: all rewards not given after sponsors realised this wasn’t the last one at all and pulled out. Will try and get a sticker or something to give them all to make up for it...)
For one last time (until the actual last time) our Virtual parkrunners ran up hills, dodged foxes, drank coffee, ran far further than the 5k required, and generally got out there in the June air and kept on being awesome because it’s what we do. Nobody was overcome too much with the enormity of the occasion (which was good because they would have looked really silly seeing as the occasion didn’t happen).
Fantastic to see everybody taking part in the Run for Refugees, with runners from El Salvador, Nigeria, Iran and East Africa, showcasing what a truly welcoming and all-inclusive event parkrun is. Brilliant.
(Remove this whole chunk of the Run Report here. No mention of the surprise special guests who we had to cancel...thanks anyway Meghan...or the fireworks and squirrel-display team performing hits from the musicals. See if we can get refunded, or at least get our deposit back, for Elton’s big finale. I think we can run to his expenses and the sandwich and crisps, but we aren’t paying for the levitating piano or ponies...)
So, blah, blah, blah, we all did so well. 63 weeks. Spring 2020. Pandemic. Blah, blah. Hands. Face. Space. Barnard Castle. Puddle of Doom. It’s all over. We made it. See you down the park next week. The nightmare has ended. Back to normal.
Nope. Sorry. Can’t use any of that. Ignore it for now. Put it on ice just a teeny-tiny bit longer.
So, keep on running that little bit further folks, we are all hopefully nearly there. See you next week for the next to next to next to last Virtual parkrun. Or something like that. Possibly. Maybe...
Got to go. Forget to cancel the 30 foot Elvis hologram that sang “It’s Now or Never” as we all crossed the Virtual Finish Line one last time. Damn, that would have looked impressive too. We won’t be able to afford it in a few weeks time as it was on a Groupon.
Oh well, the thought was there...
Chris WhitePhotographer: (please check out Brian's Flickr page - he is putting up new pictures of old runs!)
Brian SilcockThe male record is held by John Rouse who recorded a time of 17:03 on Virtual Event number 5.
The female record is held by Emma Eldridge who recorded a time of 20:27 on Virtual Event number 57( beating her previous record by 1 second)The Virtual Markeaton parkrun started in the Spring of 2020. Since then 450 participants have completed 5140 parkruns covering a total distance of 25,700 km, including a lot of Personal Bests!