I think we all knew it was going to be the last parkrun for a while before we even set out on Saturday morning. In some ways, I really wished I could run as well, as it was the last, but I have to say it was an absolute privilege to be part of the team putting on the event so others could get their final run in, and I know the rest of the team felt the same.
Although we didn't get to do the usual pre-run brief in quite the same way (those of you who are familiar with how un-brief my pre-run brief is and how late I usually start the run as a consequence will probably be seeing the upside in the situation!) I'm sure I speak for all the runners when I extend a big thank you to all the volunteers who turned up on the day to make the run possible.
Huge apologies to Kim Payne, doing her 100th run, and John Dobbs and James Lane who were doing their 50th runs for not being able to get you up on the celebration bench - I think we should do that as soon as we're back running.
And we will be back running. Whilst we can't run together at the moment we can still run and we can still keep in touch, which is important.
As we're not looking for volunteers for the week, the email box won't be manned quite so much as usual,but we'll still be checking. We'll still be manning the Facebook page, and you can keep in touch via our Twitter account.
Those of you who follow the Facebook account will have seen there are messages from our parkrun community offering to help people who are isolated and need errands running, and I'm sure many more of us will do all we can to help our parkrun family in these difficult times, make sure you ask if you need help. And if you have any great ideas about things to do on a Saturday morning instead of a parkrun, please share those too. I'll probably be doing a 5 minute pilates session from an app I've downloaded - I'm sure it'll take more effort than some of my parkruns, too!
The core team here at Northala Fields would like to remind everyone of our running and volunteering family that, even whilst we can't meet for mass runs and share a coffee (and ice cream!) afterwards, we are still a community, and are here to help offer support and friendship in difficult times. We would encourage you to share pictures of your solo runs where you can, let's see if we can make #NFparkrunselfies a thing! Doesn't even have to be at Northala (and definitely not Northala at 9AM on a Saturday), just you running, something to brighten people's news feeds.
Look after yourselves, and each other, and we look forward to seeing everynody back as soon as we can.