I realised at the weekend that. while we have had a rather busy few weeks with the "will parkrun return or not" debate and background work. I haven't spoken to you - our lovely walkers, joggers and runners.
Embarrassingly, It was our former Event Director Trevor that reminded me that last Saturday was our fifth anniversary of Thurrock parkrun. Only a year ago since we had that fantastic get together to celebrate our volunteers and participants.
Well, Ashley didn't forget. He and the wonderful Pasztor family turned up at an unusually early 08:30. Our beloved Randall was also there. The finishing places were Bo, Sophie, Hunor, Ashley, Randall and Sunshine. Sophie got a massive (if unofficial) PB to top things off. - well done to you all.
Talking of PB's, our own Paul Berry, having done a Garmin Coaching Course, went out on Sunday and did a new PB of 21:50 - brilliant Paul.
I visit the course regularly and either walk with my Wife or have a gentle jog round and I noticed last week that Mick's bench was sporting new flowers. A quick catchup with his Wife, Marjorie, revealed that it was also the 3rd anniversary of losing our motivator, Mick. Still thinking of you Mick and hope to see you again soon Marje.
I also caught up with Ray who is sporting a new set of wheels which he says work well on the field so he's up for a spot of Marshalling when we get back there.
I also caught up with Irene and Reg. Back in March, Irene was undergoing a course of treatment and wasn't well enough to marshal. I was therefore delighted to get an email that they were on holiday (in September) and that Irene was well and all clear. Fantastic.
Unfortunately, we haven't been able to run the awards this year but one I am keen to do is Ray's Award. When Ray last Volunteered on finish tokens on 8th February, just before his life threatening accident as a result of battling a fence in a strong wind, he had volunteered at 202 parkruns and done 221 tasks. Your new special Beanie awaits Ray.
We spent a few busy weeks as a core team with the possible return of parkrun. There was a new framework to go through, new ways of doing things, things we couldn't do and Q&A sessions and pod cast galore. Then, when Covid had had reached the bottom of the curve, there was a sudden upturn, tighter measures came in and the chance of a return disappeared into some time in the future.
A very big thank you to all those that volunteered to come and do whatever was necessary to get us up and running. We will need you at some point (hopefully fairly soon) and we'll all have to learn the new ways and what that means.
I love seeing your continued stories of your various exploits so keep them coming.
Please remember, hands, face and space and keep getting out there to stay on the pace.