Thurrock parkrun not the Run Report #10

It's a Hi from Peter Eates - I thought it was time I wrote another "not the run report"

I hope you are all OK and getting some running in during these difficult times. I've found it difficult to keep motivated and to make time. It is so easy to come up with reasons why you can't run. It's also easy to lose confidence.

I had a major dent in my confidence at the end of May when, out running on a pleasant Saturday morning 4 miler, on a route I know well, I had a dramatic "face plant" in Fleming Road. This time I went down like the proverbial sack of spuds. My face took most of the impact. I was a bloody mess and for the first time, I called my Wife to transport me home (I have not published pictures).

Just over a week on and most of the abrasions and bruising has gone but I was suffering that "what if I fall again" demon sitting on my shoulder. After a chat with a fellow runner and wise sage, I decided to run our beloved parkrun. I can easily park the car there, social distancing is easing to maintain, soft landing on majority of the course, measured distance, familiar and available. With that in mind, I set off last Sunday for my "face plant" return.

I immediately felt at home and while far from breaking any records, I completed the run safely (if a little out of breath). I saw my setup buddy and friend Dean standing behind his van. It transpires that Dean is doing 3 virtual marathons a week and he and Debbie are planning to do 100 mile run at the end of the year. Seeing him brought to mind this happy, celebratory day.


It also brought to mind some previous advice from Dean when I was telling him about hurting my hands while saving myself from a fall. His advice was, save your hands and land on your face. You can make money with your hands, but that face..... Cheers Dean

I decided to make Thurrock parkrun a habit again so I'm doing a "5 a day" (5k that is) for a week.

Having posted my plan, friends Bob, Karen and friends came out to run/walk on Monday and I only missed them due to a late running washing machine repair man (photo by Karen).


After my run Tuesday, I popped down to see Ray, our most prolific volunteer marshal, who lives in the row of houses heading towards poo corner. Ray was badly injured in February while trying to temporarily fix his fence during the very high winds. He is slowly recovering but will need to take a role at the start line as he has to rest a lot. Pictured below (far right) when we got our Impulse Leisure Award in October.


Yesterday, I did my 4th parkrun and was approaching Mick's corner when I saw a mirage. Was it an illusion or was that really Paul Berry in hi-viz standing there with a hand clapper cheering me on? I'm delighted to say it was. Paul, His Wife Ana (who had spotted me from her window) and baby Tabitha. They were all there for me at the finishing line to chat with me after the run. It doesn't get better than that. Paul was my inspiration to do a weeks worth of parkruns (although he could have done a couple more while I was still out there given his pace).


Today I had a different kind of company. Although I was still struggling, I kept hearing a voice cheering me on and telling me how well I was doing. A spiritual marshal perhaps? When I finished, I sat on Mick's bench and thanked him for his help.


Finally, I saw a familiar car outside the Pyramid Centre and realised the "Play Network Group" has re-opened and I had an appropriately distanced chat with my friends Sylvia, Jackie and Roy. Had a good chat with Roy about a strange man that keeps appearing around five each morning (Dean).

As I'm sure you have seen, parkrun have announced a new "not the parkrun" which is a virtual run of your own. Liz will be posting it I think.

I hope to see you all soon (at a 2 metre distance that is).

Take care





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