Thurrock parkrun, Orsett Heath is cancelled on 2021-06-19 – COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Thurrock parkrun “not the Run Report” #5

Hi, Peter again this week but we are looking for volunteers for next week to write the "not the run report".

The news we were expecting, but didn't really want, is that parkrun remains closed until at least the end of May. Sorry

With some sadness in my heart, I set off with my Wife, Christine, to the Pyramid Centre and Orsett Heath to do a few parkrun errands and combine the trip with our daily exercise.

As I said in last weeks report, I have been thinking about how we can improve our parkrun / make life easier for volunteers during the down time. One of the things was to get a few adjustments made to our deployment and collection vehicle (affectionately known as the rocket launcher). The lovely Clint who donated it to us at event 200 has taken it away (combined with a necessary trip) to shorten, lighten and make some adjustments to sign and cone storage. Thanks Clint - you are a star.


On arriving, I was greeted with a freshly painted men's WC door (thanks Thurrock Council).


Before starting off on a circuit. I took a picture of Christine at the start line tree and then another as we started to head to "pooh bin corner".


It was then that I realised just how well trod this route has been in the weeks since we stopped. nearly 5 agonising Saturdays ago.


Is it me or has a curious new line appeared which seems to avoid the bumps and may provide the fasted possible run on the first sector. It will be interesting to observe the route amongst the faster of you.

I am pleased to say that the grass has been cut in the last couple of weeks and doesn't look like it needs too much attention to get it back up and running on our return.

By the end of a "long lap" (and we did a second) I had been reminded what a lovely place Orsett Heath is and how you can exercise, take in the scenery and socially distance at this wonderful place. I think a few others may also have discovered it. No wonder the run line is so clear. I found myself leaving with a happier heart and a mental note to continue to make regular visits.

What I would like to do until we can start parkrun again is to make life easier and simpler for all of us.

Dave S started a crusade to get local signage in the area to guide people to Thurrock parkrun. He had got senior councillors engaged when suddenly, lockdown kicked in and it all stalled.

I'd like to add getting some permanent signage on the run lines especially the "Caution runners signs". Get a few arrows put on existing lamp posts and we could get marshals to set up and take down their corners. If anyone has the right council contacts, please champion these ideas.

I also want to move us over to the "virtual volunteer app" - freely available on iPhones and Androids. Our stopwatches and scanners are nearly 5 years old and require the use of special leads and a dedicated laptop. The move to smartphones could greatly simplify doing the results but it requires volunteers being willing to download and use the app. It is free and you can practice and play to your hearts content. All new parkruns since the beginning of this year have this as their only method and it works.

Finally, there are lots of consumables at parkrun which are usually funded by the event/run directors and volunteers. Donating pens, paper, toilet rolls (which many people may end up with a surplus of), disinfectant and batteries would all be welcomed.

Enough from me. Let's look at some of the activities being done by our participants.

Sandra is making lemon, lime and orange curd to get donations for the RNLI


Liz, Lucy and James are participation in #NHSNomads to raise money for NHS charities


and we are doing the Phoenis Striders Lockdown Letter Hunt to raise money for "Isla's Charity"


Take care all. Keep exercising responsibly, socially distance and stay safe.


Thurrock parkrun “not the Run Report” #4

Hi All,

Peter here and I hope you and your families are all well and safe in these difficult times.

I stepped in to write this as the previous volunteer, Chester (the Thurrock parkrun dog) had volunteered to do it until his Mum (Event Director Liz) cut his hair. Now, like Samson, he's lost all is strength and is lying in a darkened room and avoiding mirrors - how could you Mum. Chester - I'll pick up a bag of treats when I'm shopping tomorrow (if no ones stockpiling).

I've had a challenging week after my "live in" Mother-in-law told me I was capable of reaching a much higher level. I didn't realise she meant cleaning the soffits and facias. Plenty of steps though.

It's certainly been a strange few weeks. I have often felt during my 150 parkrun set-up's about what it would be like not to have to get up on a Saturday - well, it's horrible. I may never complain about set-up again.

I've spent the week getting in touch with some of our regular volunteers to see how they are coping.

Set-up Steve, a school teacher by trade, reckons its easier managing a class of 30 than doing home schooling for 2.

Dean has been getting up in the middle of the night to run parkrun alone and tells me the branches are already impinging on the course in places. He also tells me that he and RD, Debbie have a new addition - Ollie, pictured here at 13 weeks.

Renae was ill earlier in the year and has been fighting her way back to fitness by doing 100 squats a day - wow. We all have our ups and downs - sorry!

Sandra has been helping improve her maths and english doing Facetime tutoring with her grandchildren.

Ray is recovering slowly but surely and hopes to be back when we restart again.

We got this email "we are both in good health as much to be expected. We are in isolation for 12 weeks as Irene is the most vulnerable, but the family are getting everything we need. I hope that you and your family are well and cant wait to get back to normality. KEEP SAFE REGARDS REG & IRENE."

James and Gary are doing OK, working from home but not getting enough running in.

Boomy feels he's losing his fitness but after a chat is going to try "running for fun". I sincerely recommend that to all.

Ashley is still travelling to work each day - next door to his office where he enjoys solitude. It has been a busy week for him with "virtual Easter" and of course, he's still helping the Food Bank.

Michelle, while working from home, has noticed that far more people are using the phone and video conferencing to keep in touch and are more friendly and  personable. Perhaps we've all learned something.

Apart from being Christine's part time nurse and having no excuse to not work through the "jobs to do list", I have been giving thought to how we can update and improve our parkrun. More about that in the weeks to come.

If you are suffering from a loss of running motivation, Nick at Phoenix Striders has come up with an alphabet challenge that you can all join, get a medal and raise some money for charity. See link below:

My other weekly duty is to act as the street MC and rouse the neighbours for the weekly NHS / frontline services / all those that support us for the clapping session. The use of the parkrun PA system (thanks again Sue and Terry) and some requests like "living in a box" and "please release me" raise the morale. We also invited parkrun runner and volunteer Zoe to take the applause for her role as a Chafford Hundred Community Supporter.

double click the above picture for short video clip

Well, that's it. Stay home, stay safe, exercise responsibly and be careful - love to all.






Thurrock parkrun not the Run Report #3

Today there was a field of 2 for my indoor park walk, my second indoor week out of at least 12 as I “shield” from COVID-19.  The journey to the walk was easy, passing the bathroom and spare room on way to the lounge where the parking marshall (aka Bailey the Cat) made sure we were suitably positioned for scratches before the start!

Run Director for us this week was Leslie Sansone, YouTube fitness coach, who put us through our warm up before we started our 5k.  Starting promptly at 9, Caz and I were underway.  A very level course here made for a gentle first mile, with a little “boosted walk” (aka a jog) for the final 2 minutes of that section of the track.  Not many signs for directions but the Run Director kept us informed throughout!

Another mile soon came and went, with lots of motivation from the Run Director and total indifference from Bailey!  Another boosted walk got us past the 2 mile marker and a reminder to take on some vital fluids.

Into the third mile Leslie picked up the pace - the whole course had power walks, side steps, kicks, knee lifts, kick backs and tap outs for variety, and in the third mile these were done with much gusto!  The final boosted walk got us to the three mile marker - then a gentler warm-down walk completed that all important 0.1 mile to make our 5k. 

So in an amazing coincidence Caz and I got exactly the same time, and it was weirdly exactly the same as mine last week - spooky!    I might even do the same course next week lol.

Stay safe everyone in these very different times - I look forward to getting back to the Heath sometime in the future and donning my orange hi-vis again!

Darren Bartholomew


Thurrock parkrun not the Run Report #2.5

So I was fortunate enough to have written the last run report before this little blip we find ourselves in at the minute.
I've still kept my running streak going finding myself on 184 days continuous days for April fools day. Recently I've started using routes I wouldn't normally use,but because of traffic being very light between Tilbury and West Tilbury I'm enjoying some people free routes.
Whilst out on my runs alone and with Heidi I've seen several Nomads and Thurrock parkrunners. Heidi and I passed Tammy walking round the lanes the other day with smiles and hello's exchanged, little things like this during these times can really make your day. Like today I passed Sean queuing outside the shop keeping his social distance as I ran past, Hello and smiles exchanged and again another nice little highlight in my day. It's just nice seeing people trying to get on with life. My point being its the little things that can really make us smile.  STAY SAFE


Thurrock parkrun not the Run Report #2

Well Liz set me a challenge to write a run report. Here goes....
Saturday 28th March . Started  like a normal Saturday morning up at 7:30 in time for the parkrun at 9am.
However in the current climate of isolation, social distancing and stay at home it is not a normal Saturday.
Instead of the usual parkrun, I had my first virtual Slimming class. I normally go after parkrun. This was new and interesting.
Some ideas from other members and you could see faces new and old. This is useful to keep each other motivated.
Then mine and Terry's exercises for the day was several hours cleaning and pruning the garden.
We are missing the parkrun. And I am sure you all agree what makes the parkrun is the people. The organisers,  the volunteers and of course the runners.
Whilst I am fortunate to be able to work from home. I hope you can all stay safe and stay healthy. BE KIND.
Sorry if this is not the sort of report you were expecting. But I  had a go.
Enjoy your week the best you can. Don't forget to talk to each other.
Take care bye for now. Jane signing off.