Whitstable parkrun is cancelled on 4 July 2020: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Light at the end of the tunnel in New Zealand

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update
Dear all,
On Monday, the New Zealand Government announced that they were removing all social distancing requirements and that there would be no limits on public gatherings. This is an incredibly positive step forward, and whilst New Zealand may seem a long way ahead of the challenges many of us continue to face, this news should give us all great hope that, in time, normal life can and will resume.

What does this mean for parkrun in New Zealand?

We have previously made two key commitments in relation to Coronavirus; firstly that all events will remain closed until at least the end of June, and secondly that we will give all event teams at least two weeks notice prior to reopening. This means that for parkrun events in New Zealand the earliest possible start date would be Saturday 4 July.
However, whilst we have continued working hard behind the scenes there are some questions we need to answer, and decisions we need to take internally, before we are able to commit to a specific date. With this news only breaking over the last few days, we also need to spend more time ensuring we fully understand the details of New Zealand’s position.

As such, we hope to confirm a reopening date for parkrun New Zealand in next week’s update.

In the meantime, and whilst we understand that in New Zealand groups are free to gather at their parkrun venues, we’d like to ask all event teams not to organise group gatherings through their parkrun communication channels. As well as insurance implications it’s important that local communities and stakeholders are aware of our return and able to accommodate us appropriately.
What does this mean for parkrun events elsewhere?
We hope this news gives parkrunners everywhere reason to be positive, and also provides reassurance that we continue to consider every parkrun country’s specific situation, and strive to do what’s right on a country by country basis.
Our position remains as it has since we first suspended our events: our overriding principle being that we will keep our events closed wherever official public health guidance recommends or requires, or where we cannot be sure that attendances will remain within set limits.
As we prepare to relaunch parkrun New Zealand, we would like to reassure the parkrun community everywhere that we will reopen in each parkrun country as soon as appropriate and safe to do so.
We are getting through this, together.


Weekly update Peter Yarlett

Hi all,
Dave is taking a well deserved rest from his weekly update, so he’s asked me to pen a few words....
Firstly, a big thanks to Dave for keeping all of us in the park run loop over recent weeks. Also, a big, big thank you to all NHS staff, carers, emergency workers, volunteers and everyone else who has kept us safe and the country functioning over the last 10 weeks. Many of you will be within our parkrun community we are extremely grateful for what you have been doing......
I see that lots of parkrunners have been making ppr items for medical staff. Well done to you all. Dave made contact with the Whitstable and Tankerton as the Whitstable parkrun chosen charity. If you haven’t yet donated then please see the Just Giving page. Of course, many of you will also have donated to your favourite good cause and/or been active in fund raising. Well done all...
Hopefully, everyone has been able to keep safe and well during the extended lockdown. It has been a difficult time for all of us, including protecting our own health, doing basic shopping, being unable to meet with family and friends, having children at home and thinking about jobs and incomes.
I realise how much I miss the post parkrun coffee in The Marine. Which brings me on to keeping our own mindset in top shape. The absence of parkrun has certainly highlighted its importance as a means of keeping up with running friends. For my own part Facebook, WhatsApp and Zoom chats have proved invaluable in keeping in touch with parkrun and Canterbury Harriers friends.
Dave invited me to say how I’d been managing my fitness during the lockdown. So here goes! On the exercise front it’s been a mixture of road and indoor cycling, bodyweight exercises (I can recommend the Mark Lauren App), walking and latterly golf. So most days I’ve have had an element of exercise. I feel very lucky because exercise has always been an enjoyable activity and not a chore.
I also made time to prepare a parkrun board game which, with Dave’s agreement, will be attached to this note........hopefully the instructions are in the spirit of parkrun...
And so the big question- ‘When will Parkrun resume and it what shape and form?’
For the former I’ve got absolutely no idea or any insider information! One can perhaps assume that it might not be until the early Autumn at the earliest when a number of road races (including LM) are also pencilled in to be run. On an average parkrun we now get about 400 runners and up to 20 volunteers and so the thought of getting agreement to that amount of social mixing before then is unlikely anytime soon. Fingers crossed anyway for an earlier start.
What might be different? Possibly very little once we get underway. One thought though is the system for handling tokens at the finish. You all know how it works. The volunteers hand you a token and shortly afterwards you get scanned. That’s an awful amount of handling of barcode and tokens with the associated germs spreading potential! I think that’s one area where a new approach is needed. Perhaps something similar to road races where an individual tag is attached to a shoe and the time recorded on the start and finish mats. This might be expensive to set up but definitely an area to be explored.
Also, there should be no ejection of saliva from one’s mouth (no spitting please). Apologies for ending on that subject but Dave did ask me to say what might be different!
Thanks to Dave for temporarily letting me have his column and you all for reading (if you got his far)...
Very best wishes to all my pr friends and hopeful of seeing you all as soon as possible.
Course Parts 1-4 represent the two lapper course along the prom and slopes. PDF 1 is the start and finish sheet, with PDF's 2-4 being the rest of our course.
Barcode instructions 1&2 are the penalty/bonus places for landing on particular squares on lap one and lap two respectively as shown on the board.
It’s much like any board game where you move pieces around a board to get to the winning post - in this case it’s the Marine for coffee!
You will need a marker for each player and one dice. Take it in turns to roll the dice and move around the board for the 2 laps, if you land on one of the indicated squares you refer to the Barcode instructions for your bonus or penalty moves. I think you will recognise some of the bonus/penalties. The winner is the first one back to the Marine for, of course, coffee...


Help parkrun help the NHS in Whitstable

Friends of whitstable hospital and healthcare are a charity, they have been asked to fund the replacement of examination lights for the clinical examination room, the existing ones are broken and it is no longer possible to get support for the repair.
Whitstable parkrun have been asked to help in this very important local fundraising event, I really do think we all owe a great debt of gratitude to our local health workers, so please help with whatever you can.


Its easy to donate just type "Just Giving" into your preferred search engine then type "Whitstable parkrun" into the just giving search bar click go.
Please help if you can the local NHS have been there for all of us all through the crisis.


Weekly update (with built in moan)

As every week I hope you are all keeping well and safe.
I have noticed runners are getting a lot of stick in the press at the moment about how far our breath & body fluids travel, No one seems to mention we are runners when we run, we are also Doctors nurses, pensioners, school kids, builders, cleaners, need I go on. As a group of people I think we are as courteous as any other, actually we probably go out of our way to appease others more than a lot of other groups, I was disappointed to see the Whitstable Gazette aired the view below without a counter opinion.

Joggers are getting to close, is the headline in the Letters to the editor section of the Whitstable Gazette
Quote! We have long been accustomed to cyclists choosing to believe the rules of the road do not apply to them, as they ride on the pavement without lights and ignoring traffic lights. However they have now been equalled , indeed eclipsed, by those joggers who appear at one's elbow, sweating and panting, making no sort of effort to observe social distending..

The word is the government will loosen the lockdown a little after the weekend, so with a bit of luck we maybe seeing a little more of each other, but don't get your hopes up to much parkrun will not be back anytime soon.
I will have more about a local charity later so that will do for now, stay safe continue with social distending, stay well and keep in touch.


Weekly update end of April

Weekly update
As usual I hope you are all keeping well and following Government advice, and following the social distancing.
Today I had my long awaited meeting with parkrun HQ, I did voice as many of your concerns as possible and hopefully am now able to answer some of your questions, We spoke at some length about the way forward, I will now try and explain some of their reasons for the decisions they have made.
parkrun well not be a regular feature of our Saturday morning for quite some time to come, When it is deemed safe by Government to gather in outdoor groups again, parkrun will instruct all UK parkruns to start gathering all their equipment together for testing, Scanners, timers, laptops, then we will all have to verify that we have access to our defibrillator's and that they are in good working order, as many are stored in public buildings, every parkrun will have to check its regular course for any changes or dangers that may not have been there before the lockdown, A lot of the younger parkruns will need to check and maybe retrain their volunteers as jobs like results processing can be a little confusing if you've not done it for a while, especially if your fairly new to it, Also a lot of parkruns take place in public and privately owned parks, these will have to be checked to confirm that they have reopened, Every parkrun will have to have an up to date risk assessment registered with parkrun. When all these checks have been carried out on every parkrun in the country, parkrun HQ will then have to establish one vitally criteria. It safe to restart parkrun?, Safe means for runners Volunteers and general public alike, Once this has been established throughout the whole pr community " We will be good to go"
I hope this is of some help.
Things we won't be doing
We won't be having staggered starts, age discrimination, limited numbers, multiple events in one.
When we do get going it will be plan and simple "good old parkrun"

Stay safe

PS if you have any questions feel free to ask.

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