Calum Burrell and his wife Lynsey love their Saturday morning parkrun routine. Calum used lockdown as an excuses to find new green spaces in his local community.
Here he tell us what he’s been up to.
In March 2020, like all other parkrunners, I knew that I would have to adapt to a life without parkrun on our Saturday mornings temporarily. There was a habit that I fell into where I would always get myself up early on Saturdays – whether to prepare for helping to set up my home event of Burnage, or on my travels – preparing to visit an exciting new location with my wife Lynsey, who loves volunteering.
So I decided to keep up the habit, and continue doing a 5k route – but saw it as an opportunity to explore locations that were still traffic free, and in mainly green spaces that parkrun currently were not operating in, that I hadn’t already done a 5k in.
First I went to one of the local parks close to where I live in Stockport – Cale Green Park. Due to the size of the park, it turned into a 12-lapper. It ended up being faster than any of my parkrun times from 2020. The number of laps didn’t matter. The size of the park didn’t matter. I enjoyed the experience, and it seemed like a good way to explore local green spaces that I wouldn’t ordinarily think of going to. The Burrelli (not)parkrun series was born.
Every Saturday during lockdown, I would go to a different location in Stockport, to explore and do my 5k. In the April, I also combined my ‘Burrelli’ runs with doing a live video on my running club’s Facebook page – Davenport Runners – just to share my feelings, and to check in with the club members.
As I work shifts, I was able to continue doing the videos until the autumn. Inevitably there would be the odd Saturday I would end up working, so I would schedule the ‘Burrelli’ to a midweek run so that I could keep the streak going. When restrictions allowed, I got to include a running buddy with me on my travels, Phil Corker – who has now done over 20 of these with me.
When restrictions eased in the summer and into the autumn of 2020, I was able to go a little further afield, and managed to fit in runs in Chester and around Scammonden Water near Halifax.
I don’t think back in March 2020, anyone could have imagined that a full year later, the parkrun community would still be without their normal Saturday morning routine. However, I have managed to keep my temporary Saturday morning (not)parkruns going throughout the hiatus, and have now completed 56 Burrelli (not)parkrun series runs matching the number of weeks that we have been without parkrun (even managing to shoehorn the format so I could include my back garden in as a venue during a period of self isolation in January!)
I’ve been able to find lots of new locations, and been able to keep up my fitness in the process throughout that time.
The Burrells are very much looking forward to being back amongst the parkrun community on Saturday 5 June, and for both of us to be back being able to participate in our favourite Saturday morning activity.
With the new volunteering milestones, Lynsey is working towards her 250th volunteering tee, and I’m not too far off my 100th volunteering milestone, along with working towards my 250th parkrun.
But, most of all, we want to be back with our parkrun family and share our parkrun experience with everyone again.
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