So as you will have seen, it was recently confirmed that all parkrun events around the world are cancelled for the month of May. At least another 5 weeks without parkrun! Not exactly the news we wanted to hear, but we understand the exceptional times we find ourselves living through.
How this situation affects each of us is of course, hugely dependent on one’s individual circumstances. Whether you, or someone in your family has been ill. Whether your work has been affected. If not being able to travel means that long-planned journeys have had to be cancelled.
And it also has an affect on us all psychologically. What it’s like when you can’t meet up with your colleagues at work. Or your friends at parkrun on a Saturday morning, when it was an integral part of your weekly routine.
I must admit I felt a bit low in the weeks after parkrun was cancelled. After three years of being at a parkrun event almost every single week – most often helping out at Haga parkrun, but sometimes running at Haga or elsewhere – suddenly there was nothing. Sure, it was nice with a lie-in the following Saturday morning – a novelty! But then there was some emptiness.
The growing realisation that this wasn’t going to be over in a couple of weeks. And that we were powerless to do much about it.
Luckily the parkrun community around the world has been amazing. Event Directors for our parkruns have understood the situation, and have acted responsibly. parkrun HQ have continued to push out a positive message, keeping up spirits. And parkrunners at our events have reached out and told us how much they are missing parkrun, and are looking forward to being back.
And I know that parkrun will survive and it will be back stronger than ever. Firstly, because the concept of parkrun is so great. A free, weekly, timed 5km run, together with others, open for everyone, friendly and informal. There are some innovative ‘virtual’ running initiatives taking place during this Coronavirus crisis, which is great, but nothing will quite replace meeting up with others on a Saturday morning to run parkrun.
And then secondly, because the values of parkrun are so strong. At its heart is a friendly, welcoming, supportive community of people who are involved in parkrun for all the right reasons. If you want a dose of positivity, you can’t do any better than to come along to a parkrun on a Saturday morning.
I hope everyone is doing OK in the current situation. Some people will be doing better than others. Take care of those people who are finding in tough. And for all those missing parkrun, we promise that we will be back as soon as we can. Stay safe everyone!
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