Andrea Watt and her daughter feel like part of the parkrun family every Saturday morning when they do their (not)parkrun. They’ve not missed one since the lockdowns began in March 2020.
My 15 yr old daughter, Rebecca, and I are regular parkrunners at Stonehaven parkrun in England. We started going in May 2018 and then attended more regularly in 2019 and enjoyed volunteering roles too. Stonehaven is affectionately known as a ’boutique parkrun’ with around 100 runners each week, everyone knows everyone and we love the friendliness.
I achieved my 50 milestone just before Christmas 2019 and my daughter achieved her 50 in February 2020, which was our last one before the pandemic put parkrun in the UK on pause.
Our (not)parkrunning journey started on March 21st 2020 after watching the first Great Big parkrun Quiz. We wanted to still feel the sense of shared community, camaraderie and being part of the parkrun family. We wear our red parkrun t-shirts every week. Here we are 52 weeks later (at time of writing) and not missed a week!
We have a fantastic 5km lap from our house in Inverbervie which has stunning sea views.
We have run in Stonehaven, when restrictions allowed, with some of our fellow parkrunners, We also ran a route in Aviemore.
In October 2019, we ran the Victoria Park route, in Northern Ireland, where I am from. It was quite emotional being home and back there!
We have mixed up the routes near our house and always take a picture of a house number to correspond with the number parkrun we are doing, and we are moving onto car registrations now.
We do our (not)parkrun (mostly!) together every Saturday morning, sometimes earlier but never later than the 9.30am start time we are used to. We like to feel part of the parkrun family every week for that time on each Saturday.
Then we both run ourselves on other days. I have enjoyed lots of virtual events including The Great North Run and Virtual London Marathon.
Running this last year has meant so much to us. It has been great for our fitness and mental health. I have enjoyed being part of the virtual parkrun family through this time and love engaging in the social media.
I think parkruns are going to be amazing when they reopen. A few friends have been inspired by us and said they will be joining us when the parkrun starts again.
We cannot wait to be back at the start again and know how emotional it will be for everyone. We have missed our parkrun friends, the First Timer’s Welcome, the high-vis jackets, the cones, signs, the hill in Stonehaven (3 times!), the bell ringing for a personal best, the cheers, the lovely cuppa over at TerryAnne’s coffee shop, the sense of achievement and companionship… We will be back.
parkrun has enriched our lives and for that we are very grateful.
Been wondering what a parkrun looks like? Where do you go? What do you do? How do you sign up? Whether you’re joining us for the first time, or a more seasoned parkrunner that just needs your memory refreshed, we’ve put together this handy guide to everything you need to know about parkrun. …
For Esther Stanier, volunteering at parkrun gave her back a sense of purpose, routine and a way to feel “useful”. Here she explains why, and recommends everyone gives it a go! I am so proud to be part of the parkrun community, both as a parkrunner and a volunteer. My first parkrun was in…