Monday, 28 January 2013

parkrun off, fair enough

I left the house as usual for parkrun having not given a single thought to check the website or social media sites. Of course it would be on. Coventry parkrun is always on.

I had been for my normal Friday parkrun freedom run a day earlier and the course had been almost completely clear. The park maintenance staff had done a superb job. Except for one short stretch the entire parkrun route was clear of all snow, ice and slush.

Based on that evidence and the failure of the predicted overnight heavy snow to materialise, there seemed no doubt it would be on.

I jogged round the corner to call for my near neighbour for our run up to the start, only to be told that it had been cancelled. At that stage I had only jogged 50 yards or so, but already I had seen how treacherous the conditions were and although a little disappointed I was not surprised.

We decided that as we were all dressed up and ready to run, we may as well head up to the park for a jog anyway.

We stuck to the road as the compacted ice on the paths made them akin to a skating rink. Even though the road was clear it was still far from ideal with plenty of patches of black ice.

Once inside the park and onto the parkrun route the reasons for cancelling became even more clear. There was no way you could allow an organised run to take place on that surface. There would have been a fallers than a bad year at the Grand National.

As we approached the parkrun start area we could see our amazing Event Director and his parents. Even though he had cancelled in plenty of time they were still there to tell parkrunners the bad news in person. That is dedication!

The two of us decided we would do a parkrun or two at a very sensible pace.

Over the next half hour or so I witnessed some great sights. We told each group of arriving parkrunners the bad news as we passed them by. Although they were disappointed, none seemed too surprised and all were perfectly understanding.

The best sights were all the different groups doing there own slow jogs around the parkrun route. So addicted to parkrun we all are that although not an official parkrun, there were many groups of people, most who would probably never have run at all before parkrun and certainly not on ice, and they were all determined to do a parkrun freedom run, even at the slowest of paces.

It was great to see that. There must have been 50 or 60 people that ran a parkrun freedom run in place of their normal parkrun. I think that is pretty incredible.

I later heard that a further group (I'm not sure how many) had heard the news early enough and made an impromptu trip to our local parkrun neighbours at Leamington Spa. 

Another example of what parkrunners are willing to do to get their weekly parkrun fix!

Thank you parkrun!

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