2021 was another rather short year of parkrun. It was announced in March that parkrun would return on 5th June. Then it was announced on 21st May that it was delayed again, as not enough landowners had given permission for it to return. We started to wonder if it would ever come back at all. That really would be a dreadful loss to public health. Parkrun plays a huge role in combating both physical and mental health problems, and easing loneliness – whether through running, volunteering or both.
It was given a revised return date of 26th June.
Then, when the final lifting of lockdown restrictions was delayed, parkrun was given yet another revised return date – 24th July.
So it’s been a short year, but there were still plenty of parkrun triumphs…
While there was no parkrun, there was (not)parkrun. Not many people chose to do it, but I did. Every Saturday, I ran 5k at 9am. I didn’t miss a single week. In the dark depths of winter, my husband and younger son ran it with me. But often it was just me.
On 17th April, I ran a new (not)parkrun PB of 21:49 – the only time I’ve ever run 5k in under 22 minutes.
On 15th May, I ran my 50th official (not)parkrun (I’d run it unofficially in 2020 until it became a proper thing).
On 24th July, my husband, daughter, dad, sister, brother-in-law, niece, nephew and I all returned to parkrun! My husband and I started off well, both coming first in our age categories.
On 31st July, my eldest and mum joined the nine of us at parkrun. My eldest had done a few parkruns back in 2016 and 2017, but had only done two in 2018 and one in 2019. He equalled his PB, with a 23:07 run, beating me. My daughter got a new PB, of exactly 28 minutes. And my niece ran her 10th parkrun, which is an official milestone for children (they earn a T-shirt for it).
When my dad went back to parkrun, we weren’t sure he would actually be able to run it, having been in hospital on a ventilator with Covid seven months previously, but on 31st July he knocked three minutes off his time from a week before.
On 14th August, my nephew ran his 10th parkrun. He also ran a new PB of 43:11.
On 21st August, my husband, eldest and I all ran The Old Showfield parkrun in Frome. My eldest ran a huge new PB of 21:57. Sadly you have a PB for each course, so it won’t be on the record for our home parkrun. He will have to run it at our home parkrun too!
Also at The Old Showfield, I was 2nd female across the line and recorded my best time at parkrun this year – 23:08.
On 11th September, my nephew ran a massive new PB of 36:53! Not bad at all for a 6 year old.
On 25th September, my sister ran a new PB of 26:07, knocking nearly 30 seconds off her PB set in 2018. And my nephew ran another PB – of 36:15. My dad also did his best post-Covid time of 44:44.
On 16th October, my mum and dad both ran ‘season’s bests’. We’ve accepted that, post-Covid, my dad will never get another PB – his PB is 36:41. And it’s unlikely my mum will get one too, as her PB of 47:32 was set back in 2016. So we’re going to track their season’s best results instead. My dad recorded 43:58 and my mum got 49:05
On 27th November, we ran parkrun in a blizzard. My time of 25:32 was very slow, but everyone was slow and I was second female across the line.
On 11th December, my husband paced my nephew to a new PB of 34:48, while my dad paced my niece to a new PB of 43:33 – and recorded a time of 43:48 himself. (My niece always walks round with my mum, but she would have had to run a bit to keep up with my dad!)
On 18th December, my husband and I ran Forest Rec parkrun in Nottingham. He came in at 12th overall and I was 13th, with my second best time this year of 23:17 and my third time this year as second lady.
On 25th December, my husband and I ran Christmas Day parkrun, which I’ve done every year since 2015 (apart from 2020, of course!).
So that’s our parkrun triumphs for 2021. Here’s to another successful (and hopefully full) year of parkrun in 2022.