A celebration.

Posted on: 18 Sep 2018

A slightly different focus to today’s blog.  The last few weeks have been all about me, and my training for the ACC (as an aside, I shall just say that it’s going fine).  This week’s blog has to be about others.

Firstly, there’s my dad.  He was a vicar.  He was always insistent that there weren’t to be funerals in his churches, but that they were to be “celebrations of life”; so, when the time came (far, far too soon) for us to bury him, the service in Gloucester’s great cathedral was just that – a celebration of his life.

I was reminded of that a few times in the run up to Saturday’s Park Run.  It was the weekend of the Great Oggie Run – this time, we were running in memory of Marika.  Purple was the colour, and great was the response.  I hadn’t met Marika, but I knew about how she fought cancer.  I knew from those who’d met her about how positive an outlook she had, right to the end.  Steve and Michael, friends of hers from her running club, joined us at St.Albans, and chatting to them at the end left me in no doubt at all about the strength of her character and about her determination to live life to the full.  So, a celebration of her life indeed.  I am sure that she was looking down on us, as the rays of sunshine pierced the clouds as if heaven-sent.  I’d like to think that she shared the best seat in the house with dad of course, and that together they saw their legacy unfold.

There were many other celebrations too.  It was lovely that I would be on the same course (although a few minutes behind, despite the fact that it was his slowest PR ever!) as Nick as he celebrated his 200th Park Run.  A true ambassador for the concept of Park Run, but so much more than that of course; I think Nick remains the fastest person I know – I don’t count many record holders amongst my friends after all.  Nick, it was a pleasure to be there as you brought up your double hundred.

More widely still, I felt as if I celebrated the wonders of Realbuzz too.  It’s been said before, but truly our wonderful community is an antidote to all that is bad about the internet.  We knew each other very well before we ever met in the flesh – blogging had ensured that.  Now, whenever we do meet, it’s a wonderful meeting of friends. 

As I ploughed my lonely furrow around Bristol’s Downs today, I thought about the old “loneliness of the long distance runner” phrase.  Sure, there’s some truth in it, and, if I’m honest, I like that truth – I’m reading Ben Smith’s 401 book at the moment, and he talks about running being his filing time (a time for him to organise everything in his mind).  I like the idea of being alone – I haven’t run with music for many months now, and I don’t miss it.  I love the solitude, the thoughts, the “me-time.”  But for every ounce of truth in that saying, there is a counter-ounce (not a word, I suspect, but I think it should be), and that is displayed every time we meet, we comment, we blog, we encourage each other.

So, a celebration was called for.  A celebration of life, of friendships, of the wonders of Park Run.  And, of course, us being Buzzers, if something is called for, it is delivered.  If it’s effort you need, we’re the team.  Likewise, if your demand is heart, desire, commitment, encouragement; we’ve got those all covered too. 

All in all then, a weekend of celebration.  Here’s to many more, my friends.

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