January 2020

What parkrun means to me

I was recently speaking to someone about parkrun and it wasn’t until I spoke out loud that I realised what parkrun has meant to me over the years.

I first heard about parkrun back in 2015. The same day I went to get my gait analysis done for my first pair of running shoes (I was running the London Marathon 11 months later) a parkrun event had just started in my local town. Intrigued, a few weeks later, Saturday 16th May I went along. At this point I was training for my first half marathon and was just a few weeks into couch25k. I was almost a total beginner so when I turned up to a group of 100 lycra-clad people it’s fair to say I was totally intimated!

Though I didn’t know it at the time, there was no need to be. I ran/walked my way around and finished the 5k. So then I went back the week after. And the week after that. On my third week, I managed to run the entire thing without stopping. A lady was in front of me so I used her to spur me on. I thanked her at the end where she told me she could hear my footsteps behind her and that kept her going too. I went a handful more times in 2015 and each year after upper my parkrun game.

Roll on 2020. I’m in a new age category (30-34), I’ve done 124 parkruns on 35 different courses.

It still amazes me when each week, come rain, cold or shine, I see thousands and thousands of runners gearing up ready to run, jog or walk around their local park. People united with one thing in common.

As a movement parkrun has increased the number of people getting active on a Saturday morning. Year-on-year the average finishing time for parkrun increases, showing that more people are taking part regardless of whether they run, walk or jog.

Looking back parkrun has…

  • introduced to running with people
  • given me the confidence to run with people
  • got me out of bed for on a Saturday morning
  • made me feel part of something
  • become a means of keeping active especially when I’m not training

And because of all of the things that parkrun has done for me, it means many things…

 If you’re thinking about taking part then take my word for it – you won’t regret going.

You can see all my parkrun locations and reports that I’ve written here.

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