Today is a special day. Launceston parkrun turns one.
What a year of running the advent of parkrun started!
…looking back to November 2012
I first heard of parkrun through The Running Company’s facebook page in September 2012. They kindly posted the link and curiosity saw me giving it a click. Then a good read. Then a good read of the full parkrun website. A discussion with Husband about it decided that we would register and give it a go. We registered, printed out our barcodes and then waited for the first event.
On Saturday 09 November Husband and I lined up with 90 other participants for the inaugural Launceston parkrun. As usual at a running event I felt uncomfortable. I felt shy. I felt that I didn’t belong. I certainly looked the part in my adidas running singlet, cap and 2XU compression pants but I felt like a fraud. Husband knew a few people through his involvement with the Launceston Athletic Club and had a good old chat while my heart was pounding and I was feeling sick with nerves. I didn’t know a soul.
What I expected to gain from parkrun:
- To build my running confidence and to try and silence my nerves
- To improve in my running and fitness and perhaps to increase my time a tiny bit
- To do something off the farm with Husband
The weather last year was glorious, a beautiful warm spring day. I had to use sunscreen!
…looking at today, Launceston parkrun’s first birthday
The weather was terrible! It was freezing, rainy and windy! 116 runners participated and the Unsporty Woman was a volunteer… she handed out the finishing tokens (there were two groups of 100 tags, just as well the Event Director was looking because I was about to start handing out from number 100! YIKES! I’ll probably be back to my safe position of marshalling next time hehe).
A year on and no longer do I have those nerves or feelings like I don’t belong. I’m part of the running community.
What I have gained from parkrun:
- Confidence and certainty that I am welcome at any running event I choose to participate in
- An increase in fitness and yes a tiny little bit of speed (I’ve taken a 1:03 off my first time and I’m ranked 11th in my age group out of 58)
- Husband and I love getting off the farm and participating!
- We have met some lovely like-minded people and experienced firsthand the inclusiveness of the running community… their encouragement and kindness
- We have loved volunteering and cheering others on and helping out just a little bit
- We have found out about The Running Group and have been able to train for the Point to Pinnacle with running friends
- I had the confidence to join the Launceston Athletic Club and while I still might have done this without parkrun, the experience of parkrun certainly made it a lot easier
- But perhaps the biggest gain from becoming part of parkrun is the confidence to bring my ultimate running dream forwards a whole year. To train hard for and to truly believe that I can achieve my Holy Running Grail of getting to the top of that mountain. Thank you Launceston parkrun.
Happy 1st Birthday Launceston parkrun. What an amazing event. Free, local, friendly. A shot in the arm on a Saturday morning for runners, walkers and volunteers alike. Volunteers make this event happen. I rock up from time to time and do a little task that takes an hour and a bit. It’s the Event Directors and Run Directors who are to be congratulated and thanked from the bottom of my heart – they make it all happen each week but make it look like it’s no trouble at all. Thank you!
Happy running 🙂
PS if you want to find out more about parkrun please visit their website… it’s a global thing and you never know there might be one near your OR if there isn’t it might be time that there was 🙂 Registration means that you can participate in any parkrun the world over (just have your barcode with you)! I’ve been a parkrun tourist three times now and am looking forward to visiting other parkruns in Australia and New Zealand in the coming years (and perhaps somewhere else… who knows!)