A First Birthday

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.

Taking off on the levee bank at the start today - gloomy weather but enthusiastic runners!
Taking off on the levee bank at the start today – gloomy weather but enthusiastic runners!

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.
Being a parkrun tourist at Cornwall Park parkrun in Auckland New Zealand (www.parkrun.co.nz/cornwall)

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!

Can you spot the Tasmanian? Albert Park parkrun Melbourne.
Can you spot the Tasmanian? Albert Park parkrun Melbourne.

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!)

PPS Happy First Birthday to Ireland’s Malahide parkrun  too… Red Hen’s local parkrun.  If you haven’t read Red Hen’s blog please do, you are missing out!

8 thoughts on “A First Birthday

  1. Ah! You`re too kind! Thank you for the mention! And yes, we`d a terrific first birthday at Malahide parkrun today. Post to follow very soon!

    Meanwhile, what is it about Tasmanians that they stand out anywhere? 🙂 And hey! you`re looking good!

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