Yesterday’s Launceston parkrun wasn’t an official parkrun due to the change of course. There was a music festival on near our usual starting place so it was either cancel or have an unofficial parkrun. I’m so glad our Run Director chose to put on an unofficial run. Loved the change of course. It was an out-and-back in one direction, then an out-and-back in the opposite direction. The usual course is great, really enjoy it, but it was nice to do something different for a change
As we ran we got to run past each other, cheer and high-five anyone who held out their hands. The children really loved it and were smiling, laughing and high-fiving all the way. It was fun.
At the start line I overheard a conversation where two first time ladies were asking about walking and if it was ok to walk. They hoped to run all the way but they were looking a bit nervous. AND it was hot again, AND humid. At the end everyone was sweaty and red-faced. Those nearby assured these ladies that walking is definitely ok at parkrun.
Slightly after I made the first turn around I ran by the two ladies. I clapped and cheered them and one called out I wish I could run like you.
She wishes she could run like me? Me? The Unsporty Woman??? It brought a tear to my eye and almost immediately I was transported back to those days where I was so determined to run all the way to our letter box (1.2kms from our farm house, all the way up the drive to the road and our red letter box). I remembered how hard it was and how, despite all the trying (months and months and months) I didn’t really believe I would EVER be able to run that far. And here was a lady saying she wished she could run like me.
It’s good to look back and see how far we have come with our fitness and running journey. There have been two major milestones in my running journey. The first was getting to that red letter box. The feeling of joy, achievement and relief. How did I ever manage that? The second was running up that mountain in November last year. My Holy Running Grail, the Point to Pinnacle. These two milestones have taught me that if I persevere anything is possible with running. If you can dream it, you can achieve it.
And here I am now with another runner wishing they could run like me.
I spoke to this lady afterwards and she was elated to report that she and her friend had run all the way. She said it was different to the treadmill and that she found she gets very nervous lining up to run with others. I so remember that feeling. Wanting to apologise to other runners because I’m not very good and I shouldn’t be there at that starting line. And here was this lovely lady echoing my feelings exactly. I encouraged her to persevere and to keep coming to parkrun because those feelings will go away. And all runners regardless of pace, experience or if we run/walk are extremely welcome at parkun and in fact any fun run event.
Not your usual parkrun but a wonderful run none-the-less. It was such a joy to meet these ladies and to affirm them in their running journey. And such a wonderful opportunity to reflect how far I’ve come in my running journey. I’ll never be up with the first finishers but I’m so incredibly happy to be around the middle of the pack and just to be able to run all the way and finish. I love running.
And isn’t parkrun just the best thing ever? Every single week there are stories like this where ordinary people striving to improve in their running confidence have little wins. These ladies ran all the way. The whole way! WINNERS!
Happy running 🙂