parkrun. Visit the parkrun Australia web site and you will see this message scroll across your screen:
From beginners to Olympians… parkrun is for everyone
Open to all, simple to enter… join the parkrun family
Running… was never easier
Three simple statements that are played out at hundreds and hundreds of parkrun events across the world each Saturday morning.
A simple concept, driven by volunteers, that has taken the running world by storm. parkrun isn’t advertised like other events are advertised. It’s usually by word of mouth and social media that runners hear about it.
Saturday was a bit of a tentative run for me, a testing out of the lungs. Janette ran with me and we literally chatted ALL the way. That’s all the way. From start line to finish line. We ran the 5km course in just slightly over 28:00. It was so much fun. Lungs held up well with the running and the chatting.
At the 1.5km mark a lady passed us and commented I don’t know how you two can run and talk!
I remember those days when I couldn’t run and talk. It’s hard to believe at the starting point of running that eventually, as running fitness grows that it is possible to run and talk.
This lady was going so well then all of a sudden with just a smidge over 1km to go she had a walk. Janette and I spurred her on and she stared running. Then she needed another walk and assured us that she would run when she got to the next lamp post. She did!
I love to encourage people as I run. I know from my own experience that it’s been the words of others that have made the difference when the going has got tough.
After parkrun I congratulated the lady on her run. It was her very first parkrun. Her goal is to run the 5kms all the way. She thanked us for our encouragement. I hope I’m at parkrun the day she runs all the way! Exciting!
The other wonderful thing at parkrun yesterday was that just after Janette and I crossed the line a man came up to us and thanked us for pacing him. Hehe! I’m sure our chit chat was so enthralling he had to stay right behind so not to miss a word. He did a PB! How amazing is that! We helped someone and we didn’t even know it at the time.
That’s what parkrun is all about. Encouragement through nods and smiles. Deciding to run with a stranger because they seem to be setting a pace we can handle. The first time I ran in the 25 minute range I ran with a big tall man who I had never met before and just decided to stick with him. It’s all about friendship and becoming part of the parkrun family.
Haven’t heard of parkrun? Or heard of it lots through blogs but don’t know too much about it? Visit www.parkrun.com, click on your country and see if there is one near you. Without doubt it has been the major ingredient to the growth of my running confidence. Through parkrun I’ve overcome my enormous anxiety about running with other people (I’m too slow, I’m not a real runner – all lies that have been silenced by parkrun). AND the biggest bonus of all? Meeting running friends who become life friends.
Happy parkrunning 🙂
Happy running 🙂
PS that was my parkrun number 47. Three to go until my 50th run. With my 50th birthday coming up at the end of November I couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to mark this half century of mine. 50! The start of growing old disgracefully AND hopefully becoming a marathoner.