I kept hearing about Parkrun, whether it was people on Twitter posting their results each Saturday or my running club organising a new one starting this September, but the thought of having to get up and be ready for a 9am run on a Saturday morning had put me off from going.
I’m not that good at early morning runs. I prefer late afternoon or early evening once I’ve warmed up a bit and got all the things I need to do out of the way. When I do morning runs it takes me a while to get going. I have to have my morning cup of tea and usually I’m rather hungry so either have to run hungry or wait until my breakfast has digested, by which time it’s well past 10am and not really early morning!
However, this Saturday one of the women from my running club was going to my local one and was bringing her 7 year old daughter to run the course. She asked if I was going and I said yes, after all it would be her daughter’s first Parkrun as well so I wouldn’t be alone.
So Saturday morning I am up and ready to leave the house by 8.15 and I arrived at the park just after 8.30. This gave me time to park the car, do a little bit of a walk round to warm up and to have a chat to fellow Parkrunners.
Just before 9am the race director for the day asked if there were any first timers and a large group put their hand up. We were briefed on the 5k course and what to do with your barcode and token after which everyone started to walk to the start line.
|Photo (c) Mike Collins|
The course was nice and flat with a bit of a loop in the middle. There were some nice shady parts, which I was thankful for given the heat of the day, and it was well marshaled throughout. As my first Parkrun I wasn’t running for a time so took it easy but there were a lot of people pushing themselves. As a timed event Parkrun gives you plenty of opportunity to try and beat your previous time, whatever that was.
There were also a lot of children running accompanied by an adult. My friend’s 7 year old was not the youngest as the last person across the line was running/walking with a 3 year old! He had a little tantrum and refused to cross the finish line though as he got embarrassed by the people cheering him along. He was finally persuaded to cross with the promise of a doughnut.
I will definitely be going back. My run of 29.31 is certainly something I can improve on and I can see this weekly free event will feature in my training for my half marathon in October.