On January 14th 2012, I attended my very first parkrun at New Farm. Since then, I’ve completed over 250 parkruns, met many wonderful people, eaten numerous post-run pastries, volunteered with an exceptional event team and loved every single parkrun moment.
I was nervous arriving at my first parkrun event, afraid that everyone would be fast runners who take running seriously. But my view of parkrun changed within half an hour of being there. parkrun is a community. An inclusive community that encourages people of all ages to enjoy a 5km walk, jog or run. I couldn’t run the whole way at my first event. I couldn’t even run the whole way at my second event. But it didn’t matter! At parkrun, there’s no pressure to perform, everyone is just there to finish that 5km, chat with others, enjoy post-parkrun breakfast and look at all the cute dogs along the course.
My parents drove me to parkrun every weekend and they still do! The only difference between now and when I first started is that my whole family now does parkrun. My brother started not too long after me and my parents, who would walk part of the course every Saturday, both signed up about a year after. I love that parkrun has become something meaningful for my family. My brother has always been good at running, but my mum and dad found a joy in running that is only contributable to parkrun.
Since then, I have never looked back. I enjoy waking up every single Saturday morning to complete my 5km. It’s a great way to start the weekend (well, for me, it’s the only way to start the weekend!).
For those thinking about coming to their first parkrun, but are feeling a bit nervous, I encourage you to come and have a go! People always say to me, “I can’t run 5km.” It doesn’t matter, you don’t have to run! You can walk, jog, run, or do a mixture of all three. It’s about getting out, getting active and having fun! If you’ve never done 5km before, my advice is to take it slow and enjoy the course. Walk or slowly jog to get a feel of what 5km feels like. Choose a pace that allows you to chat comfortably to others around you. You’ll be sure to meet someone lovely at parkrun. Need some more motivation? Saturday mornings are for parkrun and tasty brekkies. My family and I treat ourselves to a delicious breakfast at the markets (or at a local café if we are visiting a different parkrun event) after parkrun every week!
The parkrun community is most definitely a global one these days, with parkrun established in 18 different countries. The parkrun spirit transcends international borders with the parkrun concept being quickly and enthusiastically picked up by people around the world. The fact that only one barcode is needed, no matter what parkrun you go to…
We all know how great exercise is for keeping our bodies fit, strong and healthy. It’s also important for helping our brains function at their best, making us happier, sharper and more focused. For optimum mood, memory and cognitive performance, you should aim to complete 20-30 minutes of huffy-puffy exercise each day – enough…