In late January talented young runner Charlie Tickner from Camperdown came along to Timboon parkrun. Mum and Dad got up early to drive him over and sat at the finish line waiting for him to come through the flags. As their son is a runner and was keen to come along, they assumed it was an event for runners. While sitting there, they started chatting to our ED and some of the volunteers about parkrun.
They didn’t have too long to chat, Charlie came through the flags that first day in 20:26! It was suggested to them that they register and just come along and have a go, even if they couldn’t complete the 5 kms, they’d be very welcome. They thought they definitely couldn’t make the distance and that they were certainly not fit, but they might come along and volunteer some time seeing Charlie seemed to enjoy himself. Over the next couple of weeks, the other boys came along and participated.
Then on Saturday March 3, four generations of the family arrived with their printed barcodes ready to have a go at the 5ks. Great Grandma Val, Grandparents Geoff and Elaine, Mum Sally-Ann and boys Bayleigh, Declan and of course the young man whom inspired them all; Charlie. The family’s times ranged from 19:28 to 62:04, with the quicker runners heading back down the track to walk back with the others. It bought a tear to this EDs eye to see the family walk through the flags together, some exhausted but all elated. Fortunately, they weren’t too exhausted to join us for post parkrun coffee!
I know how great parkrun is, I know it can change lives, but to be reminded of it this week by this wonderful family was a delight and an honour. They embody the ethos that parkrun is for everyone, young or old, male or female, fit or unfit, able-bodied or not. It’s all about challenging yourself and giving it a go.
So, from this Event Director, thanks for the reminder of how great parkrun is! I look forward to seeing the family on the track again soon.
Donna Ellis ED, Timboon parkrun
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