The 2nd of October 2004 will always be celebrated as the day the parkrun movement was born, and in our parkrunning household it is extra special. That was the day I brought my baby son Conor home from hospital.
We live near the town of Athlone in Ireland, and when Conor was 10 years old Athlone parkrun launched. At that time my husband Paul and I had taken part in a few 5k and 10k races after completing a Couch to 5k programme through the local GAA (Irish football) club, so we decided to give parkrun a try. We had heard about parkruns in other parts of Ireland and we were curious about a free timed weekly 5k.
I think it’s important for us as parents to set a good example in terms of exercise and participation in physical activity, so we did our first parkrun together, as a family, on 18 July 2015. Conor and I are now in the 50 Club and my husband Paul has recently taken on the role of co-event director at Athlone parkrun.
parkrun has had a really positive impact on our family and I’d recommend it to anyone. It’s a safe and supportive environment to walk or run in and you really have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Conor would tell you that the best thing about parkrun is that he is now faster than his mum and dad at running! That is true, he’s even been first finisher at parkrun before, but as parents we can see that it’s so much more than just his running ability that is improving week after week. Conor receives a huge amount of support and encouragement from the entire parkrun community and this has given his confidence a real boost. parkrun is an event that we can all be involved in as a family and we are firmly in the habit of doing it whenever we can.
31-year-old Dean Beirne credits Lough Key parkrun with transforming him from a 20-a-day smoker to a 3:18 marathon runner in just three years. This is his story: parkrun has changed my life dramatically since running my first parkrun in October 2014 at Roundhay parkrun in Leeds. It was not a planned visit – my…
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