It was a crisp, sunny morning and I was more eager than anxious. After what had seemed years of being nagged into doing my first parkrun by Deri Thomas, quite possibly the keenest advocate for the cause I know, here I was at Burgess parkrun getting ready to set off.
I’ve never been a runner. In fact, I would go as far to say I’ve always had a dislike for running, cemented by vivid memories at school of getting a stitch after 50 metres and finding the whole experience rather painful.
And yet I wanted to give parkrun a try. Deri had told me about the sense of camaraderie that is often experienced at this Saturday morning ritual and I wanted to feel it for myself.
Along with around thirty other newbies, I went along to the orientation talk to learn the route we would take before taking my position with another hundred or so runners at the start line. And then we were off.
I set off too quickly, my enthusiasm not quite matched by the reality of my fitness. Deri was right, there is a special parkrun atmosphere. I was impressed by the number of volunteers along the course offering encouraging words and motivation which were much needed in the last 1.5km where I had this sense that everyone was running past me (probably because they were).
The dopamine came out in a flurry as I crossed the finishing line and chatted with friends. And I got another hit when, only within an hour or so I found out my time which, for a newbie, was none too shabby.
All in all, doing my first parkrun was a great experience which I would encourage anyone and everyone to do. It won’t be my last.
Shaun de Wet Steyn (in the red t-shirt)
Last week we brought to you the news about our globe-trotting parkrunner, Tony Jennings, from Australia, who had made his way to Tampere, Finland, in his quest to run the snowiest and most northerly parkrun in the world. Well, that was just part of a Scandinavian parkrun adventure that highlighted the dedication of committed parkrunners…
Denna vecka provkör Skatås parkrun en alternativ ”out and back” vinterbana som förhoppningsvis kommer göra det möjligt för teamet att arrangera parkrun genom hela vintern. Deltagarna kommer känna igen de första två kilometerna ut till Härlanda tjärn. Men istället för att vända till höger och fortsätta uppför backen bakom kiosken vid stranden ska deltagarna vända…