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)
Så ofta vi hinner och vädret tillåter säljer vi fika på parkrun i Hagaparken. Vi är jätteglada att Arbetskamraterna har fått den möjligheten så vi får möta alla härliga människor som har sprungit och sen vill köpa kaffe, bulle, smörgås eller något annat gott. Efter några veckors försäljning känner vi igen personer som springer…
Whilst parkrun is renowned for positivity and mutual encouragement, I seem to have attracted more attention than usual these last months as my tummy has grown. Now at 37 weeks (approaching 8.5 months) pregnant, I’m as astonished (and delighted) as anyone to still be running. I know I’m really fortunate as pregnancies can vary…