Saturday was one of my good parkrun friends Caroline Thorpe’s 50th parkrun. Caroline can’t be at parkrun every Saturday due to working for the emergency services so Saturday was extra special. I encouraged lots of us to wear our own 50 tees at Huddersfield parkrun to support her on her 50th run. Here she is in the middle of us just before the start. We all motivate each other!
I was tailrunning for the first time at the Basildon event where I tripped up as I crossed the finish line. Luckily managed to keep my balance (just about!) but it has left me with one of my favourite parkrun photos ever as Nelson was on hand to catch the moment as it happened!
I started the NHS couch 25k in October after watching both my husband, daughter and then her boyfriend completing it. Our daughter has ME and thought if she can run so could I, although I was apprehensive as I’d had a 3.5cm benign meningiola brain tumour removed at the end of March 2016. After speaking to my consultant I discovered that I could. I even bought a treadmill for my husband and I’ve used it more than him and with Sarah Millican and listening to Jules Knight singing kept me sane during the sessions. I ran/walked my first Birkenhead parkrun being encouraged by the fantastic volunteers and other runners along the course. I went at my own pace and enjoyed the experience.
I joined parkrun after my colleague Sarah Stringer made me! I’d been struggling with mental health issues and I’d stopped running and needed a kick. Sarah is involved with my local Northallerton parkrun and gave me that kick. My Mum took me and my son, my anxiety was that bad. Then she decided to volunteer, my son too if he’s with her. From watching everyone and seeing the love and support she has decided, despite years of saying she can’t run, that this year, she will do parkrun, when the weather is better. My son hopes to join in too. He’s only four and there is no junior parkrun near us, so until then he’ll dish out high fives and cheers.
I started running parkrun last year to lose weight and to get fit again after having a liver transplant. When I started I was 117kg and the first run took me 43 minutes, at that point I felt that maybe running wasn’t for me. I then decided to run one more time at St Helens parkrun with the affectionately named Bandstanders, it was like meeting and being accepted by a totally new family. The support and encouragement is really second to none. On Saturday I set a new PB of 34.28 and it is really is down to the love and support from within the group. Getting home from Saturday’s run I had a shower and weighed myself – I’m now 99kg!
I have taken part in the Manchester 10k 10 times, but then suffered a knee injury whilst playing football. I hadn’t done any exercise in two years, until I went to visit friends in South Africa recently. I went and ran the Big Bay parkrun in Cape Town. Absolutely amazing backdrop for my first ever parkrun, my first run of any kind in two years. Now it’s back to the UK and cold, wet February mornings!
We have some special guests attending Hazlehead Parkrun this weekend in Aberdeen. Three former world record holders will be there – former 5,000m world record holder Dave Moorcroft, Gideon Gathimba (4x1500m) and we also hope that London Marathon champion and Olympic medallist Wilson Kipsang will join them, but this depends on the time of day he runs his final 25k long run before going for the world record in Tokyo the following weekend.
When John Ramsden turned 70 he marked the occasion by walking 700 miles from John O’Groats to Land’s End. 15 years later he has added the parkrun 250 Club to his list of achievements. We asked this former London cabbie, who has been running since the 1960s, to share his secret of running longevity…
People have been asking me a lot lately why I am always taking photos at parkrun and never actually running, so I thought I would explain how not being able to run has helped me fall in love with volunteering. After a successful marathon last year, and running parkrun through the winter, I fractured…