Traralgon parkrunner Leigh White transformed his body and in the process, helped change his life. Discover his journey to becoming a healthier and happier Dad.
I was introduced to Traralgon parkrun by a friend who was participating in Movember 2015 and had to be active. I went to support him at a parkrun one week and was immediately captured by the friendly community event and found myself coming back each week not just to run but to catch up with mates and make new friends along the way.
Barcode Scanning with his parkrun buddy John, they always bring FUN to parkrun
My initial goal was just to become more fit, as I recently became a dad to my daughter Charlie and knew I needed some fitness to keep up with her as she became more active.
Soon, one parkrun become 50, then 100 with many events, outfits, laughs, coffees and even a parkrunner of the month along the way. PB’s didn’t come easy as I never trained, one parkrun and a weekly gym session was my only real form of activity. Each week I would run and be near to the middle of the field. I’d watch all the front-runners fly past and couldn’t see myself being a front-runner as it was a push to be towards the front of the middle pack.
In about mid 2017 I started to run a few mornings on the treadmill and my PBs started to come a little more often as I nudged my way from averaging 25 min to lower 20’s, but the gym stopped once my son Harvey come along in the same year.
At the end of 2017, I was roughly 90-95kg and decided my New Year’s resolution was to quit soft drink and energy drinks. I wanted to lose weight but didn’t like the whole diet side of it so thought what the heck, I will start running a lot more and the only way to do it was to go full out and run a marathon. My initial goal started out as to complete the Melbourne marathon in under 4 hours. I started training most mornings before work and followed the beginner’s marathon plan I got from a friend. I followed it right down to the wire and as I was doing that I found parkrun was getting a lot easier and I was getting more PB’s. I wasn’t just running I was also pushing my daughter in the pram and getting PB’s.
Mid-way through my training I decided to add the Traralgon Marathon into my goal, as I got closer I challenged myself to do it under 3hours 30minutes and finished it in 3:24.
I get constant support from my family, friends, all the parkrunners and even from well-known local runners which helps motivate me to do better. I have now lost over 20kg and run on average 100km a week, including parkrun. I now find myself in the front-runners each week and doing PB’s left right and centre, with a new best time of 18:15. Just recently I entered into Run Melbourne 21.1km and set the goal for under 1.30, finishing in 1.28.
My new goal is to run a sub-3 hour marathon, and I am also looking forward to getting my 25 volunteer milestone because volunteers are vital to parkrun!
parkrun, you’ve changed my life.
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