parkrun Heroes. That’s the name of our family group chat. Every Saturday morning, there is a great discussion on times and strategies, on aging and being passed by our children, and then onto the rest of life. parkrun has provided our family with a great excuse for regular contact, despite living all over Australia and even overseas.
Our ages range from 77 down to 8, and our times from around 50 mins to around 20 minutes.
Here’s what John, the patriarch of this parkrun clan has to say…
When we visited my eldest daughter Donna and her husband Bryan in March 2017, we discovered that they were both enthusiastic parkrunners. Donna’s involvement was a surprise to us because as a child she was the type of runner that ensured her competitors never came last in a race!
Over the week she valiantly tried to convince me that I should give it a go. My excuses that I had two replacement knees and had not jogged for as long as I could remember, or that I would take more than an hour to complete 5 kilometres were not deemed acceptable. She embraced the principle that taking part was the important thing and I resigned myself to the fact that I could prevent someone else from being last.
I was registered, my barcode was printed and before I knew it I was in the parkrun on the beautiful figure of eight course at Inverloch with my daughter, son in law and grandson. I walked as fast as I could and as I approached the finish my (then) non-participant wife informed me that I had to sprint through the finish. I managed to raise a slow jog to finish in the time of 50.50. I was amazed by the encouragement I received on the way round and surprised that my time was under an hour. I had a feeling of success. I was hooked!
Since then, we have encouraged other family members to participate. I was delighted that on my 50th parkrun on 14 July 2018 I was accompanied by my wife, two other daughters and five of my grandchildren. It was a thrill to be able to join with Donna on her 50th parkrun in Warragul, Victoria.
Donna and her husband ran at the inaugural Japanese parkrun in Japan, and the family spread out to cover the Australian sector. We had a new parkrunner in the family this week, bringing the total who have run or walked to 17.
We love the fitness and camaraderie that parkrun has added to our family, and look forward to continuing to participate and challenge each other.
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