Darren Lydeamore turned 50 in 2017 and decided to come along to Atherton parkrun in January of his ‘milestone year’ after a work colleague in the UK had encouraged him.
He was unfit, unhealthy and unhappy with how he was feeling but with the encouragement and support of the Atherton parkrun community, all that has changed.
His time was 40:30 at his first event, featuring a combination of running and walking as 5k was a big deal. His PB is now just over 21 minutes, he has completed over 100 runs and has done a 70.3 Ironman event.
Darren’s commitment to his parkrun family is equally inspiring.
There almost every week running, volunteering, encouraging and cheering others on. With his wife, Meredith and thee daughters, Hannah, Gabbie and Jo, they have introduced many newcomers to parkrun. Darren and Meredith enjoy it as it is something they can do together as a family.
Darren doesn’t let much get in his way – Gabbie’s wedding earlier this year was the only parkrun he missed!
Last year, he used an anti-fog product that burned his eyes and put him in hospital for a few days – once discharged, he was still able to volunteer until his vision cleared up.
There was also bike accident that ended in a loss of consciousness, a cracked skull, eye socket and ribs, a broken finger and many “impressive cuts and scrapes”. Once again, his eyesight was affected by the depressed eye socket. He got back to parkrun within weeks, walking and jogging as he worked on getting his balance and confidence back.
“The great group of people we met. Friendships we have made keep us going along most Saturday mornings. We have a really encouraging group” Darren said. “The fact that folk of all levels of fitness can participate and improve their time (and health) with a group to encourage them along the way is great and it’s free! I am a big fan of parkrun!”
For those of us who have seen Darren’s physical transformation, his journey has been truly amazing. However, it is his determination, resilience and ‘get back on my bike’ attitude that inspires us most.
What an inspiration to others who are just starting out on their parkrun journey!
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