Gillian Roden was convinced by friends to sign up for a couch to 5km program.
After graduating from the program at parkrun, she fell in love with the parkrun community and now thinks it’s the best way to start any weekend.
I signed up for a running event in April 2016. To be honest, I had zero interest in running (or any exercise really) but a few friends who had already signed up convinced me to give it a go. I was trying to get fitter, and I thought at least it could help with that so I went along.
I honestly thought I would hate it and give up after a few weeks but I actually really enjoyed it (it helped that the course started off very slowly, walk a minute, run a minute etc) and the coaches were fantastic and so encouraging.
When we graduated in June at the parkrun it was my first parkrun and I loved it, everyone was so friendly and I recognised a few people from the local area. My love of parkrun continued and I have been going now for almost four and a half years. I have also volunteered quite a few times and love cheering the other parkrunners on. I have done a few parkruns in other locations (the most memorable being San Francisco) and it’s great to be able to find one when on holiday but I’ll always come back to my home parkrun.
There is such a sense of community and a real mix of people and abilities – I’ll never be a fast runner but at parkrun it doesn’t matter.
That event (Jog Belfast) and parkrun definitely changed my life, both physically and mentally, and I have met so many new people. I would have completed my 100th parkrun by now if it hadn’t been stopped due to COVID-19 and I look forward to doing it in the future.
It really is the best way to start the weekend – a walk, a jog, or a run, a chat, and a coffee with friends.
Mark Parrott always thought he was the black sheep of the family. With siblings who were always active, he never thought he’d feel at home at parkrun. But Mark quickly discovered how inclusive parkrun is. Rewinding a bit, my sister was suggesting that I should do parkrun for quite a while as I…
Margie Davis has the enviable record of a volunteer ratio of 1050% and growing! Margie started with the fledgling Charleys Creek parkrun in September 2019 after she heard about the event. Her love of people and volunteering has taken over and is now an expert on nearly all the roles. She has embraced…