When Ben Alexander retired from professional Rugby, he never thought he’d find a sport that would add as much value to his life as Rugby. In stepped parkrun.
For 22 years Rugby had given structure to my weeks, and it was my way of simultaneously exercising and spending time with mates.
And even though I knew what I wanted to do for work in retirement, I was worried that I could fall into a heap without the things Rugby had given me.
While I was still playing, I read lots of articles about athletes suffering from depression in retirement, and when a former teammate took his own life I thought “Maybe the same will happen to me”.
But parkrun not only introduced me to the great sport of running, but it’s also helped me to fill the holes in my life that come with retiring from professional sport.
The parkrun and Rugby communities are similar in many ways. Both are full of competitive, but supportive and kind people, and I’ve made many new friends along the way.
Whether it be running in road races, trails, 5kms or marathons, running has an endless list of challenges and I’m excited to tick as many off the list as possible in the years ahead.
For as long I can remember, Saturday’s have been my time to compete, and parkrun has been a great competitive outlet whether I’m trying to shave time off my PB, or racing mates.
Earlier this month, I completed my 100th parkrun in my second fastest time, and I’m keen to get my 25 volunteer shirt next.
Thank you parkrun!
As parkrun continues to grow around the world, we are committed to breaking down barriers to participation in regular physical activity and bringing communities together. Communication plays a vital part in what we do, and we are looking to expand our range of non-English language content. To help us do so, we have created the voluntary…
Have you ever wondered who has completed the most parkruns, or who has the most volunteer credits? You’re about to meet Darren Wood and Nicki Clark! Some might be surprised to learn that neither parkrunner was at the first parkrun event back in 2004. But ever since Darren and Nicki started, they have never looked…