This week, we hear from Mary Brown, a parkrunner from Eramosa River Trail in Guelph, ON who tells us what parkrun means to her.
My name is Mary Brown, I am 61 years old and I LOVE parkrun.
My grandson, Maxton Lambert, is 11 years old and he LOVES parkrun.
We are 50 years apart in age and we both LOVE parkrun!
I started running in my mid-40s. I’d never played organized sports but when the opportunity arose to join a running group, I thought I would give it a try. I found that I am not fast, I will “plod” along and I will finish. But what I really discovered was running camaraderie, and I was hooked.
Fast-forward a few years, life got busy, circumstances changed, and I was no longer a runner or even a “plodder”. Then, last August, my daughter showed me an article about parkrun in Guelph Today. She knew how much I enjoyed running in the past and thought I would be interested. parkrun seemed perfect for me, close enough for me to walk to, an out-and-back on a wide picturesque groomed trail, 5K of running or walking (whatever your preference), and loads of that camaraderie.
I was IN!
My first parkrun experience was on a beautiful day in late August. The volunteers were wonderful, I saw old running acquaintances and met new ones. And although I was not fast, I plodded along, completed the 5K and was hooked.
In mid-September, I invited my hockey-playing, sports-loving, outdoor-adoring grandson Maxton to join me at parkrun. Max had never run a 5K, so while we walked over, we talked about how long it would take us, the route, the token and barcode procedure and the whole concept of parkrun. We discussed that I am not fast, and we could stop and walk whenever we wanted. All was understood and we were good with our running plan.
When the run started, Maxton stayed with me for no more than 10 seconds, then he picked up his pace, gave me a smile, and with a wave he was gone! Each time we passed each other I saw an enormous grin on his face and knew he was hooked too.
Two weeks ago, while running the second leg of the 5K, I spotted a runner coming back towards me from the finish. It was Maxton! He came back to “run me in”. We’d never discussed this, he decided on his own and I was absolutely overjoyed to see him.
Maxton and I now have a Saturday routine: we walk to parkrun, we do our 5K, we walk for a hot chocolate, then we walk home and tell everyone we can about parkrun!
Thank you, Mary, for sharing your parkrun story, and spending your Saturday mornings with us!
— photos by Presence Speakman
Originally posted on Eramosa River Trail’s website November 10, 2019
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