News - 15th July 2021

I felt so normal


Jo Roberts discovered parkrun when graduating from a Couch to 5k programme. Missing parkrunning and volunteering over the past 16 months, she couldn’t wait to volunteer at her local junior parkrun when it returned in her hometown in England.


Here she tells us how it was just the taste of normality she needed.


My parkrun journey began in London at Bushy Park with my then boyfriend, and now husband, Chris.


We were training for a half marathon together and thought it would be fun to try a mass event for the first time, before the big event.


Fast forward a few years and we had moved further out of London and were expecting a new addition. I encouraged Chris to keep parkrunning as I thought it would be a good way for him to stay healthy and fit whilst I was wiped out with pregnancy.


I’d suffered with postnatal depression following the birth of our son and somehow managed to get back to running with help of the couch to 5K programme and my running club, The Runnymede Runners in Surrey, just south of London.


The running club encouraged me to take part at parkrun as my Couch to 5k graduation event and I was hooked.


Jo Roberts 3


Chris and I take turns volunteering and parkrunning. Our local parkrun team are so friendly and welcoming that not only have they become our friends, but they also asked me to consider becoming a Run Director!


Jo Roberts 1


I was Run Director for the last parkrun of 2020 in March, so hope I can remember how to do everything when the events are able to return.


Volunteering is such a mood booster for me and as soon as junior parkruns were allowed back I signed up to volunteer for them. I will admit crying after all the children had gone past Marshal Point One for the second time as I felt so normal, and after the last 16 months it was a welcome feeling.


Our son Teddy is now three years old and has already helped me volunteer countless times. I can’t wait for him to turn four years old so he can count his volunteering and take part in “big” parkrun and junior parkrun himself!


Jo Roberts 2


Jo Roberts

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