News - 21st September 2022

People of parkrun brought to you by Vhi

Mark is wearing a white top and glasses and is stood in a park with his arm around his son.

In this week’s people of parkrun entry, we hear from Mark Whitbread, a Regulatory Specialist from Porterstown parkrun. He tells us all about how he got started with parkrun and describes his best parkrun moment!


How did you get involved in parkrun?


A work colleague told me he was planning to do one in South Dublin and I thought it sounded fun. Then after weeks of not quite getting round to it, another colleague said she had been doing them for years. This inspired me to try one and I now hate to miss a week.


What do you love about parkrun?


Mainly the group encouragement, the sense of belonging to a joint enterprise, the encouragement to start the weekend early and active, partly so that even if the rest of the weekend is disorganised, chaotic or just not at my own disposal, I’ve already made it partly healthy. Also, it gets me warm all day even in winter. I must confess my 50 T-shirt is also a proud possession and I can’t wait to get to 100 to wear that shirt.


Who do you participate with?


Occasionally with my wife or one of my three sons but usually alone until I find someone about my speed to chat to during the parkrun.


Any parkrun milestones/achievements you would like to share?


I still long to get a 70% Age Grading, which is sadly getting harder despite just reaching the 55-59 group. One day on the right course maybe with a pacer!


How has parkrun impacted positively on you?


It gives me mental peace of mind. I’m healthier, faster probably than without, and drink less alcohol. It has pushed me toward triathlon gradually, especially in lockdown.


What have you missed most about parkrun?


All the above!


Who is your dream parkrun running buddy?


Anyone who’s cheerful and doesn’t cut course corners… Can’t bear that!


What was your best parkrun experience?


Several – probably mostly the welcomes at away parkruns and chance meetings with people I know from other activities on a parkrun who you never knew did them.


What was the funniest parkrun moment?


I loved seeing about 50 Father Christmas’ lining up at the start of the 2019 Xmas parkrun. I was an elf.


What advice would you give to someone who’s never been to parkrun?


Just come and try it. No big sell. Everyone gets something different from it. And some may prefer to do their own thing. But you may just find it gives you something you needed or something you never even knew you needed.



Anything else you’d like to share?


I now do junior parkrun every Sunday in Beechpark with my youngest son. After a long week at my desk working, it’s one of the best Father/Son moments we share, just the two of us, with 100 others!

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