Katie Porkess found herself setting up a new parkrun after being encouraged by her granddaughter to go to her first event. Now, Katie’s entire family is enjoying time at parkrun and even breaking records!
I was introduced to parkrun in 2019 by my eldest daughter, Sheuli and her family, with particular encouragement from my granddaughter, Tara. At that time, I knew almost nothing about parkrun, so I didn’t have any expectations and I really enjoyed the sense of camaraderie and the encouragement from all the marshals.
I was so enthused by my experience at the local parkrun, that a few weeks later I took part in an informal run to try out a possible route for a new parkrun in a closeby town in Devon, England. This led to a few of us getting together regularly over the next few months to progress this idea. Then, in March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic struck and we went into lockdown, as did our new parkrun plans.
In early 2022, we picked up the threads again and spent the next several months raising funds and exploring possible 5k routes. When all the necessary parts were in place the core team had a couple of days of shadowing and mentoring at a nearby parkrun.
We were finally ready and at the end of March 2023, we held a trial day at our new parkrun, with the launch date set for 1 April (no joke!).
Since then, I’ve been a volunteer at our event, taking turns at the variety of roles on offer. Particular credit must go to event directors, Sara Mills and Sam Froggatt, who have been tireless in their involvement and unstinting in helping the rest of us.
I really enjoy the team work and the socialising that parkrun brings with it. I have also relished learning new skills such as scanning and timing. We’ve also had training in CPR and using a defibrillator.
Now, all my children join in at our local parkrun. Recently, my husband has become a volunteer and plans to take on a run director role soon. So, parkrun has become a family pastime for us!
We had a very memorable parkrun weekend recently, my family all took part in a local event and my granddaughter, 13-year-old Tara, was the first female home and set a new course record!
As time goes on, we are ironing out all the wrinkles at the newly set-up parkrun. We get a good number of volunteers each week and the parkrunners are enjoying the challenge of our undulating terrain.
You can wear anything when you join in at parkrun – a suit, shorts, jeans or even fancy dress. We want everyone to enjoy parkrun and being comfortable in what you’re wearing is crucial. If you’re going to move a lot, walk, or run you might want to consider using a sports bra. We chatted…
First and foremost, we all know that parkrun is about taking part, community, being social together outdoors, and maybe grabbing a coffee afterwards. But sometimes, you want to aim for a personal best (PB)! We share some top tips from long-distance runner and regular Australian parkrunner Steve Moneghetti about how to give yourself the…