After becoming a regular parkrunner, Peter Connor was excited to reach his 100th milestone before the end of this year. However, he suffered a heart attack in April which took him and his family by surprise.
We speak to his son, Stephen, about Peter’s return to parkrun and how parkwalking has helped his dad’s recovery.
My dad, Peter, is 63. He lives an active lifestyle, has completed two half-marathons and is generally as fit as a fiddle.
He found out about parkrun through his friend, Steve, who is a regular parkrunner. Steve invited us to join him and his family at parkrun on Christmas Eve in 2016. It was Dad’s first parkrun and although he found it initially hard, he picked up parkrunning later on and he’s loved it ever since!
Our local parkrun is Beeston parkrun in Nottingham, but we also go to Keswick parkrun in Cumbria, England very often.
Dad has also been lucky enough to complete Tauranga parkrun and the beautiful Wanaka parkrun in the North and South Islands of New Zealand. parkrun has always had a social aspect which he loves, and he enjoyed chatting with locals over coffee after.
Recently, he had been aiming to get to his 100th milestone this year, but he unfortunately suffered a heart attack during his 69th parkrun back in April. It was a slow-burner, so he finished the course at Keswick without realising and dealt with it when he got home.
To say his heart attack came as a shock is an understatement. It was completely unexpected and something that we are still coming to terms with, but we are so relieved that he’s on his road to recovery.
Instead of needing surgery, he is on medication and a strict regime. Part of this, to his delight, includes plenty of walking!
In June, Dad returned to Keswick to complete his 70th parkrun. He decided to walk as it had only been five weeks since his heart attack and the tail walker, Tim, walked behind him for support. The 5k distance was probably at the limit of his capabilities, but Tim and another lady walking with them helped enormously.
Dad and Tim chatted about his heart attack, with Tim even offering to accompany him when he tries running the 5k again. It was lovely to see him so supported at parkrun.
I know he was so pleased to get to 70 parkruns and I have no doubt he’ll be back to continue getting stronger. For anyone in a similar situation, Dad recommends trying walking at parkrun to begin with.
We are so proud of him and we couldn’t be more grateful that parkrun will play a part in his recovery.
Stephen and Peter Connor
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