Kim Harrison feels like she has every reason to get up on a Saturday and it’s all because of parkrun.
Around 10 years ago Kim was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, but she’s had health problems most of her life.
“As a 16-year-old I could never have dreamt of doing anything like this. I’ve always been sick. I was in and out of hospital from 5 to 18-year-old. My health goes up and down and I’ve been very sick from time to time. I’ve been seriously ill and spent time in ICU.” Kim said.
Kim had belonged to walking groups until she found the subs too expensive, and it was then that someone told her about this free, weekly 5km in the middle of her hometown. She registered and took part in her first parkrun in February this year.
“I’ve always tried to walk for fitness but found keeping it up a challenge. I get very tired so tend to give up and not want to do anything. With parkrun the timing suits me, everyone is so friendly and they cheer me on, which is so encouraging. It’s like being part of a big family and knowing that lots of people all over New Zealand do parkrun is fun. Also no one judges me on the walk.”
“I was really nervous when I did my first parkrun because I didn’t know what to expect. After the first parkrun I was hooked! I was so excited when I passed the finish line and felt I’d achieved heaps. Each time I walk and do better I feel more and more determined to do a PB. I’d love to do a 10km walk and work my way up to a half marathon from there.”
As well as the enjoyment of being part of a new community, Kim says that her health is improving too. She’s lost weight and her blood sugar levels are lower.
“This has given me a new lease of life now. I’m so happy.”
“I now can’t wait for Saturday mornings to come around. I’m so grateful to everyone who makes this happen each week.”
My first experience of parkrun was sitting in the car for several weeks just watching people come and go because I was so nervous. I thought they all looked so athletic, surely they would not want this turtle speed 50 minute-ish jogger to join them. Eventually I summoned the courage to step up. How…
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