I was in my first couple of weeks of teaching when I was introduced to parkrun. As the roll was being marked, I had asked the class to tell me one thing that they did on their weekend. One of my year 3 students told me that they got a PB at parkrun.
My immediate question to her was, ‘What is parkrun?’ She told me that it happens every Saturday at the Big Rig in Roma. At the time I didn’t think anything of it.
Later on in that year I completed a 5km fun run. This was my first run in over year since having surgery on my knee. It gave me the confidence to start running again but never really followed through with it. At the start of my third year of teaching I made a promise to myself that I would make my health a priority. I started going for short runs and enjoyed it. I enjoyed running so much that I decided to give parkrun a go.
Saturday morning arrived, my alarm went off at 5:45am and I made the trip into Roma. I was welcomed by so many smiling faces including a few of my students. It was a place where I could connect with other people in the community and other teachers as well. Not only this, but it also gave me another opportunity to build relationships with the students I taught. It was here where my parkrun journey began.
At the end of this year I had accepted a transfer to Dalby. My last parkrun in Roma was marked by running with a group of my students. To this day, this is still one of my favourite parkruns.
Dalby parkrun was no different to Roma. I was welcomed with open arms and again was a place where I could connect with a wide range of people, including students from the school I work at. This made my transition to Dalby easier and was able to form friendships quickly. It was also a place where I felt supported when I hit a few bumps along the way.
I am so thankful for parkrun and believe it has made me a happier teacher. I encourage all teachers to join parkrun and connect with the people in their community (especially if you are in a small town). It gives you a sense of belonging as well as helping you to clear the mind after a crazy week of teaching.
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parkrun has grown from one event in a park to a global movement of millions of people walking, jogging, running and volunteering across 21 countries. But parkrun is so much more than a walk, jog or run in a park! If you or someone you know is yet to come along for the first time,…