For Karen Martin the silver lining to lockdown has been her daughter’s discovery of a love of (not)parkrunning, an activity they enjoy together. Karen tells us about her own parkrun journey, and how excited she is to go to her first parkrun event with her daughter.
Having heard about parkrun through a teacher at my daughter’s school, I was a bit dubious at the thought of going along to try it out, assuming it would be very competitive and for serious runners. I just wanted to enjoy the outdoors and get a little fitter at the same time. But, I did register and printed off my barcode. However, that’s where it stopped. I didn’t use that barcode for another year!
Then, in January 2019, my New Year’s resolution was to complete dry January and to take part in my first parkrun.
parkrun really wasn’t what I was expecting. There was much more of a variety of people than I thought there’d be, everyone from serious marathon runners through to walkers and all those in between. The atmosphere was electric and I was really spurred on by everyone’s positive attitude towards the weekly event.
The scenic Brandon Country Park is my home parkrun event and many of us look forward to the chat and coffee afterwards in the Beech Cafe.
Everyone is so friendly and many a Saturday we are still chatting in the café when lunches are being served! It’s definitely more than just a weekly run. The social aspect and camaraderie is unique and I know I definitely benefit all day after a parkrun, it improves my mood and of course my fitness.
As soon as we went into the first lockdown I was determined to continue to (not)parkrun and have carried on throughout the lockdowns. It isn’t the same as I really miss my local parkrun comrades. I don’t even know most of their names but every week we would give each other an encouraging nod at the start and off we went on our 5k parkrun.
I’m definitely a people person and struggle keep up the momentum without the routine of the regular Saturday morning event. What’s keeping me going is the belief that parkrun will be returning soon.
One great outcome of the lockdown time has been that I’ve roped my 14 year old daughter, Mai, into joining me (not)parkrunning. She was home schooling and I thought it would be good to get her outside and away from the screens, either before ‘school’ or after, for some fresh air. She was reluctant at first, but we steadily, over time, built up to the whole 5K.
This has turned out to be ‘our thing’ that we do together. We now run regularly three or four times a week and, of course, she has long beaten my PB and is almost lapping me along the 5k course.
When we’re running in Brandon Country Park we often see other parkrunners that we recognise or know and everyone gives a nod, a smile or an encouraging clap.
Mai loves (not)parkrunning and she can’t wait to join and complete her first real parkrun event.
I hope that in the future I continue to parkrun with Mai and we will soon get to enjoy our weekly parkrun together.
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