After going to her first parkrun in 2015 with her grandchildren, Marion Wilding found a welcoming community. She writes how her parkrun journey has taken her to places she never thought she would go to.
I initially heard about parkrun as my friends were talking about it and I thought it was a wonderful thing to do with my grandchildren. I’m 63 and I live in Chippenham, England, which is where I went along to my first parkrun in 2015. They asked for volunteers and as I enjoy helping, I volunteered and kept on going!
parkrun is so amazing. It has no barriers and everyone has their own reasons for going, it doesn’t matter if you want to walk, run or a bit of both. You can go with a dog, another person, family, friends or on your own. It’s your parkrun, so do as you wish.
It doesn’t matter where you come from, you’ll get cheered on no matter who you are! At my home parkrun, I usually walk alongside a young man in a wheelchair. He gets so much out of parkrun and loves the applause – it’s such a friendly environment.
I keep volunteering because I enjoy meeting people and the spirit of parkrun. I’ve volunteered in many different positions, but my favourite role is tail walker as I like encouraging and cheering on other parkrunners.
I was in Japan to complete the Tokyo Marathon with my friend Alison, who I met at parkrun and we have become great friends. We decided to complete major marathons as parkrun can lead to so many opportunities. It’s taken us to places we never thought we would go to!
We’ve participated in parkrun in different countries and wherever we go, it’s the same wonderful community.
We visited Momoi harappa koen parkrun and it was such fun. They were so happy to have us and we were made to feel so welcome. I was a tail walker with my friend and afterwards, two volunteers kindly escorted us to the café as we didn’t know the way.
The atmosphere and course was great. I’m smiling as I write this because that is how parkrun makes you feel.
Thank you to parkrun, it’s such a special and global community and I’m very happy to belong to it.
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