Meryll Cripps picked up running at age 50 and gradually built up distances that she could cover, but it was her discovery of parkrun that maintained her love of exercising.
We speak to Meryll’s daughter, Rachel, about how parkrun made a significant difference in her Mum’s physical activity.
My mum, Meryll Cripps, started running in her 50s and slowly improved over the decade – she even ended up completing a marathon!
However, it was when she started parkrunning ten years ago which has been really significant in maintaining Mum’s enthusiasm for exercise. She enjoys being with other people, having goals and dutifully recording all her parkruns in a notebook, rating each one with a smiley (or sometimes not so smiley) face and a mark out of ten!
parkrun quickly became a major part of her life and she attended every week that she possibly could, mainly to her home event in Leeds, England.
As parkrun has expanded she has found it possible to find a parkrun event almost wherever she is on a Saturday! The best thing has been the camaraderie and friendships she has made along the way. Mum can always be relied upon to make you say your times tables if flagging, to keep the spirits up! She’s also been known to sing ten green bottles to take her mind off the effort she’s putting into completing her 5k!
Covid-19 was a really tough time for Mum, not being able to do her weekly parkrun (and by now the whole week was revolving around her parkrunning). She had hoped to get to 1000 parkruns by the age of 80, which is not possible now. Undeterred Mum persuaded her friends to parkrun virtually during lockdown and managed to raise £530 for a local hospice.
Recently, Mum completed her 500th parkrun at her home event in Leeds, with friends and family cheering, supporting and celebrating afterwards. She has also hit her 100th volunteering milestone, having volunteered 135 times!
Well done for parkrun #500 Mum!
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