Harriet Glen had just moved to a new area and was looking for a way to make friends and keep fit. She found her local parkrun and never looked back.
I first heard about parkrun from a friend when I moved to London eight years ago. I’ve always liked staying active but I really don’t like gyms, so it sounded like a really great way to keep up fitness and try something new – and without the expensive gym fees!
I went along to Brockwell Park for my first ever parkrun back in 2012. I was a bit anxious as I’d not tried it before and didn’t really know what to expect, but all my apprehension melted away as soon as I arrived.
The parkrun volunteers couldn’t have been friendlier, they explained the route really clearly and it was a great atmosphere surrounded by lots of other people of all abilities.
It was also great to get a recorded time and lots of other stats so you can track your improvements over time – I thought that was an amazing bonus and it motivated me to do another one to see how I’d do next time!
If you’re thinking about doing your first parkrun, it’s ok to be nervous but honestly it’s such a positive thing to do that you won’t regret it!
I turned up to my first parkrun on my own but some of the best and most enjoyable parkruns have been with friends and family, so my advice would be to bring along a willing partner and enjoy your first parkrun together!
I’ve made so many amazing memories over the years. I try to find a local parkrun wherever I travel. It always makes me feel closer to home somehow, now matter how far away I am.
And most recently, I started guide running at my local parkrun which has been incredible. It’s amazing to be able to volunteer. parkruns are an incredibly supportive and uplifting way of encouraging people to push themselves further and try something new. The person I guide run with had never run before but he’s improved from a 42min 5k to a 35min 5k in just six months! and he’s even more determined to keep improving with everyone’s support.
Since starting parkrun, it’s grown my love for running so much that I’ve now finished five marathons and training for my sixth this year! I’m going to guide run my first marathon at London in April so my hope is that we get through our training injury free and make some incredible memories on the day. We’ll definitely keep up with the parkruns each week to track our progress in training.
The best thing about parkrun is how inclusive it is – you can bring your dog, your family, your pram, wear fancy dress and always be made to feel welcome and part of the feel good atmosphere. parkrun is a great way to get your family together to keep active, a perfect way to improve your own fitness or work towards a bigger goal.
For many people I know – myself included – it’s just a lovely and simple way of starting your weekend strong and as you mean to go on!
It’s free, it’s simple and you’ll feel so positive and proud after you’ve finished.
Give it a go and don’t look back
Melanie Norman and her husband Andy have been helping their parkrun community stay engaged and in touch with each other over lockdown. Melanie tells us what they’ve been up to. My husband, Andy and I are avid parkrunners. Our home parkrun event is Worcester. I have completed 193 parkruns and Andy 248. I did…
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