Kaiser Chief Nick Baines, also known as Peanut, has completed more than 100 parkruns and is a regular at his local event.
The Highbury Fields parkrun team chatted to him about parkrun, lockdown and the future, as part of their parkrunner profile series.
When and where did you start parkrunning?
I actually did my first parkrun at Highbury Fields on 24 October 2015.
What prompted you to join parkrun?
I wanted to get into running for fitness. A running friend had mentioned parkrun to me and I’d seen a little bit about it online too.
What did you think after your first parkrun?
Loved it! I was nervous beforehand but I had no need to be. It’s a brilliant event.
How did parkrun become a part of your everyday life?
I used to live just up the road, about halfway between Highbury Fields and Finsbury Park so it was Highbury Fields parkrun was just really handy. My Saturday mornings were never the same again.
Is your dog, Pickle, a reluctant or willing parkrunner?
Haha! She’s a parkrun ‘visitor’. Happy to come along for the extra attention and meet people but definitely a spectator. I’ve tried a short run around the garden with her but she wasn’t too interested and our walks are, let’s say, pedestrian. She’d make a great parkrun Tail Walker though.
What’s your most memorable parkrun?
There are two, both because they are the parkruns I managed to get a sub-20 time. Once at Highbury Fields (19.59) and once at my now local parkrun which is Woodhouse Moor in Leeds (19.50). There’s no ‘winning’ parkrun or anything like that, but it was a huge milestone for me. Having parkrun in my weekly schedule helped so much and gave me something to aim for.
How do you manage to fit parkrun into your schedule of gigs, recording, media activity etc?
I’ve managed to visit some other parkrun events when we’ve been on tour, but only in the UK, sadly nothing further afield yet. Sometimes I miss weeks and weeks of parkrun at a time, especially during festival season. Then it can switch and I can make it to parkrun for weeks and weeks in a row. If I’m around, then I’ll definitely be at parkrun on a Saturday morning.
What do you like most about parkrun?
I like the inclusiveness of the whole thing. All abilities are welcome and nobody finishes last. I recommend it to all types of people, no matter whether you want to walk, jog or run it, or a mixture of all three. Or come along and volunteer. I’ve met loads of great people through parkrun and it’s a brilliant way to start your Saturday. I feel so positive minded after doing it.
Do any of the other Kaiser Chiefs parkrun? Has there ever been any chat about a group parkrun?
Ricky runs but he admits he’s far too competitive to run with other people (I agree!). Not sure we’ll get a group run together to be honest!
Volunteering at parkrun – any thoughts?
I’ve volunteered a few times. I’ve found volunteering just as rewarding as parkrunning.
How are you coping without parkrun?
I’m missing it to be honest. I’ve been doing occasional short runs on my own but I’m also a bit injured and my physio has said no running for 6-8 weeks. Rubbish!
Any other thoughts?
During lockdown it’s important to keep active if you are able to. Exercise is good for the mind as well as the body, so if lockdown has given you time to get into running then I can’t recommend parkrun to you enough in the future. Come join us!
And lastly, the ‘Peanut’ question
It’s an old nickname from school days, due to a badly drawn picture that I drew of myself. I’ve had the name for over 30 years and I’m certain more people around the world know me as Peanut rather than Nick!
With summer just around the corner and temperatures soaring, it’s more important than ever to make sure children are keeping hydrated. It can be challenging encouraging children to drink enough water, and that’s why our friends at Aqua Optima have put together some top tips on how to make sure little ones stay hydrated…
Having discovered the joys of parkrun later in life, there was no way a few lockdown challenges were going to stop Hendrik and Simone Buzink from continuing their regular exercise. Hendrik tells us all about it. My wife, Simone discovered the joys and benefits of running about 20 years ago. Then, on hearing about parkrun…