Judith Style first tried parkrun at 72 years old.
Here she tells us why parkrun quickly became an important part of her new found active lifestyle.
I am 74 years old and I love to walk everyday, on my own preferably, at a good pace, keeping myself active. I am a great believer in overall fitness such as using the stairs instead of escalators, walking instead of driving, or using public transport if possible.
It made complete sense to give parkrun a go when encouraged by my children and grandchildren who parkrun in Brockwell Park, South London.
My first parkrun experience was on a cold January day in 2019 at my local Stratford-upon-Avon event. I had parked a little way from the general gathering area so I warmed up by walking to the venue clutching my little paper barcode. I listened in to the First Timer’s Briefing and then joined in the shout out for visiting parkrunners and the awards for milestones. It was a chance for me to say hello as well.
I walked and ran a bit and enjoyed the buzz of that first parkrun and getting my finish time through later on. I’m not too interested in the time, for me, the enjoyment is more about the challenge of getting up and out on a Saturday morning. If I can do it on a cold January morning I can do it any time!
Since then I have completed many more parkruns including a few with my family at Brockwell parkrun. I have also really enjoying volunteering at the Junior parkrun which provides lots more exercise and fun! I was working towards my 50 parkrun milestone when unfortunately all the events had to be stopped due to COVID 19.
Before lockdown I was taking part in many activities including: Morris dancing, Appalachian Step dance, singing folk songs and as part of the community choir, playing the autoharp, yoga, circuit training and going for my daily walk.
While all of these regular pursuits were stopped, I still wanted to keep active, so I set myself the challenge to increase my daily walking miles. From 23 March – 22nd April I averaged 6 miles a day. From 23rd April – 22nd May I averaged 5.5 miles a day. From 23rd May – 22nd June I averaged 6 miles a day. I think 6 miles a day is a realistic ongoing target!
I’m keeping fit and active so that I can return to parkrun as soon as it is possible to do so. I love parkrun, it’s fun, it’s friendly, it provides a challenge, it is a ‘seize the day’ moment on a Saturday morning and is brilliantly organised.
To anyone, of any age, who is anxious about starting parkrun I would recommend planning ahead with a very steady increase in outdoor activity. Try walking until feeling confident enough to try a little running, then work on gradually increasing your running time while decreasing your walking time and wear comfortable clothes! At parkrun it doesn’t matter if you run or walk the whole course, it is inclusive of everyone.
The most important thing is to stay active whether that’s running, walking or Morris dancing!
Thank you parkrun for keeping me going on and on!
With parkrun New Zealand resuming events, many of us will now be thinking about returning to our favourite free, weekly, timed activity. But what does a parkrun actually look like, and if you’re a first-timer, what can you expect to see at your very first parkrun? We’ve put together this handy guide, explaining…
As we progress our plans around a return to parkrun, we have been working with various organisations and stakeholders around the world. While the restart of parkrun events in New Zealand was relatively straightforward due to the virus being largely eradicated there, it is clear that this is not likely to be the case in the…