Liz likes nothing better than encouraging others at parkrun. During lockdown she has been out walking with her friend Sue, helping her to walk the 5k parkrun route and with the aim of recruiting another potential parkrunner!
I first came across parkrun in 2005 through the running club I was a member of. We wanted to encourage others to reap the benefits of running and thought we could do this best by supporting parkrun.
I love the companionship and friendliness of parkrun. I also love volunteering, particularly as a pacer for newer parkrunners and seeing them steadily improve their fitness and take off as parkrunners. It’s an amazing feeling when a new parkrunner completes their first 5k.
I’ve got a friend, Sue, who has been building up to walk a (not)parkrun since July and managed to complete it in November and more times since.
Due to cancer treatment, Sue had effectively been in isolation since December 2019. Her first day out of isolation after her treatment was March 26th 2020, just as the whole country went into lockdown. She was at a really low ebb and I became very concerned about her.
Then, Captain Tom made the news! Sue is ex WRNS so the military link hit a nerve and on hearing about Captain Tom’s amazing efforts her competitive streak set in.
Sue (who hates walking) decided to walk 90 miles, little by little and day by day in her very small flat in aid of charity. Then, when lockdown ended in July she began walking with me outside, it was the only way we could meet.
I have done all Sue’s walks with her and have encouraged her out in all weathers, with the treat of a coffee from a local takeaway and by reminding her that Captain Tom did it and he’s 100 yrs old! (Not sure if that all counts as encouragement!)
Getting out and walking lifts Sue’s mood every time and has done wonders for her mental health. We enjoy walking the parkrun route together (but not on Saturdays obviously!).
I’m really hoping Sue will give parkrun a go once it returns, we are building towards that. She is concerned that she isn’t fast enough, but as I’ve explained, it doesn’t matter how slow or unfit or old or anything you think you are, parkrun is there to be community and to help you get going. You simply can’t ever be the last person in, because that’s the tail walkers job!
I am looking forward to the return of parkrun as soon as it is possible. Sue and I will be ready and waiting!
As part of our plans to restart parkrun and junior parkrun across England, we’ll be publishing a UK-specific update every Friday. Here’s this week’s. Since our announcement last Friday of our intention to, across England, reopen junior parkrun events from 11 April onwards, and all 5k parkrun events on 5 June, we’ve been overwhelmed…
Tony was inspired to take on the Cycling Down Dementia challenge with Alzheimer’s Research UK by his dad, Alf, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2018. What started out as a challenge in honour of Alf, turned into a ride in memory of him after he contracted and died of COVID in January….