Having switched to cycling from running due to arthritis in his knee, Pete Sturgess has recently laced up his trainers once again and is delighted to be (not)parkrunning pain free!
In 1984, when I was at university, my housemates entered me for the Birmingham Half Marathon, without me knowing! I just managed to get round! That was the start of 33 years of running.
I started parkrunning in 2012 at the Colwick event in Nottingham. I also ran at Rushcliffe and Beeston before Long Eaton parkrun started in my local park and became my ‘home’ event.
I was sadly forced to retire from running in 2018 due to arthritis in my knee which flared up whenever I ran.
I thought that was the end of my running career and switched to cycling which I could do pain free.
In 2019 and early 2020, just before the pandemic closed us down, I did 2 long solo cycle tours through South-East Asia, both of 1000 miles plus.
When I came back last March I was cycle fit. In lockdown, my bike became my default form of transport with the car largely left at home.
I then saw the Couch to 5k programme and thought I would see how far I could get before my knee stopped me and to my surprise it didn’t. I took it very carefully, mostly running on grass, but finally I got to complete my 5k by doing my first (not)parkrun on the Long Eaton course.
It was hard work! Since that first one in November, I have done a (not)parkrun most weeks, getting stronger and faster and I’m running on tarmac now, still pain free.
I think all the cycling has helped build the strength around my knee. I don’t think I will try running further than 5k, but if I can complete parkrun once a week for a few more years I will be happy with that!
After I stopped parkrunning in 2018, it remained an important part of my life. Whenever I could, I would go down to volunteer. It was good to help out at the events, as well as to keep in contact with friends from my Long Eaton running club and other parkrunners.
My goal, now, is to get back when parkrun restarts and try to achieve my 100 parkrun milestone and 50 volunteer sessions and then see where I can go from there.
Thank you to (not)parkrun!
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