News - 1st September 2021

We’d never have dreamt it


Encouraged by his son Peter, and after embarking on a couch to 5k programme during lockdown, John Gillibrand took part in his first parkrun as events returned across Wales on Saturday 21 August.


Peter tells us the heartwarming story of why he’s so proud of his ‘Super Dad’.


parkrun, I want to thank you.


On Saturday 21 August my 60-year-old Dad did his first ever 5km. He was inspired by parkrun and wanted to do his first ever one as events returned to Wales.


Despite the rain, he made the journey to Cardiff, and he absolutely loved it.


Loved the buzz, the sense of community, basically everything I’d been telling him about it over my running career.


I’d never have dreamt this was possible at all last year. Or even at Christmas to be honest. He wore a t-shirt that said ‘gobaith’ which is Welsh for ‘hope’. Something he often thought about when training.




I remember telling him he needed to sort out his lifestyle and get healthier. I’m 25, and you do think the worst about what an unhealthy lifestyle could lead to at my Dad’s age, especially with all the research done on it now, and all the stuff you read in the papers.


So I was so happy when Dad finally heeded my advice, and took it upon himself to start couch to 5k around five weeks ago.


I’ve never seen him so enthusiastic about sport in my whole life. I’ve always tried to do sporty things with him, but it was finally parkrun that got his attention.


With all the support and encouragement at Cardiff parkrun, we completed the 5k course, doing it all together. It doesn’t matter about times at all.


I ran a 5km with my Dad for the first time ever. And I’ll never forget it.


When we’re parkrunning, everyone comes together. There are no boundaries, running can bring the world together.


I’ll never forget the moment he got to the finish funnel with a huge smile on his face, and was given his finish token. That memory really will be with me forever.


He even made it on to the TV, and told reporters about the importance of looking after himself mentally and physically.




And of course he got a PB! Here’s the special moment we realised.




Peter Gillibrand


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