Karl Watson went from knowing nothing about parkrun, to becoming an absolute convert.
Now a regular at Conkers parkrun, he tells us his story.
“Bring t-shirt, shorts and trainers.”
My parkrun journey started with those words!
Back in May 2019, I was planning to meet up with friends for a weekend in Cardiff and go to a gig. One of those friends, unbeknown to me, had recently attended parkruns, and told me to bring t-shirt, shorts and trainers as we were going to do the Cardiff parkrun on the Saturday morning.
I had heard a little about parkrun and knew they were 5k events in a park, that was about it though. I had previously attempted Couch to 5K but abandoned that in week four due to a cold putting me out of action.
Managed, just, to get to the start line for 9am.
Absolutely loved the atmosphere and surroundings.
Didn’t feel out of place and was amazed at the number of participants – of all different abilities and approaches.
I completed the course with a mixture of running, jogging and walking. That was it, terrified at the start, by the end, I was sold, a convert, a parkrunner!
I found out where my local parkrun was and that’s when I discovered it was Conkers. I ran some, walked some and discovered Cheeky Hill on my first Conkers parkrun on 25 May 2019 in a time of 36 minutes and 26 seconds.
I recently completed my 51st parkrun, 40 of those at Conkers, in a parkrun personal best time of 25 minutes and 36 seconds.
I’ve become addicted to running, always looking forward to my weekly parkrun fix, be it at Conkers or elsewhere as a tourist, I enjoy attending different parkruns to experience different routes, terrains and difficulty levels.
What always strikes me is that they are always so inclusive, well managed and supportive whatever your ability and however you want to take part.
I do keep coming back to Conkers – it’s got a great vibe, an amazing core team, beautiful course, familiar faces and fantastic volunteers. It’s an old cliché, but I certainly believe parkrun and running has changed my life, both physically and mentally.
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