News - 12th May 2023
Jonathan Giles 4

Jonathan Giles credits his weekly parkrun and physical movement for his recent speedy recovery from bowel cancer treatment and surgery, all while managing his type 1 diabetes.


I received my diagnosis of type 1 diabetes while still at school in 1967. With 56 years of experience, I’ve learnt how to manage my condition day to day and when I’m exercising.


I began parkrunning at the Brandon Country Park parkrun on a complete whim in January 2019. I was aware of the parkrun event every Saturday as I was a member of a local club, but hadn’t experienced parkrun yet.


Jonathan Giles 2


At that first parkrun, my thoughts were to just get round! We soon got to know the Brandon Country Park parkrun community and found that the event is a very good reason to get out of bed on Saturday morning and exercise in the beautiful setting. Remarkably, the weather is nearly always good too, so much so that I guarantee the weather to those thinking about starting.


Jonathan Giles 3


The really good thing about parkrun is that you can always set targets and challenge yourself. At the beginning of 2022, my goal was to improve my times. I was progressing well enough, until I received the news in July that I had a stage 2 bowel cancer. I had no symptoms and I felt well, but a routine test revealed a carcinoma.


Surgery was required and I had a hemicolectomy in August, with the following 13 days spent in critical care at my local hospital.


I have had a quick recovery from cancer and surgery, and I believe physical activity has been instrumental in this. However, it proved quite difficult to find out whether it was possible to run again after the surgery and treatment.


I didn’t admit that I had already returned to Brandon Country Park parkrun as a parkwalker, but eventually, I was told I could run again as long as I didn’t hurt myself! . The volunteers at Brandon were all aware that I recently had surgery and kept a close eye on me.


Jonathan Giles 1


Now, I’m setting my sights on completing my 250th milestone in Australia – which is very exciting.


I’m also pleased that the overall parkrun times are getting slower. This suggests that lots of people, who might not have run, jogged or walked at parkrun before are joining in and enjoying it. There’s lots of encouragement and camaraderie out there for everyone!


Jonathan Giles



Share this with friends:


Join us as a Volunteer Impact & Engagement Manager

We’re pleased to announce an exciting opportunity for a Volunteer Impact & Engagement Manager to join the parkrun team, based in our Leeds or Richmond, London office.   From quiet beginnings, parkrun has grown into a worldwide social movement with community at its beating heart.   Committed to breaking down barriers to participation in regular physical activity…

Andy Murray supports parkrun for the NHS

Sir Andy Murray OBE backs ‘parkrun for the NHS’

British tennis player, Sir Andy Murray OBE, is encouraging people across the UK to take part in ‘parkrun for the NHS’ to celebrate the NHS’s 75th birthday and to take steps towards a more healthy, active lifestyle.   Tens of thousands of people across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are expected to ‘parkrun for…