When the Run Director at Renton parkrun welcomed a pair of young adults on Saturday, she quickly discovered it was an important occasion for one of them.
“This is her first 5K,” said the young man clad in a Seattle marathon finisher’s shirt, looking at his friend. She nodded. “I’m kind of nervous,” she confided a few seconds later. “Well there’s no pressure here,” started the RD, “Feel free to take your time- run, jog, walk, and stop if you need to. We have people of all speeds and we’re here to support you,” she finished. One of the other core team members overheard the conversation and excitedly chimed in, “I did my first ever 5K at a parkrun, too!”
Assured that she would be participating in the company of people of all abilities and armed with detailed course information shared during the run briefing, Maya Golitzin took her place at the start line. With her friend right beside her, she listened to the informal “3, 2, 1, PARKRUN!” sendoff and started running, each step bringing her one step closer to completing the 3.1 mile course.
Along the course she received encouragement from other parkrunners- strangers to her then, but already moving toward that easy familiarity that develops at parkrun. Her friend stayed by her side, keeping her focused and distracted at the same time, pacing her so that she could enjoy the experience. When the volunteer crew spotted her approaching the finish line, they cheered her through the last few hundred feet and congratulated her on a job well done.
“How was it?” she was asked. “It was good but I’m pretty tired,” she said with a weary smile.
Good for you, Maya, and all the others who completed their first ever 5K this past weekend. We hope you’ll be back next weekend for your 2nd 5K!
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