‘I never really thought I’d take part in a 5K. I’m so happy that I came out for that first event.” We have a cool update on somebody who we mentioned at the recent launch of Pensacola’s Rec Plex North parkrun. She has been coming back every week since, and she loves it!
In our blog from February 15, 2019, parkrun USA posted a story about the inaugural Rec Plex North parkrun at University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida “The RPN parkrun launch attracted a diverse crowd. Ages ranged from 6 to 80. And finish times ranged from rather speedy to a lady who was thrilled to walk the full 5K in a little under 90 minutes. Impressively, around half of finishers took longer than 40 minutes. The event attracted many walkers and run-walkers.”
In this picture from the start of the RPN parkrun inaugural event, Fern (red jacket) stands at the back of the crowd of 200+ parkrunners
That lady who was thrilled to walk the full 5K in a little under 90 minutes is Fern Hopkins, and she has kept coming back to walk the beautiful trails of of the University of West Florida. She missed only one parkrun so far, but only because she was out of town with no parkrun within reach.
Fern completed the 5K in 86 minutes on her first outing, and she has since improved that to 61 minutes, though around 70 minutes feels right most weeks. She is optimistic that she’ll be walking the course in under an hour before long.
Pensacola’s Rec Plex North parkrun winds through beautiful trails on the campus of the University of West Florida. It’s a great way to start the weekend
“I never really thought I’d take part in a 5K, but when I read a story in the Pensacola News Journal about parkrun, and how Robin Foley was bringing this to Pensacola, I knew it was time to try,” says Fern. “And I’m so happy I came out for that first event. My friends and family now ask me to share the video of the start of the event each week. They love to see me participating. Who knows? One day I may even run the course instead of walking. For now, I’m proud to participate, and intend to begin volunteering soon. Many thanks to Robin and all the wonderful volunteers who make parkrun possible!”
We’re so happy that Fern has found a welcoming community at RPN parkrun!
When we look through the photos from 40-odd parkrun events every week, we love seeing so many happy faces. It’s a great reminder that, despite all of our differences, parkrun brings us together. There’s nothing more powerful than the shared joy of moving our bodies outside, whether it’s in the heat and humidity of Florida…
We all know that parkrun events are free, friendly, forever thanks to the volunteers who make every parkrun happen. Less widely known is that the local teams are supported by the parkrun ambassadors, volunteers who support new and existing events and much more besides. This past weekend the parkrun USA ambassadors team held their…