Paula Magee found parkrun after losing her four month old son. Here she describes her Armach, Ireland parkrun extended family, and why she looks forward to going every week.
My parkrun journey started three years ago now, at the end of October 2016.
It was after losing our four month old son, and living and coping with our son that has Cerebral Palsy.
I had lost over five and a half stone and enjoyed how running helped me both mentally and physically.
I was really nervous about going the first time as I was on my own. I left so early to be there on time. I was anxious about the course and how long it would take me, and if I’d even be able to complete it, and if my barcode would scan!
That first run was tough but I still was determined to go back and everything went well! I feel that sense of achievement every time, no matter what the result or position.
I’ve also lost my mother aged 60 since I began parkrun and use it as a release and a coping strategy for all going on in my life.
I’ve even encouraged my hubby to start doing them with me.. we wear heartbeat vests to honour our son and to keep his memory alive.
The sense of community and support we feel at our local run in Armagh is brilliant. We even take our son some weeks and he enjoys the fun.
The Armagh parkrun team are just fab, they’re like an extended family. Every week you come away having spoken to someone new and feeling more and more at home. Everyone is a friend.
The amount of people we have met and became friends with is unbelievable.
I’m nearing my 50th run.. but celebrated my 38th birthday on my 38th parkrun recently and celebrated with cake for everyone.
Every week, I look forward to doing my run and have got my time down from 33:12 to 26:04 and look forward to setting new PBs soon.
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