In early 2017, Rec Plex North parkrun ED Robin Foley asked me if I’d heard of “parkrun”. I said “no”, not even sure if I understood the question. Robin went on to explain the concept and was working towards bringing “parkrun” to Pensacola. I had started getting involved in several running groups around town. From Monday to Thursday I was enjoying four days of running and meeting new people. It was enjoyable for both Melinda (wife) and I to get away from the house and exercise. Things were running along smoothly until September when I began to experience pain in my right hip. It became unbearable shortly there after and I was forced to stop running.
Then in December 2017 I found out that I have hemochromatosis, an iron overload that would require weekly blood donations. I spent 2018 giving blood to get my iron levels back to normal. Not a lot of physical effort was done during the year but with my iron levels back to normal I was ready to start back at running. I still had a limp from my right hip but thought I could work it out. Good news, “Rex Plex North parkrun” was here and starting on February 9, 2019. Melinda and I attended that first run with well over two hundred other runners/walkers. It was a lot of fun and the fact it’s on the University of West Florida campus and through the woods on natural paths made it all the more enjoyable. The people that volunteer were very helpful and friendly along with the variety of runners and walkers.
Melinda and I became regulars and with that began helping/volunteering with setup and takedown for each week’s event. In addition the friendly bunch of trail maintenance workers (all volunteers) allowed me to help in keeping Rex Plex North trail in excellent shape for each week’s event. 2019 was a good year for meeting new friends and helping with a local event that brought smiles and cheer to the local community and many from far away places that came to Pensacola to run Rex Plex North parkrun. In so doing I had accumulated 48 parkruns before the pandemic stopped parkrun.
In trying to “workout” my limp, it never got any better only longer for me to recover and movement was becoming more restricted. With some encouragement from others I had my right hip looked over closely by those that know what to do and determined my hip was wore out. So on August 3, 2020, I had a total right hip replacement by the folks at Andrews Institute, Dr. Mai. In the last three months I’ve gone from walking “not-parkrun” to running “not-parkrun” and during this time have bettered my time. Having parkrun has given me the foundation to help rehab my new hip and allow me to stay in contact with those of our parkrun community.”
Rec Plex North parkrunner
It was wonderful to see another record attendance last weekend, with 27,500 participants across 218 events, in 5 countries. And, of course, we would particularly like to welcome the 1,640 first timers who walked, jogged, ran or volunteered with us for the very first time. Whilst it’s sometimes easy to get bogged down in…
A team of academics reviewed existing research highlighting that parkrun participants show improvements in, among other things, fitness, total physical activity, and mood. Here, one of the researchers, Dr Anne Grunseit from the Prevention Research Collaboration at the Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, talks us through the findings. parkrun is unique…