In 2019, my daughter kept asking, “Dad, why don’t you come and join me on a parkrun?” She explained the basics of what it was all about. I told her that I didn’t run, I was too old. I was 59 years old. I had not done any running since I was 17. Plus, I had a dodgy knee and lower back issues.
Long story short, she registered my wife and me. My wife had gone to several parkruns already to keep my daughter company. Our first parkrun while on holiday was at Sabi River Sun in. We started out jogging but I gave up after about 100m. This was a shock to my legs. We decided to walk the rest of the way. On our way round the course, we stopped to take photos of the buck and birds.
There were two people who always stayed behind us, not realizing that they were tail walkers. I said to my wife, “At least we won’t be last.” I actually felt chuffed that I had completed 5km walk.
Two weeks later, my daughter dragged me off to Woodlands parkrun north of Johannesburg. I jogged and walked with my daughter. After a few more parkruns, I began to enjoy it. I was always trying to better my time. And my knee and back were holding out, and I was losing a bit of the ‘beer belly.’
It was nice to see all ages and sizes, so I did not feel out of place. Unfortunately, after 20 parkruns, COVID stepped in. I was so disappointed. Oct 2021, we got going again, Yippee. I am now five away from reaching 50 parkruns.
I have slowed down to walk more. It is much more enjoyable. It is great to talk to like-minded people and encourage them as I walk past slower walkers.
parkrun is a highlight of my week. I have yet to experience a parkrun in winter, but I’m up for the challenge.
Between 1998 to 2001 I ran half marathons, marathons and even the Comrades Marathon. After this, I started to do cycle races, duathlons and adventure racing. My wife and I moved to a new town, started new jobs and a family. Eventually I stopped running altogether in 2003. I did not do any form…
Anne Hanley is delighted to be back at parkrun after her treatment and recovery from breast cancer. Here she tells us how that return to parkrun felt. I started parkrunning because it was a way to get back into some regular exercise and it was something my husband and I could enjoy together. We…