I love parkrun and everything it stands for. It is a wonderful community and the York parkrun is getting bigger and bigger every month, or even week. Where else can you go and run with 400+ people (runners and walkers), be timed for completing 5 km and know that you won’t finish last because there is a tail runner? And that is just in York! Worldwide, there are almost 100,000 people registered with parkrun.
I took part in my first parkrun in August 2013. A friend of mine decided that she wanted to try and get as many of her friends as possible to run with her the day before her wedding. As I’d been thinking about doing parkrun for a while, I went along. I completed my first parkrun in 33:15 which, at the time, was the fastest 5 km run I’d ever done.
A couple of weeks later, I went back and took my son with me. I decided that as he’d never run before, and has a disability which affects his mobility a little, we’d run for 1 minute and walk for 1 minute. We finished in 42:58. After that, I steadily increased the running interval by 30 seconds each time he got faster – thank you Garmin Forerunner 10 for having the ability to do that. I think we increased the run interval every week for about 6 weeks as my son kept completing the runs faster! He did finally plateau and we settled at 4 minutes running, 1 minute walking for a while. We are now on 5 minutes running and I think we will be sticking with that for the foreseeable future.
In the past 19 months, I have broken my PB 5 times with the most recent one being last week when I ran on my own, as my son decided he wanted to stay in bed, and I finally broke 30 minutes and took 1:11 off my time. If you’d like to read about it, you can find a post on my personal blog.
This week, I was back running with my son and I finished in 30:32 which, as it happens, is the same time as my previous PB. What I learnt from the run today, following last week, is that it is a lot easier to run past people when there is only one of you to get through the other runners. It is harder when two of you need to get through, especially at the beginning when we have over 400 of us bunched at the start.