Guest Post: Parkrun – Run, Jog, Walk, Volunteer!

Parkrun - Run, Jog, Walk, Volunteer

Sarah at MumofThree World is today’s guest poster. I am a regular reader of her blog and have enjoyed watching her family grow up over the years. I am full of admiration for her stamina. She runs – a lot! – and is always full of energy. Here she shares her experience of Parkruns.

It’s two years since my daughter and I ran our very first Parkrun. As she was only 9 at the time, we ran it together, in a time of 38 minutes and 12 seconds.

Since that day, we have run it many times. In fact, it has become a weekly event, not just for my daughter and I, but for my husband and two teenage sons too. Without Parkrun, none of my family would run, but they are getting up and running 5k before other teenagers are even out of bed.

Parkrun takes place at parks and open spaces all around the UK and all around the world. It is a 5k run, or 3 miles if you prefer to look at it like that. Wherever you run, it will always start at 9am on Saturday.

I’ve always been a runner, but Parkrun has helped me to run faster. Because I race against myself – and the other women of my age. The first time I ran it on my own, I ran it in 25:08. I pushed myself and got my time down to 24 minutes and then 23 minutes. My personal best is now 22:25. As I always say, that’s not bad for an old bird! I finish first in my age category nearly every week, which means I am coming first out of around 35 women aged 40-44. I’ve also finished as third woman overall three times, not bad considering there are over 400 runners at our Parkrun.

parkrun

I currently hold the family crown, but I suspect my 13yo son will steal it from me at some time in the near future. He has run less than any of us, but his time is 23:38 and improving nearly every week.

Parkrun is a friendly event and is most definitely not a race, unless you want it to be. You can run it in 15 minutes, or you can walk it in 50 minutes. Everyone is welcome, regardless of age, size or ability. You can push babies and toddlers in buggies and you can run with a dog on a lead. Children as young as 4 can take part and all children under 11 have to run with an adult. Before you run for the first time, go online to register and get your barcode, which gives you your finish time at the end.

If you’re not sure about running, or if you fancy a week off running, Parkrun relies on volunteers to make it happen. The volunteers set up the course, keep an eye on runners’ safety, check and collate the times. 

Parkrun is a great way to keep fit or to get back to fitness, whether you’ve just had a baby, lost some weight or are recovering from illness or injury.
I’ve always loved running, but Parkrun has changed my life. I am running faster than I’ve ever run and I look forward to Parkrun every Saturday. It is, without a doubt, the best 22 and a half minutes of my week.

To find your nearest Parkrun and register to take part go to http://www.parkrun.org.uk There is also Junior Parkrun at 9.30am on Sunday, a 2k run for children aged 4-14. Children can run Junior Parkrun unaccompanied, or adults can run with them without crossing the finish line.

About the Author:
Sarah is mum to three amazing, tiresome, funny, irritating, clever kids. Her blog, MumofThree World, is where she writes about family life with school age kids and all it entails – the highs, the lows, the laughs, the bickering, the strops and the pride. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 
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