This Christmas Day I ran my 25th parkrun. I was a bit late to the parkrun party, so while many other runners are logging their 250th, I’m way down the list. In my defense, my local parkrun in Lancaster has only been running less than two years. The first parkrun I did was in Skipton only a couple of weeks after finishing a triple ironman (read about it here), so I was surprised how good I felt managing 30th overall.
After that first parkrun I was hooked, although I’ve not been back to Skipton as it was four laps on some narrow paths. Not great for Nelly, our unruly pointer.
She prefers to run off the lead, but them is the rules at parkrun. Starting from the back also presents a challenge. I’m often seen overtaking people with Nelly pulling me along, while other runners rib me that it’s cheating, or can they borrow her on the uphill stretches. I love running with her, but I’m definitely quicker without her. Me and my beautiful wife did parkrun at Fountains Abbey, where one week I ran with Nelly and finished 40th, and then ran without her and managed 12th, over two minutes quicker. Fountains Abbey was also the most picturesque parkrun that we’ve ever done, which is one reason why we went back.
Dalby Forest also has fond memories, as it was the last day of our honeymoon. It was also my quickest parkrun and I got pipped in a sprint finish as I didn’t realise where the finish line was. Typical parkrun tourist!
Cheltenham parkrun was the busiest with over 600 runners, but with a nice wide start. There was also a bell that you could ring if you got a pb.
Parkrun is an amazing success, going from nothing to over 100,000 runners each week, all over the world. The stats from this year’s Christmas Day were amazing on their own, with 62,000 runners. Parkrun is the sort of thing that should be encouraged everywhere, promoting a healthy lifestyle and friends to be made. I don’t want to hear any excuses, it’s too short, or I’m too slow. Everyone is welcome.
If you turn up at Lancaster say ‘hi’. I’ll be near the back if I’m with Nelly, or near the front if she’s with my wife.
Hopefully, this time next year I’ll have my 50 parkrun T-shirt, and I’ll probably blog about that as well.