First Parkrun

We used to see them running when my daughter went swimming. It looked good fun – serious runners and fun runners, adults and kids, all running together on a Saturday morning.

‘We’ll do that when you finish swimming lessons,’ I told my daughter.

She finished swimming lessons a year ago. We never did it.

She started running with me on a Sunday morning. She did pretty well, but then she hurt her ankle. Then she got really ill and couldn’t walk. (We’ve since discovered she’s got hypermobility in her ankles, which would explain why she had hurt them so many times in a year. We’ve got physio exercise to sort that.)

Running was abandoned for months. But suddenly she wanted to do Parkrun again. Now. This weekend. Her best friend has started doing it and anything she does, my daughter wants to do too.

So, last week, we found ourselves running our very first Parkrun. There were nearly 500 people there! Three laps of the park in surprisingly warm sunshine.

We set off slowly. I wanted her to run it all at her pace (even though I really struggle with the concept of running slowly – I’m itching to run fast!).

She did well, but soon she was hot and thirsty and her feet hurt. And we still had two laps to go. People were lapping us before we’d finished our first lap. There are people who take it VERY seriously. I never see that much sweat or hear people breathing that hard in a half-marathon. They really go for it.

We were well into our second lap when she decided to walk. She ran a bit, then walked a bit, ran a bit more, walked a bit more.

As we finished our second lap, everyone around us was finishing the run and we still had another lap to go.

‘We’re going to be last,’ she said.

‘We’re not going to be last. Let’s not be last.’

A bit of competition is all takes to motivate my daughter. There’s no way she was going to be last.

The pack was so thin now that every volunteer marshall gave us individual encouragement.

We were keeping pace with another woman and her daughter of a similar age to us and a younger woman, running slowly on her own. We all walked a bit and ran a bit. They overtook us, we overtook them, they overtook us again. I wasn’t going to let them beat us.

100 metres from the end, I said: ‘Now go!’

And she went. Fast. She sprinted past the other woman and her daughter and the young woman. Where did she get that energy from?

We finished in 38 minutes. There were 25 people after us. My daughter was tired and thirsty, but I think she enjoyed it. I certainly did! Saturdays are the one day of the week when I don’t get up and out of the house and, while many people would love this, I don’t. It just leaves me feeling sluggish. I would happily do the Parkrun again and again. I’d like to see my daughter grow in fitness, speed and stamina. I’d like to see her run all the way. I’d like to see 50 people finish after us rather than 25, but we’ll see what happens!

Parkrun, Running, Silent Sunday, My Sunday Photo

Mum of Three World

Author: Sarah Mummy

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25 Comments

  1. Ahh well done to your girl, 25 people after you on a first attempt is really good. She may catch the bug from you and want to do it seriously 🙂

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    • Thanks very much! I really hope so! I’d love her to keep going and see how much she can improve 🙂

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  2. Aw your daughter did so well. One of our local parks also does park run every Saturday and I think its a great idea to involve the children. I would love to see hubby (who goes running) take the tween as I think he would love it. Well done to your daughter for getting involved x

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    • Thanks very much! I’m really hoping to persuade her to do it again! It would be great for your husband and tween 🙂 x

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  3. We’ve started going to our local park run too. My daughter isn’t particularly sporty (except for swimming) so I’m glad she’s found something else she semi enjoys. I cannot believe you have almost 500 runners! Our has about 100 or so, although it has only been going for a few months.

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    • Well done to you! I think kids will enjoy it the more they do it as they get used it. I’m really hoping my daughter will do it again. 500 certainly is a lot of people, but it doesn’t feel like that many!

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  4. Well done – sounds liked she did fantastically! Never heard of one of these runs before, but sounds a lot of fun and a great activity.

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    • Thanks very much! She did really well. They have Parkruns all over the country.

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  5. A great idea for a joint activity – although I can imagine it took some self-control for you not to run at your natural pace. Well done to you both.

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    • Thanks very much! It did rather! Although the clear instructions that under 11s should never be more than arm’s length away from their parent helped. I’d like to get my husband to do it too, so we can take it in turns to run slowly!

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  6. well done you. Coming back from injury too and probably still in pain, bless her. That is some determination. I hope it all works out x

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    • Thanks very much, she’s a very determined girl! Now hoping I can persuade her to do it again!

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  7. Wow! I’m impressed! I couldn’t run three times round a park 🙂

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    • Ha ha, thanks! She found it hard, but she did it!

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  8. That’s quite an achievement, well done! My daughter loves to run but she’s more of a sprinter-it’s my son who has the stamina-I’m forever chasing after them both-keeps me fit 🙂

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    • Thank you! My daughter is a sprinter too, so she’s finds long distances surprisingly hard. I think it’ll get easier for her, though.

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  9. What fun. Great that a little competition was enough to motivate the last sprint. Hope you make it again. #CountryKids

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  10. I have started running again this month! Well actually since I stopped long time I am walking, running. But this is my dream. I wish I can go and have the confidence to do a marathon =) #countrykids

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    • You could do it! Start small and work your way up 🙂

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  11. I think she did really well, I would have been there for hours! I think its a nice idea that everyone runs together. They do something similar round here but for bike riders x

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    • Thanks very much! She did do very well. Just hoping I can persuade her to do it again! x

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  12. Well done to your daughter! My eldest has just started running occasionally with me, I’m hoping that he keeps it up, it would be a good complement to his swimming 🙂

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  13. Well done to your girl, coming back after a setback took determination and you, for going at her pace. Great that that little bit of motivation and competitiveness propelled her to the finish before 25 people.
    Thanks for linking up with #SSAmazingAchievements

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  14. Didn’t she do really well. Emma keeps trying to get me to come and it sounds like I’d be one of the people behind your daughter.

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    • Thanks very much! She’s got a lot better since then – knocked about 7 minutes off her time! It’s a really fun thing to do, I would definitely recommend it!

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