A year ago last Saturday, my daughter and I did the thing we’d been intending to do for weeks or even months beforehand. We ran our first Parkrun.
We just wanted to try it out. We had no big plans for it to become a weekly thing. We didn’t intend for the rest of our family to join us. We didn’t expect to get addicted.
But we did.
We started slowly at first, in all senses of the word. We ran slowly together and we didn’t do it every week. We did every other week, then we had three or four weeks off. But, before we knew it, we were running most weeks.
I never intended to run it on my own. It was always something I was going to do with my daughter. I could run fast on other days of the week. Parkrun was about running gently and enjoying time with my daughter.
My husband didn’t understand why we were doing it. Until he joined in. And then it got really competitive.
I never thought I’d be running three miles in just over 23 minutes. I never expected to be THIRD woman across the line, out of 400 runners. At my age! I never expected to win my age category whenever I ran without my daughter.
But all of these things have happened.
A year on from that first Parkrun, I’ve run 34, my daughter has run 24, my husband has run 24, my eldest has run 19 and my younger son has run six times. Without Parkrun, none of them would ever run.
We’ve all improved our times and continue to improve them.
Parkrun has given me a new focus. I still desperately want to run a half marathon, but every time I try to run more than four miles, something seems to go wrong. Nothing goes wrong at three miles. If I can never run a half marathon again, I know I’ve still got Parkrun. I love our Saturday mornings, running as a family, trying to beat each other and beat ourselves.
My next big milestone is to get my 50 runs Tshirt, hopefully sometime in the autumn, then for my family to start getting theirs.
I’m so glad we went along to our first Parkrun a year ago.