My husband started parkrun two months after my daughter and I. At first, he could take it or leave it. For the first year or 18 months, he wasn’t that bothered about doing it. He missed quite a few due to weekend commitments and sometimes even just because it was raining and he didn’t feel like going!
But over the last year or so, he’s become quite obsessive about it. I think he’s missed just two this year, due to being away.
He hated how badly he did at Cheltenham half marathon last year, so turned his attention to doing better parkruns. I used to beat him every week without fail, but I think I’ve only beaten him once in the last year. He’s worked really hard to improve on his PB. He got a new PB a month after the half marathon, then a run of four consecutive PBs in spring this year, eventually getting his time down to just 21:38.
And while he was working on his PBs, his total number of parkruns was increasing nicely – helped by a bit of parkrun tourism over the summer.
And on 22nd September, my husband ran his 100th parkrun, nine months after I ran mine.
The 100th parkrun is a millstone, which comes with its own T-shirt. It’s a sign of real commitment – running pretty much every week for two years or approximately every other week for four years. My husband got there in just over three years.
At our parkrun, the 100th parkrun is celebrated with a shout-out, a round of applause from fellow parkrunners and a centurion’s cape and hat, which slows you right down (NOBODY gets their PB in the centurion’s cape!), but ensures everyone congratulates you on the way round.
The 100th parkrun was a double celebration, as it happened to also be my birthday, specifically the birthday which would see me move up into a new age category – from VW40-44 to VW45-49.
My husband had planned to run round with me, but my legs were half dead from running 12 miles the day before (sadly no first in category for my new age category), so he left me behind. He said the cape didn’t drag him as back as much as he’d expected (I think he had a thinner one than I’d had) and he’d loved all the runners congratulating him as he ran. Parkrunners are a friendly bunch and when you’re wearing that cape, someone literally does shout ‘congratulations’ every few seconds.
My husband enjoyed his 100th parkrun more than he’d expected to. Now it’s onwards and upwards to the 250th – the next big milestone!