In praise of Parkrun

What do you do on a Saturday morning?! Have a lie-in, enjoy a nice coffee or cuppa, read a good book and relax before heading downstairs to make a tasty breakfast?!

Sounds fun, but not as much fun as spending part of your morning trotting round a park with lots of like-minded individuals before retiring to a clubhouse or cafe for much needed sustenance. 

After running for a good few months we discovered the joys of Parkrun and found ourselves embracing social running, making new friends, challenging ourselves and more importantly enjoying our Saturday mornings!

Parkruns are a fabulous, free timed run that is fully volunteer run and gives everyone (regardless of age) the opportunity to run/walk 3.1 miles in a safe and supportive environment.

Our local Parkrun is in Blackhill Park, Consett, described as a “challenging” course its’ name is pretty appropriate and descriptive. The first time we ran Blackhill I remember swearing a lot, then apologising to my daughter for being a naughty mummy, then having to walk up a couple of the hills.  During one of my swearing moments we were passed by a runner who told us that we were doing really well, it did get better and that if we could run Blackhill we could run anywhere, I’ve never been so glad to see a finishing line at any point in my life!!! That runner is now one of our running buds, a guy who came with the family to support me as I ran my first half marathon and someone who’s determined to introduce a love of running to lots of people through his couch to 5k course.

I now run the whole course without moaning (too much) but still find the first hill a right pain in the bum, but Richard the runner was right, the course did get better and regardless of how fast or slow you run you are always doing brilliantly well and if you can run Blackhill you can run anywhere!

Parkruns are now an integral part of our lives to the extent that if we’re away we find a Parkrun to do, are now up to 30 odd, ran on Xmas Day, did the double on New Years Day and our lil’ lady insisted on running Parkrun on her birthday with a balloon tied round her waist, with a group of her friends and took cake so all the Parkrunners who sang “Happy Birthday” to her could join her celebrations! 

If you haven’t tried Parkrun yet, go online register, print your barcode and see how much fun you can have running around a park with lots of friendly, supportive and lovely people!

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