I know, I know, I don’t look half bad for my 50th, especially as it’s taken me just under a year to get there, 51 weeks to be precise. As you might have guessed I’m not talking about my age, instead today is dedicated to the small matter of my 50th Parkrun.
In the Parkrun world when you’re an adult your 50th is a pretty special thing, not only does it show your love for a Saturday morning trot around a local park, it gives you a chance to take cake for your fellow runners and even better, you get a free 50th t-shirt!!!
As you know, I’ll do anything for a free tech t-shirt and running round a park on 50 separate occasions for a t-shirt sounded good. But… if anything the last year has shown me that Parkrun is so much more than a chance to get a free t-shirt, it’s the chance to make friends, laugh loudly, drink coffee in the Clubhouse, encourage others and spend some weeks swearing at the mahoosive Blackhill starting hill!
Today’s run was special in so many ways, as with most weeks I ran with Effie, the coolest 9 year old I know (I may be a bit biased!). Eff’s has found Parkrun hard over the last few weeks and hasn’t enjoyed them as much as she has in the past. Today she was determined to enjoy it, but it seemed like a hard task as she’s growing and felt tired. At the end of the first lap she told me she didn’t want to quit but she felt like she couldn’t run, all runners will know that feeling and know that if you listen to that voice you won’t be able to run. She decided that the only way to keep going was to sing, so that’s what we did! I can only apologise to the people of Consett who were subjected to a number of timeless classics sung very loudly, in a very breathy manner and completely out of tune. Suddenly she started to run, the singing distracted her from tired legs and she got faster and faster, her smile got broader and she suddenly told me that she was having the best run ever. You know what?! I also had my most fun run ever, it wasn’t our fastest but today was definitely my most favourite, most special Parkrun.
So…what’s the abiding memory from my 50th?! It was running alongside my daughter as she sang her heart out and started to remember why she loves to run. And that ladies and gents is why I love Parkrun and why my daughter is the coolest 9 year old I know!