From side line to start line

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We first became aware of parkrun via Helen and got involved when my husband took photos on one of her takeover days. We saw a couple of friends who asked when we would be running but just laughed and replied ‘We’re no runners!’
As Helens 100th parkrun approached she asked us to join her on the day even if we walked the course. I laughed, and although we did go along on that day, it was to take photos and enjoy her chocolate cake! Again, as the Great Eastern run came along and Helen was taking part, she said that she planned to take the tail runner role the Saturday before so as to be ready for the half marathon the following day and so we agreed to walk with her. And what a day it was! It was pouring with rain, cold and overcast. My first thought on looking outside was to go back to bed! But we went along, as did hundreds of others, not at all put off by the weather. We walked with Helen and Cath, the other tail runner and Helen’s dog Frankie. We even ran very briefly as I thought if we run it will be over quicker and we can be home sooner. It did feel good to finish and we wore our ‘smug pants’ for the rest of the day.
We have carried on most weeks since then and yesterday was our 15th run. We mostly do it as a fast walk as the beauty is, it is not a race and you can never be last. There is always a tail runner to support you. It is for walkers, runners or ‘a bit of both’ which is where we are heading, jogging for a few minutes at a time.
Back tracking a bit, in 2014 I had a moped accident and couldn’t walk without crutches for a month. I am glad to say I am now fully recovered with no real lasting problems. Whilst it would be over dramatic to say I didn’t think I would walk again, I did wonder whether I would be able to walk very far. So to think we now look forward to Saturdays so we can take part is a real blessing.
It is more than a just a walk in the park. It’s a great way to start the weekend and a very social thing. Everyone is friendly and we have met some new friends. You also get a sense of being part of something bigger, rather than just running round on your own. Last week there were over 700 people taking part, the most they have ever had.
Some breaking news to end……… last week when we went along there were free running magazines available so we took one and saw a race advertised at Grimsthorpe castle in June. The Grimsthorpe 10 offers various distances including a half marathon. So we took a big step and entered the 5km run! Who would have thought it?
So the next time Helen mentions parkrun to you, and she will, give it a thought and better still, maybe give it a go! See you on the start line…………

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