Thoughts From My First Park Run

wonderful wednesday forty nineI wrote this a few weeks ago and thank Nike I’ve improved A LOT since that first trot. I do still wonder what the hell I need to do to stop being lapped by toddlers though.


Park Running, the brain child of some sadist who wants to get people up and moving. Every Saturday morning, up and down the country, runners of all abilities are gathering to, well, run. It’s all free, manned by (occasionally militant ‘GO ROUND THE CONE!’) volunteers, just rock up in your trainers and tackle five kilometres. You can challenge yourself, download a personal barcode so that you can track your time and hopefully your improvement each time you run. As a formerly alright runner who thought she might have another go, I was hopeful I could kick ass. I was wrong.

And we’re off.

Suspect I might have become Paula Radcliff in my running hiatus, without the roadside loo stops. Imma nail this.

Holy shit, why are there so many people here? What are they doing? Are those….are those CHILDREN?

Why did I bring four litres of water?

MY HIPS.

Ok, this is fine. I can do this. I’ve done like 4k already right? *my friend: we’ve done 200m*

Oooh, a dog. I wonder if he likes me.

Must. Overtake. Small. Child.

What do I do with my barcode? Shall I just….in the sports bra? Yeah, it’ll be safe there. Is that…is that a poop bag? (yes, yes it was a poop bag).

Hope I don’t see anyone I kn…oh haaaai EVERYONE I KNOW.

How cheery are these volunteers? Hey volunteers, why you so cheery?

WHY IS THAT KID PASSING ME AGAIN?

Seriously though, the hips.

Wait….is that….why is there a guy with a camera? No good can ever come of that.

WHAT THE HELL IS CAMERA GUY DOING ON THE FLOOR? Cool angle bro. (No good did come of that).

It’s the end. I see the end. Can I overtake this wonderful old lady?? Nope.

Man, is that some creepy heavy breathing. Oh, it’s me.

And I’m spent.

I loved my first park run, I’ll definitely be back for more. There’s something ‘all in it together’ about the whole thing, there were around 300 runners at our local event. It’s also portable, wherever you are in the land, if you’ve got your barcode you can get involved with a nearby run to track your time and progress. NB you can get involved without the barcode, you just won’t be able to get your time logged.

Running – do you?

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  • I don’t, but I’m going to. Gary and I agreed this morning to sign up for a 10k together. GULP.

  • Argh the kids overtaking is so frustrating! You’re event is huge. Our local one gets about 100-150 people. I haven’t been in about 18 months though, not since before I got married. I really need to make the effort to go as I’m signing up for another 10km in September and want to beat my time. What’s your route like? I find I got bored of mine but I’m not going to turn into one of those people who tour the country trying out different parkruns – yes people do this!

  • Kel

    I do not, but I keep promising myself that I will!

  • AnnaInternational

    I did for a while, having never been a runner I tried the Couch to 5K programme and found myself loving it. Even did a couple of races and got fairly respectable times (for me, nothing to write home about). I actually got to the point where lacing up my trainers and heading out felt therapeutic, not torture. Then I started getting headaches every day, and you really can’t run with a headache (can barely walk up stairs with mine), and I stopped. This lasted well over a year, and then when they stopped I had a bad back, and we’d moved somewhere incredibly hilly and starting again felt too hard. Now pregnant so hardly an ideal time to take it up again, but I really am going to try – it felt great and I want that back! Parkrun still scares me though – I think I’d wait until I was really getting the 5k down before going! x

  • AnnaInternational

    Yikes Katy! That’s brave!! Maybe stick a little 5k in first, just for the experience? But good for you!! Looking forward to reading all about it! 🙂 x

  • I kinda love parkrun, it brings out the competitive in me and I always smash my 5k time each time I do it. That said I quite often get overtaken by cocky teenage boys and that’s never fun!

  • Cat

    I don’t – woo~ to my displaced knee cap, but I am so impressed by people who do! My husband hauled himself out of bed early this morning for a run and I just don’t know how he does it. Well done M! x

  • Appreciate the Day

    I don’t, but I really applaud those that do. I’m fairly certain running just isn’t the exercise for me, but that’s ok because I’ve found some pretty smashing activities that work for me. Powerbounce anyone?

  • Oh wow that’s so cool! I am impressed, unfortunately running is out of the question for me but I used to love it so much. I didn’t realise events like this existed, what a wonderful thing! Got to say this list tickled me.
    Peta x

  • I’ve only ever been on one park run (over a year ago) and can’t get myself to go again (even though I can see runners from my window every day in the park!) Well done!

  • Emma Fisher

    I do not run. At all. But I got an email the other day challenging me to to run for a fitness blogger thing and I suspect I might have said yes. If they’ll have me in my current unfit state. But mostly because I have some ginger biscuits to work off after the last few months!
    You however lady are already there. Doing it. Killing it. I bet you overtook a crap load of old ladies and kids but you were going so fast you didn’t see! Killing it!

  • I did one parkrun, loved it, but then never made it back. I took the dog too and she seemed to enjoy it! I’ve just signed up for a 10k, and one of those charity obstacle course 5k malarkeys so I might well start venturing back (once my 5k time is a little more passable, I’m actually getting slower at the moment, it is somewhat disheartening!) x