For those of you who have not heard of the movement that is parkrun, head over here for a read.
Basically it's an international, free, timed, weekly, 5km event, that you can walk or run. I guess you could skip or hop it too if you felt so inclined 😉
I went to my first parkrun about 12 months ago, there was one 7.5kms from my house. I have running friends who are totally devoted to "parky" as they affectionately dubb it. I admit I was nervous that first day, however really had nothing to fear. I didn't feel the same love my buddies did though & didn't go back for quite a while. Plus I prefer to do my long run on a Saturday morning, so running 5km at 8am wasn't working for me.
Then one opened in my home town a few months later, so while I was down visiting my folks I went along. I'm not sure whether it was the familiarity of the course or being a new event, but the people felt friendlier & I really enjoyed it. I went back to my local thrice more, but didn't love it enough to reschedule my long runs.
I went to a couple of other country parky's as a tourist, but still wasn't really on board. While away in Junee (country NSW) for a running event in Waga Waga late last year, the friend who I was staying with had her TV on sunrise (or it's opposition morning show) & they were broadcasting live from the Brimbank Park parkrun launch. This is close to home for me (very close to work & I'd run in the location) & we actually spotted a few people we knew on the telly!
Next minute they are advertising the next parkrun launch which was 1km from my house, in the park where I walk my dog every second day, where I run on a weekly basis! Oh my! Such a great location!
Along I went to the launch. No TV camera's but a lot of fanfare & 278 runners!
I went back the following week to see what it would be like on a normal week - 96 runners. The Run Director did a shout out for volunteers during his brief, so I put my name down for a couple of slots over the next few weeks to help out.
After about 6 weeks I was asked if I'd be interested in joining the team as their 3rd run director, of course I said yes. For some reason I have become very attached to my local parky & want it to succeed!!! I believe in the concept & I love the location. Although it took me a while to warm to it, I must say I am now a parky enthusiast. I've volunteered more times than I've run it; but that's OK - encouraging others to give it a go for me is where it's at!
Now all we need to do is find 2 more Run Directors & we'll be set! Have you tried parkrun? Remember you can walk it! And you can never come last as we have a volunteer who does that for you!