My parkrun experience began in the latter half of the year 2012 when I was 10 years old. I started going to parkrun as my dad had been running at the event since it first came about in Ipswich (on the 8th September 2012) and he encouraged me to give it a go, I was not a big fan of running to begin with and I could not manage to finish a parkrun. When I started in 2012 at Ipswich parkrun, I would run with my Auntie. She would try each week to get me to finish a parkrun and would push me round. The first ever parkrun I completed was on the 4th May 2013 and I managed to finish in 41:02 with my Auntie’s help.
Parkrun is something that anyone of any age can participate in and it allows you to make new friends from all different age groups. Being able to make new friends has helped massively in boosting my confidence and has helped to improve my communication skills. Parkrun also spurred me on to continue running each week as I was excited to see the friends I had made and it also kept me fit and healthy as I was able to get regular exercise.
Within the world of parkrun, there are milestones that you can achieve; when you have run 10, 50, 100 and 250 parkruns you receive a t-shirt that recognises the achievements. I have a passion for parkrun, and attend weekly which consequently means that I have worked through the ranks of t-shirts. My proudest park running moment was being the first under 18 in Suffolk to receive a t-shirt for 250 parkruns! By doing parkrun, I want to show that however old you are, running is a great and fun way of exercising and keeping fit.
I would like everyone to know that parkrun is not a race and everybody should feel welcome, runner or not.
I believe that parkrun has made me into the runner I am today. I’ve had many people over the years help and push me to be my best and achieve my best time parkrun time, which is 23:47. I now enjoy helping others to excel and push themselves to the best of their abilities. In my opinion, starting Parkrun all those years ago was the best decision of my life as it has benefitted my mental and physical health and I urge others to get involved!