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End of year review., General me., Life's Lessons

2019; The year I fell back in love with running thanks to Parkrun

✍🏽 Delighted to announce that I’ve joined @parkrunuk 50 Club on a free-transfer. (Obligatory holding the New Jersey photograph!) 

Ironically, it was a planned run that never actually happened which reignited my love for running this past year.

It was way back in April, where I was re-bitten by the running bug. Figuratively, not literally obviously.

Since that fateful morning where a run around one of West Bromwich’s parks never materialised, I have done more than ever before.

Some people wake up on a Saturday morning, look out of the window and see the cold, wet weather and decide that they want to go back to sleep. Others see 3.1miles lined by high-vis jackets and foam hands.

We call ourselves ‘Parkrunners’ although others may call us ‘mad.’

“Parkrun is a FREE weekly 5km event for runners of all standards, which takes place every Saturday at 9:00am. It is not a race against other runners, but a 5k timed run and it can really be whatever you want it to be, whether that’s for fun or as part of a training plan.” [1]

Once the safety briefing has been conducted by the day’s designated Run Director, Parkrun Tourists are welcomed (the award for The Most Impressive Tourist goes to the gentleman who was visiting Stratford-Upon-Avon from Las Vegas, sorry Coventry runners!)

Then it’s time to set off and start the Apple Watch for detailed GPS tracking, heat rate and VO2 Max readings. At least, that’s what I do.

In the last eight months, I’ve completed eighteen official Parkruns across three different events (Stratford Upon-Avon, Coventry & Warwick Racecourse) which is just over a third of all parkruns I’ve done in five years. (I’d like it to be more, but working alternate weekends scuppers my plans a little!)

During the summer, not only did I join the Parkrun 50 Club, but I also found myself as an unexpected star of an online podcast and Vlog; Jog On when the author, Harry, visited Stratford Upon-Avon Parkrun.

From this moment onwards no longer have I been known as Rich, but ‘Green T-Shirt Man’ instead. Check out the episode on YouTube below, with my Oscar-worthy cameo for Best Supporting Actor starting at 02:48;

 

2019 also saw me run my first Christmas Parkrun; on a new route for me, Coventry. Whilst many were busy opening presents, or still wrapping them if they’d left it a bit late, I was completing two laps of War Memorial Park amongst the many Santas, Elves and even Darth Vader.

With five new PB’s and finally setting a time of sub 22:00 minutes; my current PB stands at 21:35 at the time of writing, but Parkrun isn’t just about the PBs (as nice as it is to receive the text message confirming you’ve got one,) it’s quite literally the taking part which sees you being celebrated as a winner.

Parkrun is so much more than just a run every Saturday morning. It’s a collection of runners, walkers and volunteers cheering each other on, before socialising with tea and biscuits (and sometimes even cake if you’re lucky enough!)

Here’s to starting 2020 where 2019 finished; with not one, but TWO Parkruns on New Year’s Day.

Sources
[1] Parkrun About Us: https://www.parkrun.org.uk/warwickracecourse/aboutus/

About RNTomlinson

Part-time blogger. Full-time entertainer. Can be found on RNTomlinson.com & ccfctv.co.uk.

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