Friday, 20 January 2012

New Contributor: Gina Walters

I was introduced to parkrun by a few boys at work after I banged on about taking up running one shift. The whole idea of running with these guys in particular made me slightly uneasy - I'd hate for them to see me in a complete mess!

So I ran the route a couple of times around Endcliffe Park and found that, you know what, this isn't so bad and my first time clocked in at 31 minutes.

Saturday morning comes and I think it is about time I just got up and did it, but I didn't bank on the the whole of Sheffield looking and definitely feeling like a freezer. Why didn't I bring gloves?!

Not knowing what to expect I nervously stood around until I noticed a couple of girls doing the same thing, so I approached them and we had a chat and it turned out none of us had done this before. A welcoming bit of knowledge! I'm not on my own! (And no sight of the boys from work either...sneaky).

Before I knew it I was in the midst of 250+ other people raring to get started on this 5K. As we set off I was trying desperately not to be put off by the hordes of people flying past me and to stick to my own pace. It wasn't long before I was happy with my pace and settled in really quickly and if anything, the people flying past me on their 2nd lap just motivated me to keep going.

Oh and you know I said I'd practiced the lap? Well I had...but only 4.5K of it! I thought I was about to finish and then NOOOO! An extra bit of the park I hadn't seen on the map! I was gutted but persevered and crossed the line feeling absolutely brilliant. I'd just run my first ever FULL 5K! And it turns out I'd done it in 32:31 which I was pretty pleased with. Yeah yeah I came 227th out of 267 people but I was only the 8th person aged 20-24 which sounds sooo much better!

I'm genuinely excited at the challenge of beating my time and introducing my friends to parkrun if only to prove that YES you actually CAN do this!

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