Friday, 6 January 2012

New Contributor: Ken Fox

Name: Ken Fox
Home parkrun: Leeds, Hyde Park, UK
Date of first parkrun: 25/07/2009
Total Number of parkruns: 108 + 269 Freedoms = 377 (at the time of posting)
Number of other parkrun locations run: 2 (at the time of posting)
Number of times volunteered: 61 (at the time of posting)
My parkrun history:

I've come to running late in life. Apart from cross country runs at school and doing the Bob Geldof "I Ran the World" Sport Aid run in London in May 1986 I had done no running at all until I was asked to take part at the age of 49 in a 5K sponsored Santa Fun Run in my home town (Boston, Lincs) in 2007. To get fit enough to complete the run in a respectable time I began running round my local park (Hyde Park in Leeds) two or three times each week. I didn't die and it was fun, so I went on to do a few more sponsored runs in Leeds – the Jane Tomlinson 10K Run for All and the Leeds Abbey Dash 10K. Then in July 2009 I was going into Leeds on the bus on a Saturday morning when I spotted a diverse bunch of runners going round Hyde Park. They looked like they were having fun, so when I got home I did a bit of Googling to find out what it was all about. It's the best bit of Googling I've ever done as I found Leeds parkrun. I registered online and the next Saturday morning I dug out my old “I Ran the World” t-shirt and headed off to Hyde Park.

Now I thought I was just getting a free timed 5K race that would help me produce respectable times in my sponsored runs, but it's a lot more than that. I've been welcomed into a wonderful community of runners. The regulars at Leeds are a really friendly bunch of characters that make doing a parkrun on a Saturday morning the best way to start the weekend. My running has also improved so I've joined the Hyde Park Harriers running club to try to take my running to a higher level – something I never would have considered if I hadn't found parkrun.

Then a couple of years ago parkrun Freedoms began. I think parkrun Freedoms are brilliant! They provide a familiar, accurately measured, traffic and hazard free (apart from the occasional lunatic on a bike) run. They are very useful to have as part of my midweek training runs and they are in my local park. I can set goals and check my pace every km and compare with previous runs (which can be conveniently logged on the parkrun web site). So I can easily see if I'm getting better or worse on a consistent course where there are no hold ups to muddy the statistical waters. I can even string a few together if I fancy doing some longer runs and try for some fabled negative splits. I've also used the course to do some interval training by taking advantage of 200m markers used for the annual Leeds Red Welly Relay parkrun challenge.

I did start getting a bit obsessive though! Towards the end of last year I realised that if I did 4 to 5 Freedoms a week for a couple of months then I'd hit 250 Freedoms in the same week I joined the 100 club. So I ended up doing a few more than I had been doing and hit both targets on schedule.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this Ken. I love reading about how other found out about and then got into parkrun. There seem to be so many of us that find it totally addictive!

    Thanks for introducing yourself to the rest of us. I'm sure a lot of parkrunners will have heard or read your name and now then can read what you have to say about parkrun and what it means to you.


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