Sunday, 22 January 2012

New Contributor: Kevin Tomkinson

Name: Kevin Tomkinson
Home parkrun: Brueton Park,Solihull
Date of first parkrun:01/10/2011
Total Number of parkruns: 14
Number of other parkrunlocations run: 0
Number of times volunteered: 0(yet)
My parkrun history:

Me, I’m 31 years and I must admit I didn’t like the idea ofdistance running at school, 200 metres in games was enough for me at school (howeverthrow a football in and I will try and run all day!) A few years ago whilst ona Boys Brigade holiday, which I was helping to run 3 or 4 of us decided 1 nightto make an effort to raise some money and take on a half marathon! This seemedlike a great idea at the time and we all signed up for the Great North Run in2005. Not knowing much about distance running or how to train, 4 of us steppedover the start line and got to South Shields eventually (2:38:56). As soon asthe run was over, we all decided to do it again the next year as we werehooked!

The next year we all promised to train more and go again andin 2006 I took part again chopping 12 minutes off my previous years’ time. A coupleof weeks later (which included a week’s all inclusive holiday) I ran the StroudHalf marathon with a few colleagues from work and recorded 2:11 which remainsmy best half marathon time to date! In total I have run 10 half marathons (including1 dressed as a thunderbird) and 1 full marathon (in Disney World, Florida) runningand mainly walking round the course in 7:02:25 in the freezing cold in 2010.This year, I’m planning to run 4 half marathons including Blackpool, Stratfordand the Great North Run.

Although football will always be my 1st sportinglove (both watching Birmingham City and playing the game with good friends),since that 1st Great North Run experience I have been hooked onrunning and I’m always looking out for the next chance to challenge myself torun!

And so to parkrun and what it means to me......

I had read about parkrun around a year ago but decided togive it a go after a period of non running due to the recurrence of an old kneeinjury in October 2011. When I arrived on for my 1st parkrun I wasvery impressed with the setup with marshals and a finisher’s marquee. I wasalso very impressed by the fast club runners and everyone was very friendly andI felt welcome to parkrun. My 1st run for 8 weeks was quite painfuland after 2 miles I had to walk for about 100 metres and then I started runningagain to the finish! A couple of weeks after this 1st parkrun I ranthe Birmingham Half marathon running in the park the day before which I thinkhelped me on the day. This Saturday (21.1.12) I broke the 27 minute mark whichwas my target for 2012. I was very shocked with the time as I think this is thefastest I have run for years!

Even though I’m relatively new to parkrun, the weekly eventshave helped me get my love of running back which was waning towards the midpart of last year as I was training on the roads. I’m inspired to keep on runningand training to improve my overall fitness.
Is it an obsession now? Absolutely! I have neverreally enjoyed training for events but parkrun offers a regular training run ina great setting.

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