Saturday, 25 February 2012

New Contributor: Roger Rowe

What is a life-long athlete doing running just 5k each Saturday morning? Surely there are more important training sessions to be completed? It's just for beginners, or is it?

Funny the comments that one gets when someone who has been racing and training for 50 years (yes, fifty) turns up at his first parkrun in mid-January 2012. What are you doing here Rog? Been injured again? I thought you did your long-run on a Saturday?

The week before I arrived at Killerton parkrun I had hit 49,000 training miles, spread over the past 30 years. For 20 years before that I had been training for rugby -- and playing each week -- turning up for the occasional race on the back of that. My first race, a 6 mile cross country, I won -- just a little matter of 50 years ago in the autumn of 1961. So you can see that I am not exactly the normal 'parkrun rookie', even though I am looking forward to my 67th birthday at the end of March.

But run I did, running a PB (OK, yes I know it was my first)... but in the process taking some 1:20 off the V65 Killerton parkrun record (running 21:50). Now to many 65-year-olds that might seem rather quick, but to a 50-years-experienced 5,000 metre athlete it is not exactly earth shattering. After all I have a 60+ PB of 18:00 and 65+ PB of 19:10 (both SW Vets Records). But I was pleased to be amid the bunch of pleasant folk, and I got a real buzz from all the children giving it their all!

SO... 4 parkruns later (all Killerton), I have reduced the V65+ record 3 times in all, last week recording 21:18 (but injuring myself in the process)! Rats!!

Why am I now committed to parkrun? Easy, the people. No pressure, just a happy bunch of runners 'doing their thing' -- and of course, there's the rest of the day to do all those sessions that have (for now) been on the back-burner.

Now for a bit of parkrun tourism. Pity there is nothing closer than Bristol, Trowbridge and Poole... but I will turn up at one of those one of these Saturday mornings.

Keep on running... no matter what.



  1. MUCH slower this week at parkrun#5... but then, I can't get to see my masseur until Monday. Wish my legs were a bit younger!

    Aims for 2012? Easy... run as many parkruns as I can and get fit enough for the autumn (the summer I will spend at the Olympics/Paralympics as a 'GamesMaker').

    1. Great aims Roger. Sounds like a summer to look forward to!

  2. It was so lovely to meet you today Roger, thank you for the words of encouragement. Ali and I both really enjoyed the event and are happy to say we will return and hopefully beat our time :-)


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