Tuesday, 28 February 2012

New Contributor:Simon Buckden

Name: Simon Buckden
Home parkrun: Roundhay Park (Leeds)
Date of first parkrun: Late 2007 and before barcodes!
Total Number of parkruns: Officially 11 but more like 40 without barcode!
Number of other parkrun locations run: 4 - Brighton, Leeds, Middelsborough and Newcastle
Number of times volunteered: 53 including 40 out of 43 at Roundhay
My parkrun history: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/roundhay/results/athletehistory?AthleteNumber=15608

I was inspired by my good friend Kerry over at Huddersfield to come and say a few words .... I can hear her saying "you a few words"

I am currently the Event Director at the lovely and tough Roundhay parkrun in Leeds.  I set this up where many had talked about it after I had a chat with the now UK parkrun Manager, Tom Williams.and if you have met Tom, you can hardly not be enthused! (He may well check my spelling)


Born and bred in Leeds many moons ago, I joined the Army at 17 and thats where my love of sport happened.

Originally I was a Rugby and Cricket player and represented Yorkshire Schools for both sports and then represented the Army U25 Cricket side and Army Un21 Rugby Union side.  Unfortunately I was injured in a rugby match and started running for my rehabilitation and met an Army Cross Country Runner.

I started to train and entered my Corps Cross Country Champs and came 4th and qualified for the Army Championships where I came 12th and then ran the Navy Champs and came 8th, I hate Cross Country by the way.

I ran more and more and got my 5k time down to 15.47 and my 10k down to 34.57, my best at 10 miles was 57 mins and my HM was 1.17 in 1996.

Unfortunately I became ill in the Army and suffered trauma at War and was medically discharged in 2001 with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and my running fell away completely and I put on around 3 stone in weight.

I moved back to Leeds at the end of 2005, having spent most of my time in the South of England and in 2007 I found out about the Hyde Park Time Trial and now known as the Leeds parkrun.  I was very unfit and started to run on and off and I think I got my 5k time back down to Sub 20 and then started to travel the world and lived in the US in 2008 and then Israel in 2009.

I was still running but not racing and then in August 2009, I met my now Ex Partner Susanna in Newcastle and I found my love for running again, along the Quay side and then South Shields in the wind and I also started to coach Susanna and her effort and determination inspired me to start to race again.  Susanna went from never having ran in her life to running the London Marathon in 2011 and also losing 3 stones as well.

In 2010, both myself and Susanna started to race around the North of England and my 5k time came down to 19.31 and my 10k came down to 42 mins, but I Had done all this before and I wanted to do something much bigger.

In December 2010 at Hyde Park in Leeds I said that I would help out a fellow park runner who wanted to run 100 miles in the Park to raise some funds for a Veterans Charity, I had not done any training at all and I went along and started to run.  It was -5 when we started and got to -7 and snowed and I managed 78 miles in 17 hours and eventually we stopped for safety reasons and I ended up in hospital as I was dehydrated and other weird things were going on.  This event changed my life and I wanted something even bigger.

I came up with the idea to run 100 Marathons in 100 weeks to raises awareness of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and fund for Help for Heroes and I started on 06 Feb 11 with the Thames Trot 50 miler that I completed in just over 8 hours!

I have since completed 46 Marathons and have recently had to take a break due to being diagnosed with a potentially life threatening condition and also the break up of my relationship.  I am hoping to run Marathons again in about a months time as I miss it.

I have been on TV a few times and in most of the major National papers and on Radio around the world and received a Hero Award from Help for Heroes for Extraordinary Effort and was picked to carry the Olympic Flame in 2012 on 24 June and this is a huge honour.

I have started to speak at various places as an Inspirational Speaker and I am writing my book as well.

I have managed to turn a negative into something very positive that has changed many lives'


I am also very proud of what has been achieved at the Roundhay parkrun, from an idea in Feb 11, to the first Event on 23 April 2011 and now nearly 5000 runnings and 1000 PBs!  I am very thankful to the first people that helped me set it up and especially Jeff and Susanna and we have now moved on and have a wonderful Team of Run Directors, Volunteers and Runners.  I also now have my sidekick and friend Ronnie who took me through some difficult times with parkrun and kept the faith.

Ia m very thankful to parkrun for giving me the chance to set up Roundhay parkrun and for Paul, Tom and Chris's support, parkrun is the most community spirited run that I have ever come across and is more than just a run, its a revolution in running and open to all!

My thanks go to Ronnie and to Susanna for support, past and present and I hope that I can give an insight into life as a Event Director.


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