Friday, 16 March 2012

New Contributor: Geoff Render

Posted on behalf of Geoff Render:

I had reluctantly tried to get to parkruns. I worked shifts at the time and found hard to run by myself. I did my first run in April 2009. I always got nervous on the start line. I knew some of the runners through using same gym.

Since then things built from there. I did my first 10k in November 2009, a few weeks after my first sprint triathlon. Since then I have done 72 parkruns, 65 at leeds hyde park, 3 at Bradford, 2 at roundhay and 1 at Harrogate and Black Park. I have marshalled numerous times at Leeds HP, Leeds RP and Bradford.

In 2010, I quit my job to go freelance as my job was too stressful, my training improved and got new times. I did my first half marathon in May 2010 (still PB). My 5km PB was a few days later at Leeds HP.

In July 2010 I was on end of cycling leg of a triathlon when I crashed my bike and over weeks extent of injuries including knee was established. parkrun became rehabilitation then this developed into marathon training by May 2011 when I did the Edinburgh Marathon.

After this came tough times. I lost fitness and have still not recovered my times even though I have never been a fast runner. I also work as a support worker, one of the people I support wanted to do running. Trying to be Geoff at one event and the person's support was a difficult balance to manage and people did not realise which cap I had on and sometimes I did not even know. He still needs support with some aspects of the running events but he is now an active part of the running club Hyde Park Harriers and he regularly runs and as now he is injured he marshalls at parkrun. I actively encourage him now to marshall. We are now two separate members of the running club and parkrun and this works well now. I am really proud of him. I am also proud of parkrun and Hyde Park Harriers that it welcomes and develops people of all backgrounds and covers all demographics.

Although my times are not getting better, I am planning on doing new things this year and this has given me new focus including trail and fell races. I am also back at the gym now. I have hypermobile joints and need to do strength work to prevent injuries.

I also hope to do cycle ride and triathlon and a 2 mile swim this year.I am also looking forward to trying new courses, York, Pontefract and Huddersfield on my hit list. My grandma lives next to the Sewerby/Bridlington course. It would be great to have this as my summer course. My personality is I love the routine of parkrun but need variety so now new parkruns are popping up is fantastic.

However, I do get bored going to Hyde Park every week, the course is a very boring course. It is now too popular to stick my music in as I need to know who is around me. What I do miss if I don’t go for couple of weeks is the people. I miss the friendly community supportive environment. The Leeds Parkrun I feel is very friendly and inclusive. I am surprised how many runners I know and they know me especially at events. At one event I was watching, people knew who I was…

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