Saturday, 24 March 2012

New contributor: Victoria Dick

Name:  Victoria Dick (Yes really!  Who'd make up a name like that?)
Home parkrun: Basingstoke
Date of first parkrun: 21st May 2011
Total number of parkruns: 37
Number of other parkrun locations run: 3 (Oxford, Frimley and Newbury)
Number of times volunteered: 11 in this 'Basingstoke parkrun year' and probably once or twice before that
My parkrun history

A bit about me? Hmm, mother of 5 (three boys, two girls, aged 5 to 14), wife to he who is known in cyberspace as Husbando, full time teacher (science to 11- 16 year olds).  In my 'spare' time I love reading, cooking (and eating), needlework, photography, cinema and, er, running!

The last bit is a bit surprising, even to me!  I played a bit of hockey at school (a long time ago!), ran because I had to when I was in the TA, but gave up as soon as I could.  I started running three years ago in May.  I used the Couch to 5k programme and can't recommend it highly enough.  Husbando, who has run all his life, was sceptical, especially during the early weeks when it was more walking than running, but as soon as I finished the programme I entered a 10k race (for Cancer Research UK) and haven't looked back since!  I finished that first race in 'about 53 minutes' and was well and truly hooked on running - despite the fact that it rained incessantly for the entire morning.

I did a few more 10k races, joined an online running club, and started blogging about running, life, children, training for teaching etc. etc.  I met a few people on the start/finish lines of races and kept in  touch through the wonder of Facebook.  Occasionally I saw a mention of parkrun.  What did this oddly styled word mean?  I did a Google search and found that there was a parkrun near me - about 11 miles away.   Of course, I didn't do anything about it for months!  I'm not a joiner.  I didn't want to go along and be the slowest person there, with everyone laughing at me.

I can't think what changed my mind, or what made me turn up one sunny Saturday morning at War Memorial Park in Basingstoke.  It was a little bit overwhelming to see so many other people there.  I don't think I was brave enough to speak to anyone for the whole morning, I just ran, had my barcode scanned and went home.  I went back the next week though, missed a week due to having to go to a wedding in Bergerac or some such nonsense, but couldn't wait to get back.  I still wasn't brave enough to talk to anyone or go to the post run coffee.  That didn't change until I volunteered for the first time.  It is hard to volunteer without communicating with other volunteers and runners.   That Saturday, on our alternate venue (Crabtree plantation), changed my parkrun experience for the better!

These days, it would have to be something very special to keep me away from my parkrun fix!  I'll be missing next week as I have a place in the Olympic Park Run, and believe me, I did try to work out the logistics of a 9am run in Basingstoke and needing to be in Stratford at 12noon!

I love the thrill of a PB, although I haven't seen one of those for months, but I really enjoy the sense of community.  I've probably missed a few PBs by slowing to encourage fellow runners who are struggling, but I love seeing the sense of satisfaction on people's faces as they finish.  Two of my boys have caught the bug.  My 14 year old has stated that it is his ambition to smash my PB on or before his 15th birthday (April 7th) and my 7 year old cheerfully runs the whole way, always finishing with a huge smile on his face.  Both of them love their '10' shirts! I've made lots of new friends, been encouraged to enter far too many races - mainly because I know that there will be lots of people I know there to encourage, celebrate, commiserate and generally have a laugh with! The post run coffee is one of the highlights of my week!

I can't wait to get my 50 t-shirt!  Or my 100 one come to that!


  1. Great to see your kids have followed suit! And 53 mins for a first 10k is some speed.

  2. It was a Cancer Research one, they are not the most reliable in terms of actual distance and I didn't have a Garmin in those days. I love that my children come too! The non running children sometimes come along just to play in the park and give me a heart attack by standing on incredibly high things as I run past! Still, it is good to know that in the last 800m of the run I still have enough breath to bellow 'Zelda, get down from that fence NOW!' at the top of my voice.


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