Wednesday, 26 December 2012

parkrun - A Year in Review

This time last year I was new to parkrun. Having been told about it by my nephew I took the brave step of turning up at Coventry one cold late November morning in 2011. I posted about this at the time. My main fear was that parkrun would be full of elite serious athletes and I, middle aged and not fit, would be humiliated at the end, keeping volunteers waiting. How wrong I was. I didn't come last, I did compete the distance and I loved it. I would now consider myself to be a parkrun fan and missionary, taking every opportunity I can to spread the word.

At the start of 2012 I set myself 3 goals. With only a week to go, and a question from Ian on Twitter asking fellow parkrunners how their year has been I replied that I would post my response. So here goes.

The Goals:
1. Run 30 parkruns by the end of the year
2. Volunteer 3 times this year
3. Run a 30 minute something parkrun.

So, how did I do?

1. This Saturday will be my 42nd parkrun. I ran on Christmas Day (and will, by way of paying back volunteer next Christmas day). I am driven to get that 50 T shirt by the second week in February. This means I will be driving to Braunstone on New Years day to get another one in. i have the countdown to 50 written in my diary. I've missed a couple through illness, holidays and other commitments on Saturdays but parkrun has now become a regular part of my weekend. I came last once. It didn't matter. I had fallen over in the garden the previous week and twisted my ankle, knee and hip but undeterred I rang my brother, got to Cannon Hill parkrun and walked it. It took 50 minutes, but it was a lovely morning and it counted towards the 50.

2. I have volunteered 4 times. I marshaled once, on a -8 morning with my teenage son in tow. I bribed him with the promise of a sausage sandwich in the cafe afterwards. I have given numbers out and scanned twice. I  love volunteering. parkrun cannot work without it, yet only a fraction of parkrunners do it. Why?

3. I haven't succeeded in this. I'm down to 32 minutes. I haven't really worked on speed this year, more distance.

2 out of 3 I can live with.

So what about next year? easy, get my 50 T shirt, volunteer 3 times, including at least one role I haven't done yet and, rather than a specific time get my percentage to 50%  or above for my age grade.

Before signing off and pouring the mother of all Gin and Tonics, a massive THANK YOU! to everyone who has volunteered this year. You are the heroes of parkrun.

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