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!
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.