Tuesday, 15 January 2013

New Contributor: Darragh Murray

Name: Darragh Murray
Home parkrun: New Farm
Date of first parkun: 09/06/2012
Total number of parkruns: 9
Number of other parkrun locations run: 2 – South Bank, Wynnum
Number of times volunteered: 1
My parkrun history: View my parkrun history here.

I always loved distance running in high school and had some ability, but my love of distance running was eventually challenged and temporarily beaten by a then newfound love of beer throughout the majority of my twenties. Unfortunately, when beer took over, it failed to mention to me that it was going to dump pounds and pounds of weight on my feeble frame, and after coming to realise this sobering reality as I entered my thirties, I sheepishly had to return to running and ask for a second chance. 2012 saw me return to running and parkrun has played a significant role in keeping me motivated.

A friend of mine recommended parkrun last year and I haven’t looked back since. I live in Brisbane, Australia and we’re fortunate to have five parkrun events in and around the city. For a while there, New Farm was the only event, and consistently was the most popular parkrun in Australia. Since then Wynnum, South Bank, North Lakes and Sandgate have come on board and helped spread the parkrun brand and philosophy. I plan to run all the local events in due course.

While I’m still a relative newbie to the scene, I’ve used parkrun as a springboard for other running achievements. In 2012, I managed to cut my 10K time from 56 minutes to 49, rip apart my 5k time for 30 down to 23, and also complete a half marathon in an hour and 56 minutes. Parkrun has played a big role in keeping me motivated. I factor parkrun into my training schedule, and it’s going to play an integral part in my training for my first marathon in July.

In 2013 I plan to add at least another 23 parkrun events to my athlete history and get my PB down under 21 minutes. Of course, I also hope to volunteer a bit more and give back to the community. I’ll be chasing that 50 shirt, but don’t imagine I’ll get there until 2014. I also hope to visit Bushy Park when I’m in the UK later in 2013.

In the meantime, I hope to write a bit about parkrun, particularly about its phenomenal growth in Australia. I also blog here on running and other subjects of interest on my own personal site as well as use runkeeper and you're welcome to follow my progress on there.

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