Why I love Parkrun

parkrun01It’s fun, it’s free, it’s sociable and it’s a small bit of ‘me-time.’

If, like me, you would like to try and get fit but do not have the confidence or the will power to go out for a run on your own, are worried that you might look a ‘prize prat’ or you are not sure how far you might get before collapsing, then Parkrun would be a great place to start!

These are free 5km run/walks organised in local parks all over the world at 09:00 every Saturday morning. Our closest are Witney, Moreton in Marsh and soon to open in Carterton.

Witney is great fun with a mixture of grass, pavement and woods – not a fast course but it certainly holds your attention, while the volunteers, in high viz vests are so encouraging, many clanking ‘cow bells’ as you come past and giving you a shout to “keep on going, you’re doing great!” spur you on to your mini victory.

Moreton in Marsh is equally jolly; a flatter course on grass around the grounds of the Fire Service College. They start the run to music and even have a fire bell that you can sound if you have achieved a PB (personal best)! I’m going to try for a sprint finish next week (well a faster jog anyway!) to see if I get a chance to ring the bell!

There are all sorts that attend; the fast veterans using the run as part of their marathon training, the fast teenagers who can complete a 5km in an unfathomable time, the youngsters trotting alongside their parents who always seem to have a sprint finish in them and then hundreds, yes hundreds, of other people with varying levels of fitness who have dragged themselves out of bed on a cold or wet Saturday morning wondering ‘what on earth has possessed me to do such a crazy thing?’ but once they get there they are smiling and happy and swept along with the camaraderie and sense of achievement that just giving it a go affords them.

I achieved a PB last weekend, 40 minutes!! 21 minutes slower than the first person across the line, but I covered the same distance and probably put as much effort in or more. I was certainly bright purple by the end of it, but I had a buzz for the whole rest of the day.

You can run it, you can walk it – there will always be someone faster or slower than you, there will always be someone to have a chat with and many, many people to encourage you. I’m so pleased that I gave it a go and it’s starting to be my favourite time of the week!

Liz Scrivener

April – May 2019