|Park Runs UK!|
Today for the very first time I had a chance to be a marshall at a Park Runs UK event in South Oxhey. It was a very rewarding experience for me as I have never actually watched a running event from the perspective of a spectator, not to mention from a perspective of a marshall. It is great to watch as others tackle the course. Actually, it is not just the battle with the course that is interesting to watch, it is the inner battles every runner overcomes. Park Runs UK are an event anyone can enter, young or old, fit or disabled. All are welcome and all make it a very interesting event. From the race winner to the last person finishing, they all have their part to play. Not to mention the wonderful volunteers who help to organise and oversee these runs week in and week out.
I like this hashtag which is often used by one of the more inspiring runners I follow, William Robertson. Watching the runners at today’s ParkRun I was amazed how many smiles I had seen. And to be honest, the ones that struggled the most had the biggest smiles on their faces. For them, the 5km run was a great challenge and each step they took, they were coming closer and closer to reaching their goal. For runners who have been running for some time, myself including, we often take for granted where we have come from. Looking back a few years, I was in the same place as those near the back of the pack, counting every step as I came closer and closer to the finish line. It was very rewarding to reflect on this and great to see the joy running brings to people.
Get Out There and Run
Park Runs UK and ParkRun around the world are a great way to spend a Saturday morning. They are designed for all levels of runners to participate and I strongly encourage all those who have not yet had a try, to participate in an event near you. You can come out and run your fastest 5km and classify amongst the leaders or take your 7 year old and run with them. Even dogs are welcome to accompany their masters in ParkRun. Still have a small baby? Run with a buggy. You’d be surprised how well moms and dads with buggies run! If you are like me and like to keep track of your runs, all of that will be calculated and stored for you on the ParkRun website which is free to sign up to.
Runners form an amazing community and whether you are a competitive or recreational runner, it is always great to see others participate in this sport. The camaraderie amongst runners is great and very encouraging for new runners. ParkRun is all organised by volunteers and as a runner, it is very rewarding to be able to give back and help out at events. For me being a marshall at Park Runs UK is as rewarding as running in the race and I will certainly be back to help out as much as I can during the events and in promoting the ParkRun concept!