I found out about Parkrun whilst following the weight loss journey of my amazing friend Emma (whose hens do will forever be one of the BEST weekends of my life – now that the hang over from hell is a far distant memory).
Emma has lost more than me and I’m not referring to the fact I lost 40+ kgs in my weight loss journey and that she has outdone that figure – I mean that she has lost more than entire me .. (and then some) a total of 71kgs so far! Amazeballs right?!?!?!
Emma would often mention doing a parkrun and at first I thought she meant she ran around her local park, but upon investigation it turns out that parkrun is an international organisation where volunteers run weekly timed 5k events at various parks around the world. It’s actually pretty cool because once you sign up you can run at any parkrun around the globe and have all your “races” recorded against your membership number and you don’t even have to tell them you are coming, you just turn up and I’ve mentioned this is all free right? .. Free!
There are currently ten parkruns in New Zealand with four of those being held in Auckland. The newest event in Auckland is based at Western Springs, which of all the parkruns would be the closest to my home, so on Saturday James and I participated in their third ever running event.
60 people turned up to the third week of the Western Springs parkrun. 20 of those were running Western Springs for the first time but had completed other parkruns (one lady was visiting from Perth) and 19 of us were participating in our first ever parkrun event. It was quite an eclectic group, there were all ages, shapes and species (dogs on leads are welcome).
After a safety briefing from the event co-ordinator which included the instruction to keep moving if we were attacked by the geese because stopping would only make it worse lolol we all head down to the start/finish line and set off. The route is clearly marked so even when the pack leaves you in their dust it’s pretty easy to navigate and as long as you don’t cross any cones and keep the event co-ordinators advice of when in doubt always go right in mind.
The course itself is three identical winding and undulating laps around Western Springs. As the route is tree lined and winds back around itself the second half of the lap is deceptively longer than it seems and the inclines are all located on the back half of the course with the steepest of all being located right at the end.
(James makes traversing it look much easier than I did .. )
At the end you are given a token and they scan that and your membership card and a couple of hours later you are emailed your results along with a link to a full list of the results. And I’ve mentioned its free – right?!?! I mean can you get anything cooler??
Eventually I can see myself giving back and volunteering (because it’s such a cool idea!). I wouldn’t be the lead bike person though because I’m pretty sure those top runners can run faster than I can cycle!
Till next time