The 21st January 2017 saw my 250th parkrun and my 216th at Netley. Thank you to all those who shared my day - great fun. A special thanks to those who undertook some parkrun tourism to support me. It was great to celebrate landmark runs with my running buddies - Tracey Corker (100) Gerry Robson (100) and Pete Costley (200) - the latter two normally run at Southampton, so thanks for sharing guys.
Despite the novelty, I dont necessarily recommend wearing 3 balloons, especially if its windy. I had visions of a late January day being bleak and blustery - starting my run at Netley and finishing in Fawley. Fortunately, we were clear and calm. There must be a market for 250 balloons somewhere?
You may be surprised to hear that I didnt get parkrun when I first started. I didnt see the point, running round in circles each week and to what ends? I started at Lakeside in Eastleigh and ran 3 in 2010 and stopped because I got bored and then ran one, not sure why, in Nov 2011. Then, with Olympic excitement building, I decided to turn over a new leaf and commit to losing weight and getting a bit fitter. Start date - 1st January 2012. 264 weeks later, 246 parkruns and 750 miles on, I am stilling running around in circles trying to understand why I do it. In that time, I lost nearly 5 stone (put some back on though - love my biscuits), lobbed minutes off my time, became a qualified coach and enjoy being part of various local events, large and small. But, most importantly, I have made numerous friends. None of this would have happened without that first step at Lakeside.
So, if you are new to parkrun and are beginning to wobble, keep persevering, it is worth it in the end. If its any consolation, the running, the reason for joining parkrun, becomes secondary and it is the chance to meet up with friends that drives your attendance, and oh yes, to beat the person who was in front of you last week.