Roundshaw Downs #489 by Sara Jane Clark
Firstly, a massive congratulations to Rupert who completed his 350th parlrun today. Today I hit a milestone, as I completed my 100th parkrun. I thought it would be fitting to reflect on my parkrun journey.
My very first parkrun was completed at Banstead on 7th August 2010 when my friend Maria Lawrence encouraged me to go saying “you’ll love it and feel good afterwards”. This was not what I wanted to hear as I really hated running, but felt I could give it a go, and if I didn’t like it I need never go again. I started out on the course with intrepidation and ran/walked my way round the course, in a fairly respectable time of 42.58. Of course I was last, but still remember the encouragement of the volunteers when I finished. Maria was right, I did actually feel good.
I then continued going most weeks, with beating my time by 1 second on the second week, and soon I wasn’t coming last and the determination to beat my previous week’s time became all too consuming.
Due to the popularity of Banstead, a new parkrun was set up at Riddlesdown. I decided to try this course and really loved it, especially as there was no Banstead “hill”. I had also tried Lloyds Park however that hill was just too big to climb for me.
I continued my parkrun journey at Riddlesdown bringing new runners when I could including my son and occasionally, my daughter.
I then hit a period in 2014 where my personal life became my priority and I gradually dropped off going to parkrun for various reasons and did not run for two years. I felt really guilty at 9.00am on a Saturday knowing that parkrun was going ahead and I was not part of it, but then I would try to justify the reasons why I hadn’t gone. Each time I saw Maria she would encourage me to come back. I did return to parkrun in 2016 for about four months, but then for various reasons dropped off again. In 2017 I really wanted to return to parkrun but felt I had lost my confidence in running and whether I would be able to complete the course. Eventually In April, one Saturday I decided to try and attempt some sort of run, and even though I changed my mind several times having a battle in my head thinking “yes you are going to go for a run”, and then “no, i'm not”. Eventually my trainers went on, and I went running round the streets for about 30 minutes. To my delight I could do it, as my time generally at parkrun was around the 36-39 minute mark. This run gave me the confidence to go back to parkrun as I thought even if I can't run it all, I will just walk the rest of the way. I went the following Saturday and since then have been a fairly regular runner.
I feel so proud to be part of the parkrun family, everyone is so welcoming, and I have also volunteered quite a bit over my time at parkrun, so feel I have put something back into it. When I was at my height of running, I even completed a 7k and an 8k run.
Hopefully I will continue my parkrun journey for a long time to come, and now will be working towards 150.
This week 127 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 5 were first timers and 16 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 17 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 16 volunteers:
Tony GALLAGHER • Martin LLOYD • Stephen HEWETT • Samantha PURSER • Rupert QUESTED • Mick TURNER • Noel AITCHISON • Jean QUESTED • Sara Jane CLARK • Ken WRIGHT • Robert HUNTON • Hilary RANKIN • Ian SMITH • Shun-Lai CHAN • Simon DAILY • Geoff NUNN
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Roundshaw Downs parkrun Results Page.
The male record is held by Kevin QUINN who recorded a time of 15:41 on 13th August 2011 (event number 110).
The female record is held by Clare ELMS who recorded a time of 18:28 on 18th April 2015 (event number 310).
The Age Grade course record is held by Zechariah JOHNSON who recorded 94.07% (21:05) on 7th October 2017 (event number 443).
Roundshaw Downs parkrun started on 18th July 2009. Since then 5,380 participants have completed 48,647 parkruns covering a total distance of 243,235 km, including 7,292 new Personal Bests.