Banbury parkrun profile: Sera Relton

Sera Relton

Number of parkruns:
114 in total, (98 at Banbury)

Favourite parkrun (other than Banbury, obviously!) and why:
Hmm – torn between 2. Forest of Dean – the course is lovely; the event team are dead friendly and Bryn Bach – fast flat course, incredibly pretty route (2 laps of a reservoir) and great toast and coffee at the café on the finish line.

Why did you start parkrunning:
I completed the Autumn Wolfrun with my husband (Jules) in September 2014 to raise money for MacMillan. I loved it, but it absolutely ruined me – walked like John Wayne for a week!! We decided to get fit and run it in the following year and started running round Spiceball. One weekend we happened to bump into the team setting up for that morning’s parkrun, chatted to them about it and vowed to join up and be there the next weekend, ran our first one on 8 th November 2014 and haven’t looked back since.

Number of volunteers:
132 – which is slightly skewed!! I am enormously proud to be the Volunteer Co-ordinator for Banbury parkrun, it’s great to have a connection with our fantastic running community. This role gives me a credit every week, even if I run.

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Favourite volunteering role, and why:
Timekeeper – I love watching the mass start, cheering on from the gap by the canal and then shouting support as the runners give it everything they have for a sprint finish.

Favourite/funniest parkrun memory:
Is it a cop out to say too many to mention?  Fancy dress is always a winner for me. Celebrating a milestone is always lots of fun.

What does Banbury parkrun mean to you:
Amazing sense of community, tons of friendly advice and support, laughing more than I thought possible, making some incredible friends, yummy cakes, great event team, breakfast afterwards, keeping my diabetes at bay, believing in myself, keeping my mental health in check, fresh air, feeling of wellness, dogs!!!

What do you miss about parkrun:
The people who run it, the team who put it on, all the dogs I get to stroke every Saturday, my friends I’ve made there, breakfast in Morrisons/Waitrose.

What running are you doing now:
Mixture – we’re lucky to have a treadmill so I’ve been running on that. We ran a parkrun in our back garden, lots of fun but over 100 laps – definitely felt dizzy afterwards. We’ve got lots of fab off-road routes on our doorstep. We’ve been exploring them, they’re quite challenging but so, so pretty.

What is the best bit of running advice you have been given:
Enjoy it – doesn’t matter how far or how fast, you’re lapping everyone on the sofa/in bed.

What is your favourite run other than parkrun:
My parents live in Norfolk. We’ve found a 4-mile route from their house that goes past a children’s play area. The play area has a small zip-wire which we have to go on every time – simple things keep me amused.

What run would you most like to do in the future, and why:
Margate parkrun, I spent my childhood not far from it. It’s along the coast road, I have fond memories of running around there as a child.

What is your most essential/favourite piece of running kit, and why:
Trainers – vital that you get your gait done and a pair that suits your running style and the surface you’re running on.

What is your Favourite/funniest running memory:
Impossible to choose. I’ve taken part in a good number of endurance/relay events since starting parkrun. These have been with teams of good, good friends I’ve made thanks to parkrun. The running, whether it’s the scenic yet brutal (b**tard hill!!) Endure 24 (8km loops ran in relay over 24 hours) or the super fun Cider Frolic (4km loops ran in relay over 12 hours). I’ve had the best time. Lots of laughter, drinking, eating, just the best memories made with some of life’s best people.


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