Thanks to Oscar for this week's profile! Oscar started out running at school and junior parkrun. Now aged 14, he wrapped up the last parkrun weekend before lockdown as first finisher at both Billericay parkrun and Lake Meadows junior parkrun.
parkrun vital statistics
Number of parkruns: 54
Number of junior parkruns: 108
Number of different events visited: 7 different parkruns, 2 different junior parkruns
Number of volunteering stints: 4
How did you first start running as a hobby and get started at parkrun?
I started by being in the cross country team in year 5 (aged 9). At first I found it really difficult and it took me a while to get used to the cold weather.
On 3rd April 2016 when I was 10 years old, I went along to my first junior parkrun over at Chelmsford, since then I’ve made improvements of almost 1 minute 30 seconds.
(L) Oscar's first junior parkrun at Chelmsford junior parkrun in April 2016 and (R) completing his 100th junior parkrun at Lake Meadows junior parkrun in December 2019
I went to my first 5k parkrun on 26th August 2017 at Billericay parkrun’s 10th event and absolutely loved it.
What made you decide to join Billericay Striders?
In year 7 when I first started secondary school, in PE we had to do cross country to figure out who should be in the cross country team. I wasn’t expecting to do well at all but to my surprise I managed to get first and was hooked by the buzz of that.
At the end of 2018 I was desperate to join a running club to take it a bit further. In January 2019 I went to my first training session at Billericay Striders, where I discovered that I didn’t know how to pace myself at all!
The coaches and members are really friendly and supportive and have given me loads of tips that have definitely improved my running.
What are your favourite memories from parkrun?
My favourite memory over at Billericay parkrun is getting a sub 20 minute in June last year. Alexa Joel paced me and I got so close with a time of 20:02! I was gutted I didn’t manage to get a sub 20 but knew it was in my grasp!
A few weeks later I tried to pace myself the same way as Alexa did the parkrun before and managed to get 19:56!
Breaking 20 minutes
What’s your favourite distance and are there any distances or particular races you would like to do when you are older?
My favourite distance is the 3200m/ 2 mile.
Last year over at Baddow I did the 2 mile fun run in Chelmsford, I placed 8th and got a time of 10:56 which I’m really happy with. I believe I performed well in that race because there was a friend of mine there too and we’re both competitive so we pushed each other to the max. Unfortunately this year's race is cancelled and set back to next year.
Because I’m only 14 I’m not yet allowed to run over 5k but can’t wait to give further distances a try. In the future I also want to give the 3000m steeplechase a go.
(L) Water jump as part of a steeplechase event and (R) Wickford Memorial parkrun's own water feature after heavy rainfall... or should that be the other way round...
What do you do outside of parkrun?
To be honest all of my hobbies revolve around sports! I enjoy playing table tennis and going for bike rides but my main focus is on running.
What’s your favourite volunteering role?
My favourite parkrun volunteering role is being a pacer. I like being a pacer because I like helping other people reaching their personal best.
Although I’ve only done this role once or twice I would like to volunteer more in the future.
What do you enjoy most about coming to parkrun and junior parkrun?
I enjoy coming to parkrun and junior parkrun because I love the atmosphere, everyone’s so friendly and encouraging and I think it’s a great thing for anyone to get involved in.
What are your next goals at parkrun?
My goal for parkrun is to get a sub 19:30 and my PB at Billericay is 19:30!
Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be doing another junior parkrun because of what is going on, as I turn 15 in November, but if I had a few more junior parkruns my goal would be to get sub 7:00 as my PB is 7:02.
What are you most looking forward to when we get back?
I’m most looking forward to improving my PB time, meeting up with the Striders and most importantly to get back to normal!!
Thanks very much to Oscar! If you'd like to read more profiles, here are the others from this series so far:
If there's someone you'd like to nominate for us to profile, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time!
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