Number of runs: 67
Number of different events visited: 5
Number of volunteering stints: 10
How did you find out about Billericay parkrun and come along for the first time?
I first found Chelmsford parkrun a few years ago when my eldest daughter Isabel wanted to get a bit fitter and raise some money for charity. She got sponsored to work her way up to a 5k run using Couch to 5k and we did Chelmsford parkrun as her 5k run. I did really enjoy that and we went back a few times, but I do love a weekend lie in so it wasn't all that regular! Once I heard there was a parkrun in Lake Meadows though I had no excuse as I live about ten mins walk away.
What are your favourite memories from the event?
So many! parkrun in the snow - so different to run in the snow and I was in the top 50 or so runners (because not many people were daft enough to come out!) - only time that is going to happen!
Also my 50th run which was very special because it was on the run day dedicated to our lovely running friend Kevin. My PB run was great - how I ever managed under 27 minutes is beyond me (I think it was mostly because David Dadds is such a brilliant pacer!).
I also really enjoyed sharing the parkrun experience with my youngest daughter Jenny who did her volunteering for the Bronze DoE at Billericay although we've still not managed to get her to actually run!
What have you missed most since we have been suspended?
The community and camaraderie - it's such a feel good way to start your weekend. I've also missed the physical challenge and discipline of getting up and getting out there and the endorphins that follow!
What do you enjoy about volunteering at parkrun?
I generally marshal when I volunteer as I enjoy the interaction with the runners as they go past. I especially love the children running with their parents where you can see the child powering away and the parent thinking how am I ever going to keep up for 5k!. All the different reactions you get when marshalling are fantastic from the slightly embarrassed smile to the full on chat. I also like being part of the parkrun family and feeling that I'm doing my little bit to enable parkrun to carry on.
What other parkruns have you visited and were they different from Billericay?
As I've said Chelmsford, but also a couple 'oop north' (where I'm originally from). All I can say is that the northern definition of a hill is very different and it makes the park cafe hill seem like a slight incline! I don't think I've ever been to another parkrun as friendly as ours but I may be slightly biased!
What do you do outside of parkrun stuff?
I have lots of different hats! I'm lucky enough to be a mum of two girls who are 19 and 16 now (when did that happen?!?) and my lovely husband and I have been together since school. The bulk of my family are still oop north which has been super hard with COVID as my mum has Alzheimers and we've only been able to see them once since March when we would normally go up every 6-8 weeks. I have two jobs - a part time office admin role and I'm also a fitness instructor (but I haven't actually been running classes since COVID started). I love immersive theatre where you can dress up and experience the show rather than just sit and watch it (don't ask I can bore you with it for hours!) and I'm partial to a nice piece of cake!!!
As a fitness instructor, do you have any home workouts / tips for people to keep fit over the winter?
There is a vast amount of free fitness content on YouTube so there is definitely something out there for everyone! I have a Facebook page for my classes (Get in Shape with Kate) and during COVID I've put a few of my own workout videos on there as well as signposting loads of other workouts and useful info. Personally I found my fitness slipped during the first lockdown as I wasn't teaching my classes and I got out of the running habit as of course Striders and parkrun couldn't happen (I much prefer running in company).
My saviour has been finding a home workout buddy in my 19 year old daughter Isabel - we did Joe Wicks in the summer and have since found another fitness programme on YouTube to keep improving our fitness. We have even worked out together online (using a website called Scener where you can watch videos and talk at the same time) since she has gone back to Uni in Leeds. I'd recommend a workout buddy - it makes it fun and keeps you accountable - and with the magic of the internet it can be a fantastic way of staying in touch with friends and family and getting fit too! It's also really important for fitness and also just for general wellbeing to try and get out in the fresh air every day - I've been doing Couch to 5k again since September and I've really enjoyed getting out at lunchtimes when I'm working from home.
How did you find being part of the Billericay Striders beginners group and then joining the club?
Keith's beginners group was a great way to get to know people at Striders and lots of fun too. I'd been wanting to join Striders for ages but was too nervous to go on my own so being part of the group was a fantastic way to start. I always feel that the expectation when I do anything exercise related is that as I'm a fitness instructor I'm super fit and will find it easy but that really isn't the case!! Running is a very different type of fitness from the classes I teach so the beginners group was a really good way to build up my running stamina.
The support of Striders and their free training sessions have helped to get me to the finish in a few races - most memorably my second half marathon at Colchester Zoo which me and my lovely running buddy Rich ran (or swum?) in the pouring rain! I love being a part of Striders and am working my way back to running fitness now with Couch to 5k with the hope that I will be fit enough to start back once the COVID restrictions hopefully start to lift for good in spring.
What are you most looking forward to when we come back?
Seeing my parkrun friends again and just getting back to some kind of normal after the weirdest year ever!
The Billericay core team are:
Please check our Volunteer Roster to see if you are able to help out at anytime, there are plenty of roles available to do and all are rewarding and great fun. If you want to volunteer, email us at email@example.com
As well as checking on this site regularly for the latest information and updates, don't forget you can also find us on Facebook.
Why not trade up your paper barcode to some of those snazzy plastic barcodes and wristbands? You can get them at the parkrun barcode website and never worry about soggy paper ones again! ICE details can also be printed on them as well.
If you would like to donate to this parkrun you can find out more HERE