How Tim lost four stone and found Conkers

Conkers Non run report - July 11, 2020

When I offered to draft the non-run run report, I started to write “A Sonnet to Conkers parkrun”.  Anyway, after some deliberation I decided to discard the unfinished and spectacularly bad (!) poetry and instead write about what parkrun means to me.  I hope my story will resonate with people and it would be really interesting to hear other’s stories – how has parkrun positively impacted your life?

My first parkrun was back in late 2016 and I am sure like many, I felt immediately welcomed into the fold.  As a “non-runner” I nervously toiled round the course at Braunstone in just under 40 minutes, and didn’t even finish last (thank god for the tail walker!)  After running a dozen or so times at Braunstone, I started to look around at other parkruns, and together with some friends, we started to tourist.  This was how I discovered Conkers, which from the almost 50 different parkrun courses I have run at to date, genuinely ranks as one of my favourites.  I love the course, the atmosphere is fantastic, it has a real family vibe and of course, there is nothing better than a coffee and some cake in the café afterwards!

Like many people I have spoken to, parkrun was my gateway into running.  From initially only running in the dark so people wouldn’t see me, parkrun gave me the confidence to run in public, a target to chase that elusive PB, to enter other races, and before long I had run 10k races, Half Marathons and then Marathons.  Along the way, through parkrun, I have met many amazing and inspirational people and made some lifelong friends.  It has changed my physical health by helping me to lose over four stone (and to keep the weight off) from that very first run.  Having suffered with depression and anxiety in the past, parkrun has been like a shield to me – it is difficult to put this into words in a short report, but suffice to say, my only medication nowadays are the endorphins I get from running. Thank you parkrun x

I am sure that the restrictions in place have been difficult for all of us in different ways. Last week Teresa wrote about using the time as a period of reflection, which I agree is a brilliant idea.  We watched on perhaps just a little bit enviously as parkruns in New Zealand restarted last weekend, hopefully it won’t be too long until we can all be reunited again.  In the meantime, the bonds of the parkrun family are strong – as they keep saying at parkrun HQ, “we will get through this together”.

But for now, I am spending my parkrunday mornings at 9am quizzing with Vassos, whilst for the rest of the week I am getting as many (non)parkruns in as possible to keep fit.  Most of all, I am dreaming of how magical that first parkrun back will be!