And that's why these are brilliant. I just always assumed Knaresborough Striders Supremo and parkrun Run Director and regular volunteer James had been a constant runner throughout life so far.
Shows how much I know. Over to you James...
I first got into parkrun due to a Doctor telling me I had to get fitter as I had very high blood pressure. I had seen runners on The Stray on a Saturday morning so typed “runners on stray on Saturday morning” into Google and up popped parkrun! I persuaded a mate to come along and I was hooked from that very first run. The friendly atmosphere, the people I met and the challenge every week of trying to get a PB was just the tonic I needed to get out of bed early on a Saturday!
parkrun really means a lot to me. It triggered me to get back into running after a number of years hiatus after school based athletics. It allowed me to meet new people, that in turn encouraged me to head down to Knaresborough Striders running club (the best running club in the area ;-) ) where I have a fantastic set of friends. It has helped me with confidence also - getting up on the bench on The Stray or down at Conyngham Hall to do the run briefing is very daunting the first few times!
My favourite volunteering role is marshalling. I love being able to help encourage people around the course, especially if they are new to parkrun. It feels great when you can see someone maybe struggling a bit but you give them a clap and some encouragement and off they go again to complete the course!
I’ve not been out as much as I would have liked to on Saturdays for my “parkrun replacement bus service” run (although the “bacon sandwich at the Black Mulberry bus replacement service” has been taking place!) but I’m going to make a determined effort in May to get out for a 5km each Saturday morning!
Story wise, on my 100th parkrun (on Xmas day 2016 at Harrogate parkrun) I was tripped up by a dog just after the start line and went flying in the mud alongside the start area.
My most annoying parkrun moment was having to stop to tie up my lace half way through the second lap of Temple Newsam parkrun...I’d have bagged the coveted no1 token if I hadn’t stopped!
Favourite part of any parkrun course I’ve done - crossing the bridge at Conyngham Hall meaning you get to pass other runners and encourage them as they go out onto the top field (me, well my back, in the foreground!)