Run Report by Molly Smith, visiting from Market Harborough
The 1st February saw Durham parkruns 410th event. An amazing 449 people ran, jogged or walked on Saturday morning. 71 parkrunners earnt new pb’s (even in that strong wind!) – very well done! 42 people participated in their first Durham parkrun. 27 of those were from elsewhere (including myself). 15 people started their parkrun journey at Saturday’s event. Congratulations! Your Saturday mornings will never be the same again! Most importantly, 21 incredible volunteers gave up their time and energy to ensure that event number 410 took place – thank you very much!
It’s always fantastic at any parkrun event to see the amazing range of people that take part. Everyone has their own reasons and parkrun story for how, and why they are standing at the start line. For example, John Robson celebrated his 250th parkrun on Saturday. But not only this, John was undertaking his 71st volunteer role by pacing 25 minutes and helping others to reach their own goals. This was a very special parkrun for John, as it marked exactly 5 years since he retired from the fire service. Despite now being part of the 250 club, it hasn’t been an easy journey for John. In 2013, John was told he would never run or climb again when he was diagnosed with Polymyalgia Rheumatia (PMR). John has also had 6 knee operations and now in remission with PMR. However, John taught himself how to run again with parkrun being his inspiration. Congratulations John, you are an inspiration to those at Durham parkrun and beyond.
Durham parkrun lived up to my expectations. Approaching maiden castle had mixed memories. The last time I saw the sports centre was during my final year exams so I was probably a bit stressed the last time I was there! However, everyone seemed so friendly and the volunteers were very helpful and cheerful. The course itself was beautiful and is now my favourite. The course is flat and on mixed terrain with some fantastic scenery. The second half when you’re running along the river really is something. Running over bridges and under arches, and seeing all the rowers is quite therapeutic. Approaching the bridge across the river, you really get the most beautiful view. With the sun shining high, Durham Cathedral and Castle looked even more spectacular, it really made for an incredible view whilst running. Every marshal was very encouraging along the course. Crossing the finish line, a volunteer I spoke to at the beginning asked me how the parkrun was. And honestly, I don’t always enjoy running 5K. However, I really enjoyed the experience in Durham, and he suggested I come back. If I ever find myself back in the North-East on a Saturday morning, I would definitely return to run this parkrun again. Until then, happy.