Everybody has their own idea of what parkrun is, or what it means to them. For me it started a way of getting fitter, building on my endurance and to cut my 5 km time down to sub-30 minutes.
This is how parkrun describes itself:
"parkrun organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in."
But as I started to get involved it became so much more than that. I could see it as a valuable and sociable place to get runners and non-runners at all levels of their training and ability together to to help encourage them to take it to the next step.
I've managed to visit four very different events plus, now, our own in Great Cornard and at all of them I've seen the racing snakes who have finished before some of us have finished tying our laces, who then stand at the finish funnel and cheer in the rest of the field, or who take off again in search of family and friends and then run in with them; a feat in itself.
I've seen dads with pushchairs, mums with small children, people with dogs (not allowed at our event but there are plenty where your four footed running buddy is very welcome); I've seen youngster and teenagers who impress me more than you can imagine; people with more than enough enthusiasm for all of us (and some) and I've seen the tail runners who have quietly enjoyed an early morning stroll behind the determined beginner.
But most of all, I've seen cheering and clapping and growing friendships; I've seen enthusiasm and excitement and I've seen regular times dropping like stones as, week in-week out, you keep coming back.
Now that we have our own event, even after only three weeks, I've seen this start to happen. Three weeks on the trot we've seen huge numbers of PBs achieved; new people coming to join us and, I'm hoping, new friendships and acquaintances starting to build.
This, along with cake, is what parkrun is to me. What is it to you?