Highbury Fields parkrunner profile – Kim Butler

This week’s parkrunner profile features Kim Butler; a regular face at Highbury Fields parkrun since 2012, Kim has been a core team member, a keen fancy-dresser at celebratory parkruns and London Heathside runner.

Kim’s love of running has now extended to her becoming a running coach. Here she tells us her parkrun story.

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When and where did you start parkrunning?

It was 21st April 2012 at Bromley parkrun, the day before the London Marathon. I wasn’t running the marathon the next day (I wasn’t sure if I could even complete 5k) but some of the parkrunners were and you could sense the excitement in the air.

What prompted you to join parkrun?

I’d run Bromley parkrun at the request of a friend who lived nearby, I absolutely loved it and decided to research parkrun a bit more which is when I discovered there was one local to me in Highbury - perfect!

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What did you think after your first parkrun?

I really enjoyed it and spent the remainder of the morning refreshing the results page because I just couldn’t wait to see how my friend and I had done.

What’s your most memorable parkrun?

Oh there’s loads! From the anniversaries to the trips to parkrun abroad, from the PBs to the themed runs and volunteering mishaps. One day that sticks in my mind was in June 2012; the London-based parkruns would host a series of parkruns on the day of the Summer Solstice - it didn’t count towards your results, I guess you could look at it as a series of freedom runs. I did Highbury Fields, Hampstead Heath and Mile End that day - some ran between the parkruns too! It was good fun and nice to meet fellow London parkrunners in the community.

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What do you like most about parkrun?

100% the people. You meet people from all walks of life but you’re all united through this bizarre love of running 5k every Saturday morning at 9am. I’m certain if it wasn’t for parkrun I wouldn’t have had the privilege of meeting so many people who are in my life now - and I wouldn’t have become a running coach either!

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Volunteering at parkrun - your thoughts?

Fun, easy and I would definitely recommend. I remember having shakey knees when I delivered my first ever Run Director speech. A couple of weeks later I’d stopped shaking and I was able use this new found public speaking skill when giving presentations at work. Plus it’s nice to give back from time to time right?

How are you coping without parkrun?

parkrun has allowed me to spread my wings as a runner, so although I don’t participate as regularly as I once did I still find it very special and not a Christmas or New Year will go by without me taking part! In the meantime you can catch me clocking the odd solo 5k run around Finsbury Park.

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Any other thoughts?

I’ve seen a lot of runners’ motivation yo-yo in the current climate, myself included. As a parkrunner and a coach all I’d say is don’t put pressure on yourself to perform - some days just getting out the door is an achievement, regardless of speed or distance. Didn’t get out the door this week? No biggy, there’s always next week - that’s the beauty of parkrun!