This week we introduce you to Gail Davison who is relatively new to the Highbury Fields parkrun experience both as a runner & a volunteer. Gail's parkrun journey started with volunteering but has since moved on to running around Highbury Fields as well as parkrun tourism both locally & further afield.
When & where did you start parkrunning?
I started getting involved with parkrun in 2017 at Highbury Fields. Since then I’ve also been to Finsbury Park, Pymmes, Dulwich, Whitstable, Clacton and the Eden Project.
What prompted you to join parkrun?
Chris Peacock, a regular at Highbury Fields parkrun, heard I was thinking of taking up running and he persuaded me to come along. I started by volunteering because I was too scared to run.
What did you think after your first parkrun?
I loved it from Day One. Everyone was so friendly and it was a lot of fun. I was hooked.
What’s your most memorable parkrun?
The Eden Project. It was the first one where I actually ran. My brother drove me from our holiday cottage for an hour to get there and he, my niece and nephew ran with me. It was a first parkrun for all of them. As you start to run you are level with the tops of the biodomes - it was stunning and we were all full of excitement. Then I realised that if I was running downhill, I would have to run uphill too….so I walked most of the uphill! I finished in 39:18. We all loved it so much that when we met up with cousins who live nearby we signed them all up to parkrun. It was after running at the Eden Project that I decided to do a 0-5k class and that’s the best thing I ever did.
What do you like most about parkrun?
I love the people, the buzz during the run, the feeling of happiness at the end of an event and being part of something that makes a difference. It has encouraged me to keep fit. It’s a marvellous thing.
Volunteering at parkrun - your thoughts?
If you haven’t done it yet, have a go! There is nothing nicer than seeing the look on someone’s face when they finish their run. I also like to hear the stories from runners about why they are running or how they have overcome adversity to do so. It’s all so uplifting. Without volunteers parkrun can’t happen, so I would say to anyone reading this please come and try a volunteering role when parkrun restarts, you won’t regret it.
How are you coping without parkrun?
I’ve found it hard to keep running without the discipline of a parkrun to go to, but I need to keep going so I am ready to run when it returns.
Any other thoughts?
The virus has caused me to reassess what’s important and to make some changes to my life. Keep fit and be kind.