We were visited this week by Claudia who spent some time explaining to me the amazing work that parkrun can do in supporting those with this condition and with a sub-28 minute finishing time proving that MS and exercise are a great partnership.
She was visiting to raise awareness of runners with multiple sclerosis and the support parkrun can offer to maintain an active lifestyle to manage this chronic condition. Thursday 30th May was World MS Day so it felt particularly relevant that Claudia was visiting.
This was what she had to say:
As part of parkrun's PROVE project, there is an inspiring and growing community on Facebook for runners with MS. They include the full spectrum of abilities from superquick sprinters, one having completed the London Marathon recently in under 3h:24min (!), to MSers participating regularly in parkrun in their wheelchairs or solely by volunteering - everyone is welcome to join.
'parkrun for people with multiple sclerosis' is a closed group on Facebook. With the PROVE project now having been completed, the support for this group will continue without change.
I started running again following her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and just completed my 57th parkrun here at Houghton Hall parkrun in my OMS vest.
OMS or Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis is a non-profit organisation, which raises awareness about evidence based diet and lifestyle interventions that can improve health outcomes in people with MS.
In simple terms, it can put people with MS back in the driver seat of their own destiny, considering that MS is often seen as a condition with a predicted decline in health.
OMS gave me hope and positivity that I could make changes to the lifestyle I was leading for a better health outcome. Since following the OMS programme, I have been healthier than ever before and it made me reconnect with running and finding parkrun. Mental health is hugely important and a healthier body leads to a healthier and stronger mind to enable you to deal with this curve ball that MS is. I am now one of the two ambassadors for the Hertfordshire circle and encourage everyone with MS to join their local circle. If you sign up on https://overcomingms.org/community/find-support/ you will find lots of local support to help you with this unpredictable condition.
So please pass on the news to anyone you know who is affected by MS.
Other disabilities and health conditions covered by the parkrun PROVE project were Anxiety, Arthritis, Asthma, Autism, Blood Pressure, Cerebral Palsy, Deaf / Hard of Hearing, Dementia, Depression, Diabetes, Eating Disorders, Endometriosis, Heart Conditions, Learning Disabilities, MSK Conditions, Multiple Sclerosis, Obesity, Perinatal Depression, Psychosis and PTSD.
As part of World MS Day we'd like to share this Myth Buster they produced.