Jesmond Dene parkrun is cancelled on 26 September 2020: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

#IWDparkrun Profile: Sue C

Why did you start parkrunning?
I started doing the Couch to 5k in 2016, inspired by a friend. I hadn’t run since school, and never imagined I would! The 10 week programme took me a year, as I was in no rush and wanted to enjoy it! Meanwhile, my son was doing junior parkruns, and was keen for me to join him. Which I did, although I was always way behind him! I also did the Cancer Fun Run with him several times, then my partner, son and I did Gibside parkrun, when we were staying there one weekend. What a challenging first parkrun that was!

The highlight of your running career so far
Being first woman in my age group one week, and introducing my cousin to parkrun. I like the energy boost running gives me, but more than anything I like leaving the house when I want, to run where I want, without paying a penny!

Favourite parkrun?
I have 3: Newcastle for its openness and flatness, Rising Sun for its woodland, and now I’ve got used to ‘the hill’, Jesmond Dene!

Favourite volunteering role?
My son and I have done 3 so far: marshalling, finish tokens and tail walking. I think I enjoyed the tail walking most of all, as it was chilled and really sociable.

 

#IWDparkrun Profile: Sarah

Why did you start parkrunning?
I'm quite new to running, I only really started last October after the realisation that I wasn't as fit as I thought I was whilst running for a train! I'd heard of Couch to 5K and thought I'd give it go. Nine weeks later I was taking part in my first parkrun in Leazes Park. Although I'm motivated enough to focus on a target like completing the Couch to 5K programme, I'm not sure I would have ran as many 5Ks since without the parkrun network. I love the idea that you can be anywhere in the UK (and other countries) and potentially not far from a friendly organised Saturday morning timed run. The community and volunteering network along with camaraderie that surrounds parkruns is fantastic.

Highlight of your running career so far?
I always feel a sense of achievement when I finish a 5K run and over time my stamina is improving and my times are getting faster. Its not always about pace, but I do get a buzz when I beat my own PBs. I hoping to do the Great North 10K this year so that's a highlight in the future!

Favourite parkrun?
As Urban Green Newcastle's Senior Ranger responsible for Jesmond Dene I am delighted that parkrun have found a home with us. Some may expect me to say that Jesmond Dene parkrun is my favourite, it's certainly up there, it's a challenge and that view is amazing! However, I'm equally fond of Gateshead and Windy Nook, my local, parkrun.

Favourite volunteer role?
Being still fairly new to parkrun, I've only volunteered twice, once as tail walker and once as a marshal. I enjoyed them both, I loved supporting those that wanted to walk the 5K and you get loads of appreciation as a marshal. Here's to trying out other volunteering roles in the next few months.

 

#IWDparkrun Profile: Somayya

Why did you start parkrunning?
I was a very active child who loved running but unfortunately evolved into an embarrassed teenager, who eschewed running in public. Having lived in Newcastle for a number of years I watched the GNR on television every year, but was very unsure how to start training for it. A friend told me about the parkrun, I thought that it was for actual runners but she convinced me to give it a try. I was hooked after my very first run. I love the fact that with parkrun everyone is welcome, from new runners to really experienced runners and all the different levels in between. The person you are competing with is yourself. It is about your stamina and time and it doesn’t matter that you are not the fastest but that you are improving incrementally at your own pace.

The highlight of your running career so far?
I have completed GNR a few times and have improved on my times. I always am so grateful that I have been able to complete each and every one that I have attempted. However, before Christmas last year I ran the Chopwell 10-mile trail run, though I had trained for it, I was not prepared for the gradient of the hills. If not for Jesmond Dene parkrun, I do not think I would have been able to complete it. Needless to say, I am very proud to have finished that run.

Favourite parkrun?
I love every parkrun that I have done but I have to say that Jesmond Dene parkrun has special place in my heart. The volunteers are so friendly and the location is breathtakingly beautiful.

Favourite volunteer role?
I have enjoyed every role I have had so far. I love cheering people on while marshalling and congratulating people after they have completed the course whilst barcode scanning. However I do love Tail Walking. It is a beautiful course and a great way to meet all the volunteers as you pass them. It is such a friendly atmosphere and a wonderful start to the weekend.

 

#IWDparkrun Profile: Vicky

Why did you start parkrunning?
I never, ever, EVER intended to run. It was hot, sweaty, boring, and it made my knees hurt. Then I had my first child in 2013 and within three months I had taken up running after some kind of existential crisis about needing to be as fit and healthy as I could for him. My best friend is a keen runner and parkrun fan and she coached me through couch to 5k with such kindness (and occasional firmness) with the aim of getting parkrun fit. I did my first parkrun in September 2013, just over six months after having a baby and three months after starting c25k. I’m now on 115 parkruns and 35 volunteer roles (with a few 10k, aquathlons and half marathons thrown in - and another baby!)

The highlight of your running career so far?
The best thing about my running is that I am such an unlikely and reluctant runner that I think people look at me and think ‘anything she can do, I can do!’ My husband and kids now run and I love that my 4 and 6 year old see running as something we do, just naturally as a family. Seeing them enjoy running is a total joy to me.

In the spirit of IWD, I’m a feminist and a children’s health advocate, and we know that young women drop out of being physically active disproportionately compared with young men, with knock on effects for health. Normalising the joyousness and inclusion of physical activity for anyone who sees themselves as not a natural runner, and hearing that I’ve encouraged someone else to start running (especially another woman or someone who feels unfit) feels amazing.

Favourite parkrun?
Easy. Jesmond Dene. It’s literally my home parkrun as from parts of the course I can see my street and my workplace, and I have run through it pretty much every week since I started running. I’ll never PB on it though, but I try to make myself believe that its undulating nature will make me a better person and a better runner.

Favourite volunteer role?
I love marshalling and cheering people on. Especially if I can combine it with hanging out with friends and family. I especially love dishing out high fives at junior parkrun. I’m a natural enthusiast so I like shouting ‘boom!’ and ‘power up!’ as the junior runner make contact, and seeing them put on an extra burst of speed. I also like roles where I can fit in a run and a volunteer - though it feels a bit like cheating to get all that reward from one run.

 

#IWDparkrun Profile: Becky

Why did you start parkrunning?
During my second year uni exams, as the monotonous revision and inevitable sitting down all day was driving me slowly mad, I spontaneously decided to go for a quick jog around the block. My legs ached for days afterwards! But I gradually built up my distance and pace until I felt confident enough to go along to Coventry parkrun, something I’d wanted to do for a while, and I loved it.

The highlight of your running career so far?
I really enjoyed doing a parkrun double on New Year’s Day 2020; I was down south in Kent and like 400-odd other runners decided to do Cyclopark and Shorne Woods parkruns. It’s fair to say my second time is much slower than my first one though!

Favourite parkrun?
My favourite parkrun to volunteer at is OBVIOUSLY Jesmond Dene, as I really feel like I’ve found my place in the community here. My favourite parkrun to run at was Millhouses parkrun in Sheffield; it’s a fairly new course but it’s where I saw one of my fastest times yet.

Favourite volunteer role?
I like being Time Keeper as the new parkrun Virtual Volunteer app makes the process really easy and satisfying to do, but I most enjoy barcode scanning and congratulating everyone. Each person is friendly and buzzing after the Jesmond Dene “Hilarious Hill” and I love witnessing that.

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